Primerica Life Insurance Review: Buy or Sell?
Primerica life insurance reviews are a dime a dozen online, but none of them go as far into the details as we’re about to go.
Being an independent life insurance agency, JRC Insurance Group sees the best and worst in every insurer.
We know which companies are more lenient with certain health issues, which ones are more welcoming to applicants in their latter years, and how to find virtually any insurable applicant the best rates.
Unfortunately, Primerica is not an insurer we recommend buying life insurance from. The company has been unable to shed debate as to whether or not it is a scam, and its insurance products are not desirable enough to make up for the controversy. You’ve read the scathing, impassioned reviews from consumers. Now read the objective truth from life insurance experts with decades of experience in the industry.
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Is Primerica the Herbalife of Life Insurance?
Herbalife is a company that sells nutrition supplements and health products and then encourages customers to go out and sell those products on their own as Herbalife “distributors.” Countless bad experiences shared by Herbalife distributors online cause many people to believe that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme.
“1 distributor drops out of Herbalife every 16.7 seconds,” reads a large headline on factsaboutherbalife.com. The site goes on to illustrate what makes Herbalife a “pyramid scheme” and what “victims” have to say, inviting those who have been “harmed” by Herbalife to share their stories.
Primerica functions almost identically to Herbalife in that it sells life insurance while encouraging buyers to sell life insurance, too. This is multi-level marketing, which Investopedia defines as “a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage their existing distributors to recruit new distributors by paying the existing distributors a percentage of their recruits' sales,” adding that “the recruits are known as a distributor's “downline.’”
The hierarchy within the “downline” is where things get questionable. Multi-level marketing can be ethical in theory. The issue is that many multi-level marketing companies are, will become, or border on being pyramid schemes, where money is illegally funneled to the company’s owners and investors.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently settled that Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme, but the message from consumers remains clear: selling Herbalife products is not the “get rich quick” scheme Herbalife makes it out to be. Primerica is in the same boat, minus the involvement from the FTC, which only adds fuel to the consumer fire surrounding the insurer.
Why Few People Build a Livable Income Selling Primerica Life Insurance
Now that you have some contextual background on multi-level marketing, let’s get into the inner workings of Primerica. When you buy Primerica life insurance, you don’t just get the nicely designed welcome pamphlet that most insurers send you in the mail; you get a full-on sales presentation on why you should become a Primerica agent.
Except unlike State Farm or Farmers, which provide truly enterprising agents across the U.S. with marketing support, physical office space, and brand recognition, Primerica sends you off on your own.
“Start with selling to your friends and family,” they’ll say. So, you make a couple sales and start thinking, “Maybe this could work.” And then, for most agents, comes the dry spell. Once you’ve sold life insurance to all the people you know, you are essentially cold calling.
Most people are not comfortable with cold calling, much less good at it. Unless you have the know-how and funds to invest in marketing—and truly enjoy selling Primerica life insurance enough to make a career out of it—your Primerica sales career likely ends at the last sale within your personal network.
The lack of institutional training and support is why most Primerica agents last less than a year. I can confirm this because I know several friends who gave Primerica a shot—they’re actually the ones who compared it to Herbalife.
Consumer Complaints About Primerica
There are currently nearly 1,000 reviews of Primerica on ConsumerAffairs.com. With an average star rating of 2.9 out of 5, you might be inclined to think that it’s not so bad after all.
But a closer look at the reviews themselves reveals very little in between extremely bad reviews and extremely good ones. We won’t directly accuse Primerica of posting fake positive reviews, but as consumers ourselves, we can’t help but be alarmed by the negative reviews. Here are a few:
“As many have said, I also fell for the "Job Interview" invitation. They said they were looking to hire and that I was a good candidate. I went, and it was Primerica... I was upset as I attended a previous meeting before in a friend's house. They will PUSH you to provide names of friends and family. Do not give them these numbers. You are not licensed to sell and as such you cannot sell. They just want access to your warm market. Anyhow, Primerica uses MLM marketing similar to Amway, Herbalife, Nuvee, etc. Check Wikipedia: It clearly says they are MLM (some people deny it). According to their own financial reports, the average Salesperson makes about $6,000 a YEAR!
Don't pay attention to Facebook Reviews, I complained and my account was blocked. Check Youtube and you will notice the vast majority of the videos (up to 95%) are about "Recruiting" or introduction to the business or "Success Stories" of how much money they are making. Very few videos about the real business they do, Term Life Insurance. They also claim you do not have to invest in inventory, BUT you have to pay $25.00 minimum for Primerica Online, their Web Application. Furthermore, you most likely feel forced to buy their own Life Insurance which is rather overpriced compared to others. Ultimately, the decision to join is yours but if you decide to join, remember to keep the best contacts (family/friends) to yourself. Best wishes.”
- Michael of Deer Park, NY
“My mother bought Primerica "Life Insurance" at the cost of 117 dollars per month for YEARS and it was not actual life insurance. The type of plan she was signed up for is comparable to short term insurance you would put on a car or home, not on a human being. They took advantage of her because she is older, and they will not give her any of her money back. This company is a complete scam, avoid them at all costs. She cannot afford a lawyer to take them to court, so she is totally out the money that she paid.”
- Jaymie, Saint Helens, OR
“Sat down for an initial policy review and comparison. I was told that their policy was superior, I believed them as I know very little about life insurance. I tentatively agreed to cancel my current policy and begin new policy pending a health exam. I waited a few weeks to schedule the exam, but heard nothing from Primerica or their reps. I got an approval letter from Corporate in the mail a few weeks later and saw money starting to be taken from my account. I still hadn't gotten a health exam which I thought was necessary to be approved. I didn't have a policy in my possession, yet month after month my account was debited.
I made multiple attempts to get my policy delivered, but was ignored. I made attempts to call and email my rep to stop payment on my account as I was paying for two life insurance policies as I had thought the new Primerica policy wasn't going into effect yet. Months later I am still trying to get a hold on my payments and cancel my account. This company is full of moonlighting insurance agents that don't have time for you. I am sooo frustrated with this organization.”
Jordan, Harper Woods, MI
Wait, Wasn’t the Goal to Buy Life Insurance?
The reviews we refer to bring us to the real point of this article: Primerica life insurance itself. Primerica seems to be as focused on multi-level marketing as they are on the quality of their products.
Surprisingly, many consumer complaints call out Primerica’s life insurance offerings and processes. This leads us to a “wait a minute” moment: you are probably seeking life insurance to protect your family, not to spark a career change into a commission-based job. Imagine if everything you bought ended with a multi-level marketing offer; you’d be selling groceries, toothpaste, pet food, and so on. You just want to buy life insurance, not devote your life to it.
Why Primerica Isn’t Great to Buy From, Either
Consumer feedback is telling, but we can’t necessarily expect angry customers to give a full, level-headed overview of why a product might not be a good purchase. Let’s step away from the multi-level marketing talk, and briefly explore where Primerica life insurance falls short.
No Permanent Coverage Options
Primerica only sells term life insurance. If you’re looking for a policy that will guarantee a payout to your family no matter when you die, you will not find it with Primerica. They do not offer permanent coverage such as whole life insurance. Learn more about the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance here.
No Guaranteed Universal Life Options
Since Primerica only sells term life insurance, they also neglect one of the products we advocate for most, called guaranteed universal life insurance (GUL). This type of policy functions similarly to a term policy, except that it lasts to a specific age up to age 121. You get the simplicity of term life, with the protection of whole life. Learn more about the benefits of guaranteed universal life insurance here.
No Online Quotes
Looking for a free life insurance quote online? Most companies make getting one fairly simple. Meanwhile, Primerica does not give quotes online. You actually have to meet with an agent face to face (and hear out their multi-level marketing pitch). At that point, you have given them your personal information, and perhaps even contact information for your family and friends—and you haven’t even seen rates yet.
Primerica’s term life options are very limited, and quite frankly, overpriced. The shared commission structure drives up Primerica’s rates to big-box echelon and beyond. Most of the time, we find that clients with Primerica life insurance can pay less for a policy that is guaranteed to pay out than they are paying for a term life policy that will expire before they even retire.
No Way Around the “Work for Us” Pitch
Lastly, we’ll circle back around to “the pitch.” You don’t want to hear it, but there’s no way around it. If you want Primerica to give you quotes on life insurance, you have to take the plunge into their leads database.
How to Get the Best Life Insurance Rates and Service
If you’re considering buying any type of life insurance, let JRC help you avoid the frustration and anxiety of Googling reviews about different companies such as Primerica. We shop 40+ top-rated carriers on your behalf to find you the right coverage for your needs—no obligations, no sales pressure, no upselling, and certainly no multi-level marketing.
Give us a call today at: 855-247-9555, or request a free online quote below to instantly receive rates from dozens of insurers in less than a minute. We will then take the time to understand your needs, walk you through the application process, and assist you in securing an affordable policy that will protect your family—all at no cost to you.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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