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Prudential life insurance review 2023
At a glance
About Bankrate Score
If you’re a first-time life insurance buyer, you might want to consider Prudential due to the company’s online resources that can help you choose the right options for your needs. The company has a lower-than-average customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power, though, which could indicate frustrations with its service level.
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)
Prudential life insurance
Prudential may be a good life insurance company if you are looking for a highly-personalized term or universal life insurance policy. Policyholders should be aware that Prudential does have lower customer satisfaction ratings and a high number of complaints compared to some other life insurance companies, according to independent rating agencies.
Prudential Financial was established in 1875 to provide affordable funeral insurance to low-income families. Over the years, Prudential has expanded its life insurance offerings to include a variety of policies, as well as a long list of riders for personalized financial protection. Bankrate conducted an extensive Prudential life insurance review to help you learn more about the company’s products and services and determine if it may be the right fit for your life insurance needs.
Prudential offers two basic types of life insurance: term and universal. However, each policy type has options, so you may be able to tailor your Prudential life insurance policy to fit your needs. The company offers more than a dozen riders to help you personalize your coverage, although some options may be unavailable depending on the state in which you live and the policy type you choose. In most states, Prudential life insurance is underwritten by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, but in New York, policies are underwritten by Pruco Life Insurance Company.
- Term: Although it wasn’t among Bankrate’s picks for best term life insurance companies, Prudential might be a good fit if you are looking specifically for personalized coverage. The company sells three term life insurance policies: SimplyTerm, Term Essential and PruTerm One. Term life insurance may be ideal for young, healthy individuals or families with children who want low-cost coverage. Term policies provide protection for a specific duration of time; Prudential offers 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term lengths. There are also several riders available to help you personalize your coverage.
- Permanent: Permanent insurance, in contrast to term 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. Prudential does not sell a whole life option or a guaranteed-issue life option, but it does offer universal life insurance.
- Universal: Prudential offers four different types of universal coverage: basic universal life insurance, indexed universal life, indexed variable universal life and variable universal life. Universal life may be appealing to those looking for flexibility, as these policies are designed to be able to change with your changing needs. As with term insurance, policyholders who opt for Prudential’s universal life coverage may have the option to add a variety of riders for extra financial protection.
Prudential life insurance endorsements
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 endorsement options available to you will depend on your state and the policy type you choose, but 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 endorsement 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 insured two people — you may be interested in this rider. This endorsement 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 endorsement allows you to forgo your premium payments if you become disabled and are unable to work.
Prudential life 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. The company also offers beneficiary resources, which could help if you are the recipient of a life insurance death benefit. Resources include guides for planning, coping with loss and moving forward after a loss.
Prudential customer satisfaction
Because life insurance rates don’t vary as much between companies as other insurance rates do, choosing the right life insurance company is often more about the products it offers and the service ratings it has than it is about price.
Unfortunately, Prudential doesn’t rank highly when it comes to customer satisfaction. In the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, Prudential ranks one point below the industry average with a score of 773/1,000. Additionally, the company’s individual life Complaint Index from the NAIC is at 8.65, which is far above the baseline of 1.00. These two third-party reviews combined indicate that Prudential’s customers may not be satisfied with the company’s level of service.
One area where Prudential does well, though, is financial strength. Its various life insurance companies all have an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best. This indicates that Prudential has historically been financially strong and able to pay out claims.
How to file a claim with Prudential
Life insurance claims are an emotional process. Not only is your beneficiary grieving your death, but they may also have numerous tasks to do in preparation for your funeral. Making sure your beneficiary has the information they need to file a life insurance claim may help make the process easier. If you have a Prudential life insurance policy, your beneficiary can file a claim by:
- Calling 1-800-778-2255 (if your policy begins with anything but the letters “FE”)
- Calling 1-833-626-1865 (if your policy begins with the letters “FE”)
- Calling 1-800-524-0542 (if you have a group life insurance policy)
Your beneficiary will need some information, including your policy number, full name and date of birth, or your Social Security number, to allow Prudential to locate the policy. Your beneficiary may also need to provide your date and cause of death, as well as your death certificate. Prudential has a helpful claims checklist for beneficiaries that could help make the process easier.
Prudential is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Other Prudential perks worth considering
Prudential Financial lives up to its name, offering a variety of finance products and services. In addition to life insurance, Prudential also offers:
- 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.
Additionally, Prudential uses its subsidiary – Assurance IQ, LLC – to match customers to health insurance products, which are underwritten by third parties. Prudential also provides financial education tools on its website.
Prudential corporate sustainability
Prudential boasts a strong corporate sustainability program with multiple facets, including investing, corporate engagement and charitable donations, among others. Prudential notes that it has given nearly $19 million in corporate donations to nonprofits, more than $47 million in grants to nonprofits and $77 million in impact investments in various financial organizations. The company has also recorded over 26,000 hours of employee volunteer time.
Not sure if Prudential is right for you? Consider these alternatives
Prudential vs. MassMutual
If you are looking for whole life insurance, MassMutual could be a great option. The company won a Bankrate Award in both 2022 and 2023 for best whole life insurance 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. 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: AIG Life Insurance review
Is Prudential a good insurance company?
Bankrate’s insurance editorial team — which includes a licensed life insurance agent — is committed to providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your life insurance. We reviewed over 50 life insurance companies to help you choose the best option for you.
Prudential could be a good option if you are looking for term or universal life insurance that is able to be customized. The company’s 13 available riders are impressive, and you might also choose to purchase other financial products from Prudential for ease of management. However, keep Prudential’s lower-than-average J.D. Power score and high NAIC Complaint Index in mind; the company may not be for you if you value exceptional service.