Primerica Life Insurance Review

Term coverage for middle-income families

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Primerica
Primerica
overall rating
3.6

Primerica is a financial services company that offers term life insurance, annuities, and investment products. As of 2019, it has over $808 billion of term life insurance policies in force.  

Primerica caters to middle-income customers, which it defines as households that earn between $30,000 and $100,000 per year. It targets families that currently don’t have life insurance coverage and prefer to meet face-to-face when considering financial products. 

Through Primerica, families can meet with a representative and get up to $400,000 in term life coverage with a term as long as 35 years.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Rapid coverage available for some applicants

  • Medical exams may not be required for all policies

  • Increasing benefit rider available

Cons
  • Representatives have a financial incentive to sell you certain products

  • Only offers term life insurance

  • Online quotes not available

Key Takeaways
  • The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.
  • Primerica sells its insurance policies through sales representatives that are independent contractors and paid on commission.
  • The company only sells term life policies.
  • It has over $808 billion of term life insurance in force.
  • Besides life insurance, Primerica also sells annuities and investment products.
Company Overview

Primerica was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia. According to the company, it is the leading provider of term life insurance coverage in the United States.

While most insurance companies have a range of life insurance options, such as whole or universal life policies, Primerica only offers term life insurance coverage. Instead of selling through dedicated insurance agents or its website, Primerica utilizes independent contractors who sell directly to consumers and recruit new representatives. 

Primerica sells term life insurance in all 50 states. 

  • Year Founded 1977
  • Kinds of Plans Term
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually
  • Customer Service Sales representatives
  • Phone 800-387-7876
  • Official Website www.primerica.com

Primerica is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • Rapid coverage available for some applicants: With Primerica’s TermNow policy, you may be able to get a term life policy with up to $300,000 in coverage within minutes, without undergoing a lengthy application process. 
  • Medical exams may not be required for all policies: Depending on your answers to a few basic questions about your health, you may not have to undergo a medical exam. Some applicants qualify for term life coverage by just completing a health questionnaire. 
  • Increasing benefit rider available: With the increasing benefit rider, your coverage amount automatically increases by 10% every year for 10 years with no additional underwriting requirements, up to a maximum of $500,000. 

Cons Explained

  • Representatives have a financial incentive to sell you certain products: Primerica sells its insurance policies through sales representatives paid by commission based on product sales and referrals. They are only allowed to sell Primerica products and have a financial incentive to encourage you to apply for the company’s policies, even if they aren’t the best fit for your family’s needs. 
  • Only offers term life insurance: Other insurance companies have a range of insurance options, including whole, universal, and guaranteed issue life insurance and final expense policies. By contrast, Primerica only offers term life insurance, with a maximum coverage amount of $400,000. 
  • Online quotes not available: If you’d like to shop around and compare insurance rates, Primerica makes it challenging. You can’t get a quote for term life insurance online like you can with other companies. Instead, you have to contact a sales representative to get a quote. 
Note

In 2019, Primerica issued $94 billion in term life insurance.

Available Plans

Primerica offers just one form of life insurance: term coverage. Unlike other types of life insurance that offer coverage for your entire lifetime, term life insurance lasts for a predetermined period that you select when you purchase your policy. If you pass away during the covered term, your beneficiaries receive the policy’s death benefit. However, your beneficiaries receive nothing if you die after the term expires. 

Term life insurance tends to be less expensive than permanent insurance, making it a more affordable option for families. Primerica’s philosophy is that families should purchase term life insurance instead of permanent insurance, and invest the money they save by establishing a healthy investment portfolio. 

Primerica offers two different term life policies. When you apply, you can choose which plan you want. 

Custom Advantage

Primerica’s Custom Advantage term life policy is for customers who go through the traditional underwriting process, meaning they have an interview with a representative and undergo a medical exam. Because Custom Advantage plans have a more thorough underwriting process, these policies tend to be less expensive than TermNow policies. 

With the Custom Advantage plan, you can get between $150,000 and $400,000 in coverage and choose a term of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 years. 

TermNow

The TermNow policy is a rapid issue plan, which means you may be able to skip the medical exam and get coverage within a few minutes of applying and completing a health questionnaire. TermNow policies are limited to $300,000 in coverage, but you still can choose a term between 10 and 35 years in length. 

Available Riders

With most insurance companies, you can add riders, also known as insurance endorsements, to your policy. Riders are additional benefits or enhancements added to your policy that typically increase your insurance premiums but provide extra coverage. Adding a rider to your life insurance policy allows you to customize your plan to address your family's specific concerns or needs. 

Primerica allows you to add the following riders to your policy. 

Child Rider

When you apply for either a Custom Advantage or TermNow policy, you can add the child rider to get coverage for your child. You can get up to $50,000 in coverage for children under the age of 24. 

Increasing Benefit Rider

The increasing benefit rider is automatically applied to your policy. If you are under the age of 56, the rider increases the face amount of your coverage by 10% for 10 years, up to a maximum of $500,000. You don’t have to go through any additional underwriting requirements, but your premiums will increase along with the coverage increase. Increases occur on your policy anniversary, beginning at the start of the second year.

You can decline the increasing benefit rider. However, if you decline any annual increase, all future increases will also be discontinued.  

Terminal Illness Benefit Rider

If diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less, you can use the terminal illness benefit rider to tap into your death benefit. This rider provides an accelerated payment of 40% of your death benefit. If you also have the waiver of premium rider on your policy, the accelerated payment is 70% of your death benefit. 

Waiver of Premium Rider

You can add the waiver of premium rider to your Custom Advantage or TermNow policy if you are under the age of 55. With this rider, your premiums will be waived if you become completely and permanently disabled as diagnosed by a physician, and your policy will remain in force. 

Customer Service

While most companies sell to customers through dedicated insurance agents or through their websites, Primerica utilizes a different business model. It has over 130,000 representatives who are independent contractors. Those representatives sell insurance products to their own personal networks and within their communities. They earn commissions based on the sale of products and on qualifying product referrals. 

You should be aware that representatives have a financial stake in pushing you toward certain products and services since that’s how they earn their money. Because each representative is an independent contractor, the level of service and responsiveness can vary from person to person. 

You have to contact a Primerica representative to get quotes for its life insurance policies; you cannot get a quote online. You can use the locator tool to find an agent near you. 

If you have general inquiries about life insurance policies, you can contact Primerica’s customer service department at 800-257-4725 or PLIC@primerica.com.

Thinking of becoming a Primerica insurance representative to boost your income? Your potential earnings may be more modest than you’d expect. On average, Primerica representatives earn just $6,249 per year.

Complaint Index

When shopping for a life insurance company, it’s a good idea to research how many complaints are lodged against the insurers before submitting your information. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases companies’ complaint ratios every year. The complaint ratio reflects how many complaints a company received relative to its share of the market.  

The national complaint index is 1.0. If a company has a complaint ratio below 1.0, the company received fewer complaints than expected. By contrast, a complaint ratio over 1.0 means it received more complaints than is typical for its size and market share. 

In 2019, Primerica’s complaint ratio for individual life insurance was 0.44, lower than expected for its market share. In fact, Primerica has had lower-than-typical complaint ratios for the past three years. 

Third-Party Ratings

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that is primarily focused on the insurance industry. It issues its opinions on the insurance company’s financial stability and reliability through its Financial Strength Rating system. 

In 2019, AM Best affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) of Primerica and its subsidiaries. The rating reflected AM Best’s positive opinion of Primerica’s balance sheet, strong operating performance, and favorable business profile. 

In the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, Primerica was ranked 16th out of 24 life insurance companies based on several factors, including product offerings, pricing, customer interaction, and communication. Primerica was given a rating of 741, which is below the individual life insurance company average. 

Cancellation Policy

Depending on where you live, you typically have a free look period of at least 10 days, though it may be longer in your state. During the free look period, you have a few days after receiving your policy to review the documents and cancel your plan if not satisfied. If you cancel during the free look period, you’ll get a full refund of all premiums paid. 

Once the free look period expires, you can still cancel your Primerica insurance policy whenever you wish. However, because Primerica’s plans are term policies, you won’t get any of your money refunded. 

To cancel, contact your sales representative or call 800-257-4725. When you cancel, ask for a confirmation email to be sent to you for your records.  

Price

While Primerica doesn’t offer online quotes, the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study ranked the company’s pricing as fair. You may be able to find less expensive term life policies if you’re willing to spend some time shopping around with other life insurance companies, especially if you are in good health and are willing to undergo a medical exam. 

Like the other life insurance companies Investopedia has reviewed, Primerica requires you to select either “male” or “female” on your insurance application. There is not an option if you are nonbinary or prefer not to answer. Being nonbinary doesn’t disqualify you from getting life insurance. However, be aware that most insurance companies haven’t updated their underwriting processes to reflect a current awareness of gender issues. You may find their application processes outdated and restrictive.  

Competition

For middle-income families looking for a basic term life insurance plan and in-person assistance, Primerica may be a good fit. You can get up to $400,000 in coverage with terms ranging from 10 to 35 years. And, you may be able to get a policy without getting a medical exam. 

However, Primerica’s coverage amounts are limited, and it only offers term life insurance. For those who want more coverage and options, consider Transamerica. Transamerica has eight different plans to choose from, including term, whole, and universal life policies. And, you can get up to $10 million in coverage for your family. 

Transamerica also has more insurance riders available to customize your policy, such as an accelerated death benefit with nursing home care, accidental death benefit, and chronic illness accelerated death benefit. With Transamerica’s plan options and riders, it has the edge over Primerica.

  Primerica Transamerica
Market Share Not applicable Eighth-largest in the U.S., 3.4%
Number of Plans 2 8
Dividends for 2020 Not applicable Not applicable
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives Not applicable Not applicable
Service Method Sales representative Agents
AM Best Rating A+ (Superior) A (Excellent)
Price Rank Fair Fair
Complaints Trend 0.44 1.31
Verdict

For families who are looking for basic life insurance plans who may have a friend or loved one who is a Primerica sales representative, Primerica could be a useful option. You can get a simple term life insurance plan and potentially skip the medical exam. 

However, Primerica may be more expensive than its competitors. And, it doesn’t offer whole or universal life policies. Aso, the maximum amount of coverage you can get is capped at $400,000. If you’re looking for more options or want your family to have more protection, you’ll have to find another life insurance company.

How We Review Life Insurance Companies

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative approach that analyzes each insurer on their stability and reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with those of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation. 

Learn more: Read our full Life Insurance Review Methodology.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Complaint Index." Accessed September 26, 2020. 

  2. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Primerica, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries." Accessed September 26, 2020.

  3. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance and Annuity Providers Are More Customer-Centric but Gaps Remain, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed September 26, 2020.