High financial ratings. Prudential, founded in 1875, serves over 3.7 million customers and has earned top scores from major credit rating agencies. They’re a financially sound company with a strong record of meeting the obligations of their policyholders.
Competitive underwriting for a range of medical conditions. Prudential offers excellent coverage options for people with common medical histories, including anxiety, asthma, depression, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis. Marijuana and CBD users may also benefit, depending on frequency of use.
Comprehensive online resources. Prudential’s website offers plenty of FAQs, blog posts, and other informational resources for prospective shoppers. There are also robust product brochures that detail what you can expect in most available policies. Pretty handy.
Very high premiums. For every age range, Prudential’s rates are much higher than average. Younger shoppers especially will want to look for more affordable options with other carriers.
Mixed customer ratings. Prudential received more customer complaints than some of their competitors. However, they also earned good scores from Consumers Advocate, which evaluates a company’s stability, reputation, and policy offerings.
Cumbersome quote tool. Prudential’s online quote tool isn’t exactly what one would call “instant.” In addition to your name, height, weight, and other personal information you need to input your phone number, email address, and medical history. Just use Policygenius for a quick quote instead.
Prudential offers a wide range of term and universal life insurance. There are no whole life policy options available and medical exams are required to apply for every policy.
There is a chance to skip medical exams through Prudential’s PruLife accelerated underwriting program. Basically, you need to be a fit and healthy non-smoker with no personal or family history of cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.
But the people who will benefit most from Prudential will likely not fall under these required criteria. And the people who are eligible will end up paying more than the industry average.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance lasts a set number of years (usually between ten to 30) before expiring. Because it’s affordable and flexible, it’s the best choice for most life insurance shoppers.
Prudential has three term life options: Term Essential, Term Elite, and SimplyTerm.
Term Essential is their main term life insurance product, and the focus of this review. Term Elite is basically the same type of policy, but with an extra perk. SimplyTerm is their most basic term life policy.
With Prudential’s Term Essential option, you’ll get a straightforward term life policy and the option to add several different riders. You can also get up to $1 million in temporary coverage. Terms are renewable to age 95, but keep in mind premiums will increase with each renewal.
18 to 75
10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year term
This policy is available everywhere in the United States, including New York.
These are special add-ons you can use to customize your policy. The exact details can vary by state.
Accelerated death benefit rider. This pays out part of the death benefit if you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness with six months left to live, or if you’ve been confined to a nursing home for six months and are expected to be in the nursing home permanently. There is no extra charge for this rider.
Accidental death benefit rider. Pays an additional death benefit on top of the base policy’s benefit if the death resulted from qualifying accidental injuries.
Child protection rider. Provides coverage for all eligible children (ages 15 days to 18 years old) in one rider. Available coverage ranges from $10,000 to $100,000.
Disability waiver of premium rider. If you become totally disabled as a result of a qualifying event, premiums are waived (after a six-month waiting period). Rider ends on the policy anniversary nearest your 65th birthday.
Prudential provides up to $1 million coverage between the time of application and your medical exam, and it lasts until full coverage kicks in, you cancel your application, or your application is declined. Temporary coverage is not available for applications over $5 million.
The policy is convertible to a permanent policy before the end of the term or before the first policy anniversary on or after your 65th birthday. For people aged 60 to 75, the conversion period ends after five years. It’s possible to convert two term policies to one survivorship policy. You won’t need to go through another medical exam to convert.
You can lower your premiums through rate reconsideration. Most people, including smokers, must wait a year before their rates can be reconsidered. Reductions related to height and weight may be available after two years.
Prudential’s more “elite” version of Term Essentials provides similar coverages and has all the same riders, issue ages, and benefit amounts. The main difference is it’s possible to receive a credit on your first-year premium when you convert to a permanent policy within the first five years. Otherwise, this is basically the same policy as Term Essentials.
As you might guess, this is Prudential’s simplest term life policy. You can get between $100,000 and $1,000,000 in coverage for 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms. You cannot convert to a permanent policy, though similar riders are available as Term Essential.
Permanent life insurance
Prudential offers various universal life insurance policies, including indexed universal, variable universal life, and survivorship policies.
In general, we don’t recommend these types of policies for their complexity and high expense. Most people will be better off with a term life insurance policy and a more traditional investment tool like a savings account. You can read more about why we don’t suggest applying for universal life insurance here.
Prudential does not offer whole life insurance policies.
Prudential’s rates are way higher than average at almost every age bracket — particularly in the 20s and 30s age groups, who will end up paying double than usual. Those people will find cheaper options elsewhere. Seniors will also want to research other carriers to find the best rates.
To get an idea of how much you’ll pay, here are Prudential’s rates for a healthy, non-smoking male applying for a $500,000, 20-year Term Essentials policy:
At the same time, compared to many other carriers, Prudential offers favorable underwriting for a range of common health conditions, including asthma, depression, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis. Keep in mind you’ll want to shop around for the best rates for your specific medical history.
Prudential’s term life insurance is best for the following groups:
People with ADD/ADHD
People with anemia
People with anxiety or depression
People with asthma
People with fibromyalgia
People with hyperthyroidism
People with hypothyroidism
People with kidney stones
Individuals who use CBD or marijuana (a few times per week) may also benefit from a term life policy with Prudential.
→ Find out how to buy life insurance when living with a chronic health condition.
As you’d expect from a 140-year-old business, Prudential is in excellent financial standing, with over a trillion dollars in assets under management. And they’ve earned high ratings from the three major credit rating firms.
A.M. Best: A+
Standard & Poor’s: AA-
A.M. Best has a specific focus on the insurance industry. They give Prudential a solid A+ rating (effective December 14, 2021), which means the second-biggest insurer in the United States has a superior ability to meet the financial needs of policyholders.
Moody’s is a financial analysis firm that provides research on bonds issued by companies. Their Aa3 rating, the fourth-highest rating possible, means Prudential is a high-quality carrier subject to very low credit risk.
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s analyzes the stocks, bonds, and commodities of companies. They grade Prudential an AA-. That means the company is high-quality, financially sound, and has plenty of cash reserves to pay its debts. The likelihood of a loss is very low.
Prudential has a mixed record when it comes to third-party ratings. They received more than four times as many customer complaints than the industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
On the other hand, Prudential scores fairly high with Consumers Advocate and Consumer Affairs.
Consumers Advocate: 4.3 / 5
Consumer Affairs: 3.9 / 5
NAIC complaint index: 4.10
Consumers Advocate rates companies based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage. They both give Prudential a solid 4.3 out of 5.
Consumer Affairs is a platform that lets consumers directly rate companies. The users of this site collectively rate Prudential at 3.9 out of 5.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks the number of complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complaint index. A score of 1 is the baseline average, and a score of 0 means there weren't enough complaints to count. Prudential’s score of 4.10 is much, much higher than industry average.
This is up from the 2.66 score from last year. Common complaints include delays during the claims process and overall difficulties filing claims. But keep in mind that their customer base is huge, so complaints are sure to file in from such a large group of people.
Potential Prudential policyholders will have different experiences depending on what they apply for.
Overall, shoppers can easily find information on Prudential’s website. There are FAQs, product brochures, and other resources available for interested readers. There’s no online live chat, nor is there 24/7 customer assistance, but there are financial advisors ready to talk over the phone if you have questions.
Meanwhile, the online quote tool is more cumbersome than others out there. On top of age, sex, and other personal information, it requires a phone number, email, and your medical history before you get a quote. That’s a little much for an online quote, and it’s not exactly instant.
We recommend you use Policygenius for a quick, individualized quote instead.
Customers applying for the Term Essential term life policy will have to go through full underwriting, which means they must answer questions about their medical and prescription histories and they can’t skip the medical exam. There are no quick no-med options unless you qualify for Prudential’s PruFast program.
Prudential has a slightly slower-than-average turnaround time from application to active policy.
Prudential delivers its policies electronically.