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Prudential Life Insurance is one of the oldest and most established life insurance companies in the world, making it an excellent option for individuals who want a wide selection of policies or are primarily concerned with the ability of their insurer to pay their death benefit. We particularly like their online tools and resources that help consumers make educated decisions.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
Large, well-established company
Excellent ratings for stability and reliability
Additional financial services available including annuities and investment management
Online tools and resources like Life Insurance 101
Good customer service
Few additional insurance product lines
No discounts on life insurance products
- Prudential survivorship policies payout after the death of a second insured, making them good estate planning tools
- Prudential holds more than $4 trillion in life insurance and operates in more than 40 countries
- Prudential offers multiple policies of each type, including four different types of term life coverage
- Prudential’s pricing is fairly competitive for such a large company
- Prudential has an A+ rating from AM Best and is ranked about average by J.D. Power
- Year Founded 1875
- Kinds of Plans Term, universal, indexed universal, variable universal
- Number of Plans 12
- Payment Plan Options 2
- Official Website https://www.prudential.com/personal/life-insurance
Prudential Life Insurance Company is a large, well-established company that provides several types of life insurance along with annuities and other financial services. The company receives excellent ratings for both customer service and financial stability.
We have explored the types of insurance Prudential offers, its ratings, reputation, pricing, and additional services available.
Company Overview: A Well-Established Company
Prudential was founded in Newark, New Jersey, in 1875. Since then, the company has grown into a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest insurance companies in the world. It operates in more than 40 countries and reported more than $1.7 trillion worth of assets under management through the second quarter of 2021.
Available Plans: Four Types of Life Insurance and More
Prudential offers four main types of life insurance: term, universal, indexed universal, and variable universal. Policies such as term are designed to provide only a certain amount of coverage for a set period of time, while others are permanent policies that provide coverage as long as they remain in force. Some, like indexed or variable universal, also give policyholders the ability to grow the value of their policies by investing their cash accounts in index funds or other investments.
Prudential offers annuities, securities brokerage, and investment management services for customers who want more from their insurer.
Term policies provide a fixed amount of coverage for a set period of time but don’t build cash value. Term coverage is Prudential’s least expensive type of life insurance. The company offers four different types of term policies, some of which can be converted to permanent policies within their first five years.
- Term Essential: One of Prudential’s most affordable policies, it’s used for final expenses like paying off a mortgage or covering funeral arrangements.
- Term Elite: This is similar to Prudential’s Term Essential product, but it offers premium credits for customers who choose to convert their coverage to a permanent product within the first five years.
- SimplyTerm: This offers up to $1 million in coverage and can be purchased online.
- PruTerm One: Prudential’s PruTerm One provides coverage one year at a time and is ideal for policyholders who may not need coverage beyond a year or two.
Universal life insurance is a type of permanent coverage that lets policyholders pay more than their premiums each month. Whatever you pay beyond your premiums is diverted into a cash account that earns interest and grows over time. Prudential offers two different types of universal life insurance policies.
- PruLife Essential UL: This policy protects your family if something happens to you but also includes benefits that can help you while you are still alive.
- PruLife SUL Protector: The SUL Protector policy is designed to help transfer wealth by paying out a benefit at the death of a second insured.
Indexed Universal Life
There are three types of index universal life policies available from Prudential. These policies are similar to universal life policies except that the cash portion of a policy is tied to a stock index like the S&P 500. This gives it the potential to grow much faster than a normal universal life policy. Indexed universal policies from Prudential have built-in floors that protect policyholders from losses, but also include caps that limit how much your cash value can grow each year.
- PruLife Founders Plus UL: Policies can be kept in force as long as you want through an adjustable guarantee against lapse.
- PruLife Index Advantage UL®: Policyholders can choose from four different indexing strategies to build cash value they can access while they’re still alive.
- PruLife Survivorship Index UL: Like the SUL Protector policy, Survivorship Index UL policies pay out a death benefit after the death of a second insured.
Variable Universal Life
Variable universal policies from Prudential are considered industry leaders. These policies offer the greatest degree of flexibility in terms of investments to grow your cash value, ability to access your cash value, and premium flexibility.
Using one of Prudential’s three variable universal policies, you can select the underlying investments for your cash value, giving it the ability to grow faster than normal universal or indexed universal life policies. You also can skip premiums if you have enough cash value to cover them. It is possible to withdraw or borrow against the cash value of your policy to access funds early.
- VUL Protector: Protector policies offer no-lapse guarantee options and allow policyholders to build cash value faster by taking on a moderate amount of risk.
- PruLife Custom Premier II: Customer Premier policies are designed to build cash value faster over longer terms. They’re also designed to provide guarantees against lapsing in the early years of coverage.
- PruLife SVUL Protector: These policies offer no-lapse guarantees and pay out after the death of a second insured to benefit the family or chosen charities.
In addition to its life insurance offerings, Prudential also offers annuities and securities brokerage and investment management services.
Customer Service: Great Local Service and Responsive Communication
Prudential has a network of agents across the country, giving customers the option of working with a local representative to get quotes, review policies, or bind coverage. The company also has a central customer service center that can address any questions you have or put you in touch with a local agent.
Customers who need assistance can call 800-778-2255 from 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday through Friday, or submit a form through the company’s website 24 hours a day.
Customer Satisfaction: Solidly Average Ratings
Prudential Life Insurance ranked 11th out of 23 companies in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study. This rating isn’t as high as some other national providers.
Prudential has a nationwide network of agents who can offer individual guidance.
Financial Strength: Superior Ratings for Stability
Prudential receives an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, one of the highest ratings available. This rating reflects Prudential’s overall financial stability based on the company’s assets and holdings across all of its related companies.
Cancellation Policy: Quick and Easy
Prudential’s cancellation policy varies across its different policy types, but the cancellation process is relatively easy. Customers who decide to cancel their policies will incur a surrender charge that varies according to how long they’ve held their policies. Customers also forfeit any premiums paid to date. However, customers who own policies with cash values will be able to withdraw their cash balance when they cancel their policies.
Price: Reasonable Cost for a Large Insurer
The costs for life insurance through Prudential Life are about average for the industry. Prudential doesn’t offer many discounts, and premiums are based on a policyholder’s age, location, and medical history. Customers who want an individual quote can contact Prudential through the company’s website.
A Prudential Term Life policy for an individual in excellent health, for $250,000 in coverage and a 10-year term, will start around $11 per month depending on your gender and location.
Competition: Prudential vs. New York Life
There are a number of large national life insurance companies that compete with Prudential. While Prudential ranks among industry leaders for financial stability, others receive marks for superior pricing or customer service. New York Life is one such company, which operates much the same way as Prudential and serves a similar customer base. However, New York Life receives superior ratings for both customer service and pricing, making it a better choice for more consumers.
Consider Prudential for Peace of Mind
Prudential is a large life insurance company that has established a sound reputation over its more-than-145-year history. The company is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world and ranks extremely well for financial stability. If you’re looking for flexible life insurance offerings that offer no-lapse guarantees and a number of ways to build cash value, Prudential has a number of policies that can meet your needs.
All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated.
J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Sept. 4, 2021.
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Prudential Financial, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries." Accessed Sept. 4, 2021.