Prudential Life Insurance Review - 7 Reasons They're the Best
Prudential Life Insurance is known as "The Rock."
... but it's more than just a solid company.
For over 135 years this highly established life insurance icon has delivered solid and consistent underwriting that is unsurpassed.
It is one of the TOP "Go to" companies used by independent life insurance agents throughout the U.S. and in many countries around the world.
In this Prudential Life Insurance Review, we are going to back this up, and give you 7 Reasons Prudential stomps the competition, along with a few situations when Prudential might not be the best carrier to use.Note: While we recommend Prudential very frequently to our clients, they don't always have the lowest premiums for healthy individuals, so if you're in good health, be sure to compare their rates here:
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Introduction to Our Prudential Life Insurance Review
Prudential, also known as The Prudential Insurance Company of America, is a Fortune Global 500 and Fortune 500 company that started in Newark, New Jersey in 1875. The company operates in all 50 States, but in New Jersey and New York, they use the business name Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey.
Prudential currently holds more than $815 billion dollars in assets making them the largest life insurance provider in the United States. The company has more than 18 million customers and they employ almost 42,000 people.
How Do Prudential’s Prices Compare?
Prudential has some excellent niches for underwriting that can save you lots of money. Every company has its own strengths and weaknesses when approving a policy, but Prudential tends to be one of the most lenient with a variety of health issues.
Some companies are more concerned with your height and weight while other companies may be more concerned with your family history of health issues, the medications you take, or your lifestyle. Prudential is known for the saying, “Bring Your Challenges,” and they mean it!
In fact, Prudential specializes with some health and lifestyle issues that other companies will not even insure!
Due their underwriting strengths, A+ Rating, and proven track record of excellent customer service, Prudential is one of the top 10 insurance companies in the United States, especially due to that fact that they offer leniency where other companies will not.
How Does Prudential Compare With Underwriting?
This Prudential life insurance review will show that this company is by far, one of the most lenient companiesin the life insurance industry. Prudential is excellent with anyone who is considered to be a few pounds overweight, especially after the age of 60.
In fact, Prudential’s weight allowances are some of the best in the industry. If you are 6 feet tall and weigh 228 pounds, you may still qualify for Prudential’s best rate class, “Preferred Plus”. Most companies would consider someone with this exact build to be at least one or 2 rate classes lower.Prudential is also excellent with tobacco users who are non-cigarette smokers. Most companies will consider you to be a “smoker” whether or not you actually smoke cigarettes. Prudential is one of the few companies that will offer a non-smoking rate to someone who:
- Smokes cigars,
- Chews daily,
- Uses an e-cigarette,
- Uses nicotine gums and/or patches, or
- Even occasionally smokes marijuana.
Attention Light/Social Smokers: However, if you are a light cigarette smoker, such as 12-24 cigarettes per year, you DON'T want to use Prudential. They will classify you as a smoker. If that's you, get a quote from our other carriers below:
Real Life Case Story
As a real life example of this is my client Ron from California. Ron is retired and smokes a cigar every Sunday when he goes golfing. When Ron applied for his life insurance with his local agent, he tested positive for cotinine, a chemical that shows up in your urine if you have ingested nicotine within 7-10 days.
Ron’s rates tripled in price and he did not want to pay the additional amount, so he called us. Ron said, "I am not a smoker and I refuse to pay a smoker's rates!"
I explained to Ron that most companies do not care how the nicotine good into his system and that he needed to consider another company like Prudential that differentiates between a smoker and a tobacco user. Ron said, “I’m not giving up my cigars, they’re the only vice I have.”
After reviewing some quotes, Ron decided to apply with Prudential and ending up cutting his life insurance costs in half, saving more than $1000 a year.
In addition to their leniency with Tobacco, Prudential may also offer credits for build with no other issues present. Some examples of the health issues in this Prudential life insurance review that the company may offer this for are;
- Well-controlled diabetes,
- Sleep apnea without complications, and
- Malignant tumors that are under doctor surveillance.
- Heart blocks,
- Major and minor t-waves,
- PVCs, and
- Coronary Artery Disease with a normal ECBT or ECG.
Prudential and Lifestyle Underwriting
Prudential is also one of the best companies in the industry for US Non-Resident Citizens and travelers.
Prudential is one of the few companies that will still offer a US Citizen life insurance even if they do not reside in the US full-time or if they travel for more than 3 months of the year.In addition, Prudential may also offer life insurance to applicants who are not US Citizens or Permanent Residents. If you have:
- A Visa/Work Permit and
- Are legally residing in the United States, or
- If you live in another country and visit or stay in the US for work, you may be eligible for coverage.
If you have had a DUI in the last year or 2, Prudential may be your only option. Most companies will decline an applicant who has had a DUI within the last 24 months, but Prudential may still offer you insurance even if you have had a DUI in the last 2 years.
Are They Good With Seniors?
Prudential is an excellent company for anyone over the age of 60.
After the age of 60, Prudential increases their weight allowances by roughly 12%. That’s right! Prudential will actually allow you to weigh more as you age and still qualify for their best rates.
In addition to their weight allowances, Prudential is also more lenient with rates depending on your age. If you are within 6 months of your next birthday, buying your insurance through Prudential may save you money.
What most people do not realize is that life insurance companies use rounding up to determine your “insurance age” and final rates, also known as “Age Nearest”. If you are within 6 months of your next birthday, most insurance companies will consider you to be a year older.
Prudential does not round up your age or use “Age Nearest”, they will consider your actual age at the time of your application. After the age of 60, if you are within 6 months of your birthday, this could save you 12-15% by being considered a year younger.
Prudential also offers a policy reduction for its clients. This is a great feature for someone who is getting ready to retire or is living on a fixed income. If you need to reduce the amount of coverage you have, Prudential will allow you to:
- Reduce your coverage and
- Your cost for the life insurance.
So, if you decide to reduce your coverage to $100,000 when you pay off your house in a few years, your rates for $100,000 of coverage will be the same as the day you were approved for your policy allowing you to keep coverage and maintain your budget.
Attention - Do You Need Lifetime Coverage?:
If you need a policy that lasts for the rest of your life, Prudential may not be your best option. As we have mentioned, they are wonderful underwriting seniors, and for term, they will usually be competitive, but for permanent policies, you want to get another quote here:
Financial Stability and Ratings
Life insurance is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States. Each state has its own appointed commissioner to oversee the life insurance companies appointed to sell business in their state.
In addition, the life insurance industry also relies on third-party assessments to determine the financial strength of each life insurance company. These companies usually assign each insurance company a letter grade.
AM Best is the most trusted and widely used assessor of the financial stability of Life Insurance Companies. AM Best has assigned Prudential their “Superior” A+ Rating due to their proven financial stability.
As of 2022, Prudential holds over $1.42 trillion in assets and has over $4 trillion of gross life insurance in-force. Prudential is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock exchange under the symbol PRU. Prudential has an extremely diverse international business profile representing close to 50% of its operational earnings.
Prudential’s A+ Rating reflects the company’s strong market positions and financial flexibility. With more than 145 years of proven history and an A+ Rating, our Prudential life insurance review reveals that the company easily finds its way into the top 1% of all insurance companies within the United States.
Most importantly, Prudential has a solid track record, and they have never failed to pay a valid life insurance claim. In addition to life insurance, they also offer a variety of financial and retirement services.
How is Prudential’s Service and How Quickly Do They Approve a Policy?
Prudential maintains a “5 star” customer service rating and is renowned as one of the easiest and most responsive life insurance companies to work with. In fact, some of my clients actually ask for them by name even if their rates are slightly more expensive than their competition.
Like most life insurance companies within the US however, they are located on the East Coast in New Jersey so if your are on the West Coast and need to service your policy, you will need to contact Prudential’s policy services during East Coast business hours.
Or, you can contact your agent who may be able to handle the request for you. Prudential has an expedited approval process and typically, they approve their life insurance policies within 3-6 weeks.
As with all insurance companies however, if you have extensive medical records, it could take additional time to approve your policy. The only downside to Prudential’s Service is that they do not offer the option to electronically sign your policy at approval.
Prudential will actually mail a hard copy to you which can take a few additional days. Some of our clients actually prefer a paper copy of their policy to an electronic copy however so this may be a benefit to you.
What Kind of Products Does Prudential Offer?
Prudential offers a huge variety of financial products and services. In addition to:
- Term Life Insurance
- Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance, and
- Variable Insurance, Prudential also offers
- Mutual Funds,
- Retirement Plans, Annuities, and
- Real Estate Services.
Prudential’s Life Insurance options are almost limitless. They offer a standard 10, 15, 20, or 30 year level term and well as Guaranteed Universal Life Options that can extend your coverage to the age of 121.In addition, Prudential also offers a one year term policies and policies that protect your working years or until you reach the age of 65. Prudential’s term policies require a medical exam for approval and are convertible to a permanent policy without a medical exam.
Prudential also offers some great additions that can be added to you policy, also known as riders. These include,
- Return of Premium, which will refund your payments if you outlive the policy, and a
- Living Benefit rider that can provide money to your family while you are alive if you become terminally ill.
If they are unable to save you money or your health condition has not improved, you will still be able to keep the policy you already have regardless of your current health. They also offer this option for someone who has quit smoking after 12 months of their policy being active and in-force.
When You Should Consider Getting Another Quote
While PRU has a host of policy options, they aren't typically the most competitive when it comes to permanent insurance, annual renewable term, or policies that offer living benefits.
In addition, Prudential is typically NOT the best option if you have:
- a family history of cancer or heart disease
- smoke the occasional cigarette (12-24 per year)
- are in good or excellent health
Prudential started in Newark, New Jersey in 1875 under the name, "The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society." Shortly thereafter, their name was changed to "Prudential Friendly Society". At this time in history, Prudential sold only burial insurance, but by the turn of the 20th century, they began selling life insurance to industrial workers door to door.
Over the last century, Prudential has since transitioned from a mutual insurance company that is owned by its policyholders to a joint stock company that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (PRU).
Prudential Life Insurance Claims?
Prudential has a perfect history of paying claims, in 139 years of business, they have never failed to pay a valid claim. If a life insurance company fails to pay a claim, they will be barred from selling another policy until the claim is settled as long as the life insurance claim that is filed is valid.
What Makes a Claim Valid or Invalid?
A valid claim is a claim where there is no fraud suspected. What is life insurance fraud? Life insurance fraud means that you had someone else pretend to be you and essentially “stood-in” for your medical exam, or you were diagnosed with a terminal illness before you applied for coverage, and didn't disclose it to the insurance company. An example of a terminal illness is advanced stage cancer, HIV, or heart disease.
7 Reasons PRU Stomps the Competition (in Review)
- Competitive Pricing
- General underwriting leniency
- History of excellence
- Financial Stability
- Suite of term and UL products
- Additional policy benefits/riders
- Niche markets (such as cigar smokers)
Do you want to compare Prudential rates, or let our independent agents shop 63 companies to find the lowest rates available to you? Call us today at 855-247-9555 and we will shop the market to find the lowest rates available.
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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Questions From Our Visitors
Some of the questions we received from our website visitors:
Does Prudential have chronic illness rider?
Trinh, you may be referring to Prudential's "Living Needs" rider. It's not "chronic illness" or long term care insurance, but provides early access to your death benefit if you're permanently confined to a convalescent home or terminally ill. It can be a great financial and emotional relief to a family. It's one of the reason's we recommend Prudential's term life insurance over other carriers when price is comparable.
I use to have hepititus c, but am now cured. It did end up giving me a little scerosis that i take medication for. Other wise i am in good shape. Would like a quote of monthly rates.
Robert, Thanks for your question. One of our in-house underwriters advised me we may have a carrier which may be able to offer life insurance. Partially depends upon your age and State you reside. Give us a call at 855-247-9555 and we'll review your options. All the best.
Discovered an unknown recurring automatic payment being taken from my company's bank account and being sent to Prudential. I tracked the payments to a life insurance policy in my name that Prudential verified was active that I knew nothing about. Prudential stated they would send the info on the policy in 5-7 business days. Weeks later after not receiving any info, I contacted them again. This time they stated they couldn't release any info as I, "was not the "policy owner of record." I own the company that has been making payments towards a life insurance policy in my name since 2013 yet I am not the owner? They wouldn't even verify an address where they purportedly previously sent info. I nor my company has never received any info on this apparent fraudulent policy. They refused to provide any information about my purported coverage, account number, or who might be the policy "owner." If I can't find out any info on a purported life insurance policy in my name that I am paying for while I'm alive, what are the odds of a loved one obtaining that information when I'm dead? After being placed on hold one too many times with no resolution in sight, I walked across the street to my bank and cancelled any future payments to this sham of a company and made a note to never do business with Prudential.
Mr. Miller, Thanks for your email and visiting JRC's life insurance blog. I understand your frustration for not being able to receive and an answer to a seemingly simple question..."whose life insurance am I paying for?". Your predicament would not be unique to Prudential. Life insurance is one of the most heavily regulated industries in America. This includes the privacy of a policy "owner". Information and changes, including policy cancellations, can only be made by the owner, even if you were the person insured. If you're paying for the policy, you always the ability to stop making payments, which would cancel the coverage and future charges within a billing cycle or two. Your protection is that no one can take insurance out on your life with your being unaware of it. It's illegal, and it's fraud, since someone would have to forge your signature. To allow someone other than yourself, say your wife, to be your policy's "owner", you would have to authorize it in writing. The situation you describe, where insurance premiums were direct billed through a business account, sound more like a banking error or fraud. Your quickest recourse would have been to contact your bank when the first unauthorized charge came through, but it sounds like these charges somehow slipped through the cracks. If it were me, I'd contact Prudential's legal department, and tell them you believe your business may have been the victim of fraudulent billing. They'll be able to go back through their records to determine how your company's bank account was obtained and who/how the charges were authorized. If they billed the wrong account, it's their error which they should make up to your company and bill the correct policy owner. Best of luck
I am 65 years old and have been hiv postive for one year I am on meds and is undetced can I get life insurance
Mr. Allen, Thank you for your email and visiting our JRC Life Insurance website. There are a few factors which will determine which life insurance companies could offer life insurance, including your state of residence. Call us at (855) 247-9555 and a licensed agent for your state will assist you. There's no cost or obligation for our help and accurate quotes.