Before we dive into our review of Primerica, we want to make it clear to all of our readers that Primerica is a quality life insurance company that has, over time, become one of the largest term life insurance companies in the country.
Primerica exclusively works with captive life insurance agents so that only Primerica agents can offer and sell Primerica products. And since we here at IBUSA operate as an independent life insurance brokerage offering products from various companies, we cannot sell any Primerica products to our clients.
“Which makes us a direct competitor.”
We feel that…
This is important for you to understand because there is no doubt that subconsciously this will likely influence our review regardless of how favorably we view them as a top-tier life insurance company.
This is also why…
We would always encourage any of our readers to first inquire with Primerica directly to see what they can offer you, then call us to see if we might be able to provide you with a better solution to your needs.
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Founded back in 1977, Primerica Life Insurance Company made a big impression very quickly and this is because they wanted to change the perception of life insurance. During the 1970s, everyone was being told that permanent life insurance was important because of the coverage and savings component. However, Primerica invented the concept of buying a term life insurance policy and then investing the difference.
For 40 years, this concept has been strong within the industry and many families have adopted it with their policies.
Essentially, short-term insurance is in place for an affordable amount while they build an investment portfolio that they can control.
At the very beginning, founder Arthur Williams wanted to make life insurance affordable for all families and the company grew considerably during the 1980s.
Just a few years ago in 2010, Primerica finally floated on the stock market and can today be found on the New York Stock Exchange (labelled as PRI).
With headquarters in Duluth, Georgia, many sources have suggested that Primerica is in fact the biggest independent financial marketing organization across the whole of North America.
Reviewing Primerica Life Insurance Policies
As mentioned, the focus for Primerica is term life insurance policies which means that it will only last for a set period of time. With no cash value component, the policies are affordable and people can have more disposable income for stocks, mutual funds, retirement plans, etc. Compared to other companies, Primerica has a good pay-out percentage after paying nine in every ten cases within just two weeks.
Considering the focus is on term insurance, there are some great advantages to this including the fact that each product is specialized. Because this has been their focus for 40 years, you can be sure that they do it right and this can provide a peace of mind.
No Conversion Rider
However, there are also some downsides because they don’t offer permanent life insurance at all. With this in mind, it also means that you cannot add a conversion rider to change your term life policy into a permanent life insurance policy later.
Why would that be a problem? Consider this example.
Suppose you get a 15 year term life policy at age 35. You are married with a couple kids. Time passes, and everything is going great until you find out you have cancer. You are one of the lucky ones and you beat the cancer. However, you are now uninsurable. You will not be able to qualify for life insurance for years, if ever.
If you had a term conversion rider you would be able to convert all or a portion of your policy into a permanent life insurance, regardless of any health or lifestyle conditions that would normally preclude you from getting insured. Sadly, if you have a Primerica policy, you do not have this option and you will have to forego life insurance once the term has expired.
Other Services and Products
In addition to the main term life options, Primerica also boasts numerous other services and products including managed accounts, debt solutions, mutual fund investments, annuities, pre-paid legal services, health insurance, long-term care insurance, 401(k) and 457 plans, and auto and homeowners insurance.
When looking for a life insurance company, the official ratings from different companies can give a good insight into their financial stability, customer satisfaction, and the amount of complaints received.
Starting with A.M. Best, Primerica has been given an ‘A+’ rating which is classified as ‘Superior’. For life insurance companies, this little letter is very important because it shows whether the company is in a position to pay claims or not. With Primerica boasting one of the best ratings possible, you can be sure that your investment is safe.
From the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), we can also see the amount of complaints received by the company. From this, we can gauge customer satisfaction and whether you would be just as happy.
In 2015, Primerica received a very good score compared to the rest of the market. For the life insurance market, the median score was ‘1’ and Primerica managed a score of ‘0.21’; this score counts the amount of complaints and then adjusts for market share. As you can see, this is well below average and a very good sign.
With this being said, there is a major drawback and it comes from the J.D. Power ratings.
In 2016, they looked at the 21 largest companies in the life insurance industry and Primerica actually finished second-to-last for customer satisfaction. In these ratings, there are five different categories assessed – policy offerings, billing and payment, overall satisfaction, interaction, and price.
In every single category, Primerica were rated as ‘Among the Rest’ which means that they were essentially second-best to most other companies.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s dig a little deeper and assess the pros and cons of choosing Primerica. With this, you should be able to assess your own needs and see if they match up with the company on offer.
Term Insurance Specialists – For over 40 years, Primerica has been dealing with term life insurance which means that it has seen all the changes in the industry. As time goes on, the life insurance sector can see some large changes and Primerica has been through them to offer you the best policies.
If you have no interest in permanent life insurance, this is definitely one to consider because they are accustomed to dealing with the demands that you may have. When you talk to them, you should understand what you need and you should find a product to match.
Investment Advice – As we saw earlier, the main idea for Primerica is that you invest in your own cash value and the company can help you with this. In their many services, you can receive help with mutual fund investments, managed accounts, annuities, and more. Therefore, you can make the most of your investment and it can grow just as a regular cash value component would with permanent life insurance.
Good Official Ratings – On the whole, the official ratings are very good especially with A.M. Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. With these two, the ratings are as good as you will see which always allows for peace of mind. If you or your family needs to claim, you can be confident that they can and will pay out.
On the flip side, we also have a few negatives to bring to light. Although they might not be relevant to your decision, they might be something you wish to consider before buying a policy.
Pricing – Although the prices are generally very good because they only offer term life insurance which is cheaper, they cannot compete with the likes of Prudential, AIG, Banner Life, and Protective.
If you are looking for the best deals in the market, you would do better to shop around and get a few quotes. With any of the insurers listed previously, you would probably get a stronger deal and you can still invest on the side as you would with Primerica.
No Permanent Options – As you may know, there is always a huge drawback of choosing term life insurance because it will eventually run out.
When it does, you are forced to renew or find different coverage but, because you are older and could even have health issues, the premiums will have changed significantly.
In theory, the model of buying term life insurance and investing the rest is a very good one but it just doesn’t work if you need or prefer permanent insurance.
With no permanent insurance, you also cannot convert your term life policy into a more permanent one so it really can be limiting.
Jack of All Trades – If you have ever heard this phrase, you will know that it ends with ‘Master of None’ and this is the case for Primerica.
Over the years, they have become more than just a life insurance company because they also spend time pushing their financial services.
Sadly, this has been detrimental to their life insurance products and now many of the agents only work part-time.
With this, it means that they don’t have the knowledge they would do if they were full time workers.
Within the company itself, they seem to push existing agents to hire new agents with little to no experience.
Considering life insurance is in place to protect your family, it seems strange that we are trusting people with a lack of a financial background.
Sales Strategy – In truth, many people sum up Primerica with the word ‘strange’ and a lot of their activities does seem out of place in the life insurance market.
For example, their network sales strategy means that you will have friends and family members pitching the products.
Because there is a personal connection and you want to help, you may feel a little pressure to help and purchase a policy.
However, you should always compare the market and this is the last piece of advice we have for you here today.
Finding the Best Life Insurance Rates
As we have seen, Primerica can be an affordable option because they only sell term life insurance; this means that you will be in charge of the investing side rather than having a cash value on the policy.
With this, you are likely to find the very best term life insurance rates by working with a company or an agency that has access to numerous different insurers. When you have this luxury, you can compare one with another directly including price, benefits, policy details, lengths, etc.
Whatever route you choose, you absolutely need to compare many different quotes all together because this will allow you to get the best price.
When looking for car insurance or near-enough every other purchase in life, we shop around so why should this be any different with life insurance?
With price comparison sites on your own or through working with an agent, you need to assess all your options.
Once you find the five cheapest providers, you can then look a little deeper to see who offers the best all-round protection. As soon as you do this, you can buy an affordable policy that matches your needs exactly.
Before you make any decisions, you should also talk to a professional about the different types of insurance.
If you haven’t yet decided that term life is right for you, you should also be looking into permanent life insurance as this remains in place until you die and the premiums should remain level throughout.
As long as you consider your needs and choose a policy and insurer that is right for you, you will not go wrong!