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Prudential life insurance review 2024

Updated Mar 14, 2024
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At a glance

Bankrate's take

Policyholders venturing into life insurance for the first time might consider Prudential, given the company's helpful online resources tailored for decision-making. However, Prudential’s lower-than-average customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power suggests potential concerns with its service experience.

Prudential may be ideal for individuals seeking term or universal life insurance with extensive policy riders and who value a company's commitment to corporate sustainability.


What’s new with Prudential?

Recently, Prudential Financial was selected to join a significant pension risk transaction with PSEG, handling close to $1 billion in pension obligations for about 2,000 retirees from a PSEG business segment. These pension benefits payments began going out December 31, 2023, and underpins Prudential's continued leadership and innovation in the pension risk transfer market, building upon its historical pioneering role in the industry. The collaboration with PSEG indicates a further commitment to retirement security as well as an evolution of Prudential's legacy in ensuring retirees' lifetime incomes remain protected.

Prudential life insurance

Prudential offers numerous life insurance products that may make it a good choice for individuals who want to review a range of potential policies before they make their final choice. The company's options are especially robust when it comes to term and universal life insurance. Prudential's ratings with third-party organizations are mixed, with fairly high scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, indicating a higher-than-usual number of complaints. If excellent customer service is your highest priority, you may want to note this.

Prudential has a long-term reputation in the life insurance industry, having been founded in 1875 as a company focused on providing affordable life insurance to working-class families. The company has expanded to offer both term and permanent life insurance policy types, as well as annuities, group life insurance and other financial services.

At its core, Prudential carves out its life insurance offerings into two main types: term and universal. Nested within these categories are a myriad of options, allowing policyholders to fine-tune their policies for their unique circumstances. With over a dozen riders to bolster policy personalization, Prudential ensures its customers have a wealth of choices, although some might be constrained by geographic considerations or specific policy types. The Prudential Insurance Company of America underwrites all of Prudential's life insurance products except for in New York, where policies are underwritten by Pruco Life Insurance Company.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of Prudential's offerings:

  • Term: Prudential offers a trio of term life insurance policies to its clientele: SimplyTerm, Term Essential and PruTerm One. Ideal for younger, healthy individuals or families with dependents, term life insurance offers a budget-friendly shield of protection for set periods of time. With Prudential, customers can opt for term lengths spanning 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. For those in the age bracket of 18 to 75, Prudential provides coverage options ranging from a modest $100,000 to an extensive $1,000,000. To further personalize your policy, a collection of riders is available to help ensure that your coverage remains aligned with your evolving needs and preferences.
  • Permanent: Permanent life insurance, in contrast to term life insurance, lasts your entire life as long as premiums are paid. Permanent policies may be a good option for people over 50 or individuals who want lifetime protection. Under the umbrella of permanent life insurance, Prudential offers a whole life option and an array of universal life insurance policies.
    • Whole: Prudential's Final Expense Life Insurance ensures coverage for life with steady premiums that don't hike with age or health shifts. Applicants aged between 50 to 85 can secure coverage amounts ranging from $5,000 to $30,000. The policy allows flexibility in premium payment frequencies and ensures swift approvals, often without necessitating medical exams. Furthermore, the death benefit received by beneficiaries is typically exempt from federal income tax.
    • Universal: Prudential's universal life insurance portfolio is comprehensive, offering nine different policies that cater to a wide range of financial needs and preferences. Those nine policies cover six main categories:
      • Universal life (UL): provides a guaranteed death benefit
      • Indexed universal life: linked to a specific market index's performance
      • Survivorship universal life: covers two individuals and pays out upon the second person's death
      • Indexed variable universal life: a blend of indexed and variable options with potential for market-linked growth
      • Variable universal life: allows for investment in various market options
      • Survivorship variable universal life: combines features of variable universal policies for two insured individuals.

These policies offer a mix of flexibility in premiums, death benefits and the opportunity to grow cash value, making them suitable for individuals looking for both protection and investment avenues.

Pros and cons of Prudential life insurance

  • Term life policies can be quoted online

  • Offers no-medical exam policies

  • 13 riders are available for extra coverage

  • No guaranteed-issue life insurance

  • Below-average J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating

  • High complaint index with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

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Prudential life insurance riders

Prudential offers a number of life insurance riders, which add extra coverage to your policy. Endorsements will generally increase the cost of your life insurance, so they may not be right for those looking for the cheapest life insurance possible. However, for many, the added coverage may be worth the extra cost. The riders options available to you will depend on your state and the policy type you choose, but to name a few, Prudential’s rider options include:

  • Children’s protection and children’s level term: These riders allow you to insure a child on your life insurance policy. The “protection” version is for term policies and the “level term” version is for permanent policies.
  • Overloan protection: If you have a Prudential universal life policy, you may have the option of taking out a loan against your cash value. This can be a useful perk of permanent insurance, but it also means your policy could lapse if the loan is not paid back. This rider protects you from a potential lapse caused by unpaid loans. It will only cover one incident and there is a fee if you use the perk.
  • Survivorship BenefitAccess: If you have a survivorship policy — which insures two people — you may be interested in this rider. This rider allows some of the death benefit to be paid out if both insureds, or just the survivor, become chronically or terminally ill. The money could help pay for medical costs and other expenses.
  • Waiver of premium: This common rider allows you to forgo your premium payments if you become disabled and are unable to work.

Compare Prudential with other insurers

If you’re looking for the best life insurance company for your needs, you may want to compare life insurance quotes from Prudential and these other major life insurers:

Prudential vs. MassMutual

If you are looking for whole life insurance, MassMutual could be a great option. The company won a Bankrate Award in 2022, 2023 and 2024 for Best Whole Life Insurer due to its high coverage capacity, large number of riders and high financial strength scores.

Learn more: MassMutual Life Insurance review

Prudential vs. Nationwide

Prudential’s lineup of universal life insurance options is impressive, but Nationwide is also a competitive choice for the best universal life insurance. The company has several riders, high third-party scores and is highly accessible if you have questions.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Prudential vs. Corebridge (formerly AIG)

If you need a guaranteed-issue policy, you may want to try AIG. The company offers a guaranteed-issue whole life insurance policy, which could be a good choice for those who have medical issues that may preclude them from buying other types of coverage.

Learn more: Corebridge Life Insurance review

Is Prudential a good insurance company?

Bankrate's dedicated insurance editorial team, which boasts the expertise of a licensed life insurance agent, has thoroughly reviewed over 50 life insurance companies, including Prudential. Our rigorous examination is aimed at empowering readers to make well-informed decisions regarding life insurance.

Prudential may be a solid choice for an individual looking for a term or universal life insurance policy that can be tailored to work for them. With 13 riders, it is possible to customize the company's policies to ensure that the coverage matches your needs in a cost-effective manner. Prudential's commitment to sustainability is also notable, and may appeal to those who expect the companies they do business with to support the common good.

Customer service is where Prudential may fall short. Its rankings with both J.D. Power and the NAIC indicate that the company has room to improve its support for its policyholders. That said, if you have a local Prudential agent whom you trust, it may be worth considering the company for your insurance needs.

Prudential customer satisfaction

Third-party ratings serve as a valuable tool for consumers to gauge a company's service quality, financial stability, and overall performance. While the cost of life insurance might not differ greatly between providers, their service ratings can significantly impact a customer's experience.

In the realm of customer satisfaction, Prudential has room for improvement. According to the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, Prudential scored 779 out of 1,000, which is 11 points below the industry average. On a brighter note, when it comes to financial stability, Prudential stands tall with an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, indicating its historical financial robustness and capability to honor claims.

Study or Rating Agency Prudential Industry average
2022 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study 779/1,000 774/1,000
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study 801/1,000 797/1,000
AM Best rating A+ (Superior) N/A

Prudential life complaints

When evaluating insurance companies, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index provides an insightful measure. This index offers a baseline of 1.00, which represents the industry average. Scores below this baseline indicate fewer than average complaints, while scores above the baseline suggest a higher volume of customer grievances. It's important to note that the NAIC differentiates complaint indexes based on product type, giving a clearer picture of where a company might face specific challenges.

For Prudential, in 2022, the individual life complaint index stands at 4.71, a figure considerably above the industry's baseline of 1.00. This high index, in conjunction with other third-party reviews, hints that Prudential's service level might not be meeting the expectations of its customers.

Other Prudential tools and benefits

If you like to work with local agents, Prudential may provide this opportunity in your area. Prudential Financial agencies operate as local retailers throughout the country, although agents are available by phone as well. Prudential also has a number of online insurance resources, including a life insurance calculator to help you determine how much life insurance to buy. However, beyond its primary insurance offerings, extends a suite of additional products and services tailored to cater to varied individual and corporate needs:

  • Accident insurance: Accidents are unpredictable, but with Prudential's accident insurance, employees have a financial safety net to cover related expenses when the unexpected occurs.
  • Critical illness insurance: In times of severe health issues, regular medical insurance might fall short. Prudential's Critical Illness Insurance bridges this gap, ensuring added protection during such challenging times.
  • Hospital indemnity insurance: Even with health insurance, the costs associated with hospital stays can be daunting. Prudential offers Hospital Indemnity Insurance to help reduce this financial burden.
  • Life & AD&D insurance: With Prudential's Life & Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance, employees can make plans today to ensure their loved ones' financial security in the face of unforeseen events.
  • Absence services & disability insurance: Unexpected illnesses, injuries, or caregiving responsibilities can lead to missed work and paychecks. Prudential assists both employees, with financial coverage, and employers, with administrative solutions during these times.
  • Nonqualified benefit funding solutions: Prudential provides innovative life insurance products, tailored for corporations and banks. These solutions assist in achieving benefit funding objectives with personalization at their core.
  • Retirement products: Prudential’s advisors can help you with a 401(k) rollover, deciding how much you need for retirement and more.
  • Annuities: Prudential offers variable, indexed variable, fixed indexed and fixed annuities.
  • Investments: If you’re interested in Prudential’s investment products, contact a local agent or schedule a consultation call.

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Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Editor, Insurance