Prudential Life Insurance Review

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Prudential
overall rating
3.5

You should be aware that not all life insurance companies are currently accepting insurance applications due to COVID-19 pandemic. We'll update our reviews as we find more information about what companies are currently accepting new applications.

Our Take

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
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • 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

Cons
  • Few additional insurance product lines

  • No discounts on life insurance products

  • Average pricing

Key Takeaways
  • 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 three stars from J.D. Power
Specifications
  • 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 very large, well-established company that provides several types of life insurance along with annuities and other financial services. The company is more than 140 years old and receives excellent ratings for both customer service and financial stability. 

In this review, we’ll explore the types of insurance that Prudential offers, its ratings and reputation, pricing, as well as 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. The company holds more than $4 trillion in life insurance and operates in more than 40 countries. 

Available Plans: Four Types of Life Insurance & More

Prudential offers four main types of life insurance: term, universal, indexed universal, and variable universal. Policies such as term are only designed to provide 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 Life

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 terms 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 offers premium credits for customers who choose to convert their coverage to a permanent product within the first five years.
  • SimplyTerm: SimplyTerm offers up to $500,000 in coverage and can be purchased online.
  • PruTermSM One: Prudential’s PruTermSM provides coverage one year at a time and is ideal for policyholders who may not need coverage beyond a year or two.

Universal Life

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent coverage that lets policyholders pay more than their premiums each month. Whatever you pay above your premiums is diverted into a cash account that earns interest and grows over time. Prudential offers three different types of universal life insurance policies. 

  • PruLife® Universal Protector: The big benefit of the Universal Protector policy is the death benefit guarantee, although policyholders can also withdraw or borrow against cash value.
  • PruLife Essential UL®: This policy from Prudential 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, so it has 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 that 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. 

Our Expert Dock Says

Variable universal policies from Prudential are considered industry-leaders.

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 can also skip premiums if you have enough cash value to cover them. It is possible to also 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 ProtectorSM: 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, securities brokerage, and investment management services. Customers who want help beyond their insurance needs can find it with Prudential.

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. 

Our Expert Dock Says

While Prudential ranks among industry leaders for financial stability, others receive marks for superior pricing or customer service.

Customers who need assistance can call 1-800-778-2255 between 8 a.m. and 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 receives a solid three-star rating from JD Power. This rating isn’t as high as some other national providers but puts Prudential solidly in the top half of life insurance companies rated by JD Power.

Prudential has a nationwide network of agents who can offer individual guidance.

Financial Strength: Superior Ratings for Stability

Prudential receives an A+ rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating 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 & Easy

Prudential’s cancellation policy varies across its different policy types, but the cancellation process is reportedly 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 will 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.

Below are prices of Prudential Term Life Insurance for a 25, 35, and 45-year old man and woman in Virginia, in excellent health, for $250,000 in coverage with a 10-year term.

  10-Year Term - Male 10-Year Term - Female
25 years old $18.60 $15.53
35 years old $19.25 $15.53
45 years old $23.41 $22.75

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 them a better choice for more consumers. 

Final Verdict

Consider Prudential for Peace of Mind

Prudential is a very large life insurance company that has established a very sound reputation over its 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.

Methodology

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, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. U.S. News. "Prudential Life Insurance Review." Accessed March 5, 2020.