If you’re considering Primerica, we strongly recommend first visiting our 10 Best Life Insurance Companies of 2018 comparison.
I think you’d agree with me that there’s a lot of mixed reviews about Primerica term life insurance.
It’s turns out that it’s hard to decipher who to believe. Do you believe your friend or family member suggesting you buy life insurance from them or do you believe the reviews you read from a stranger? We’ll lay out all the cards so you can make an informed decision.
So here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Why Primerica isn’t a scam, but it’s not the best option to purchase life insurance.
- Facts every current Primerica client or potential client should know about their life insurance.
- Classic lines Primerica agents are trained to sell you on their product
- A real-life story from an ex-Primerica agent (in her own words).
You may have been approached by a friend, family member or colleague about buying a life insurance policy from Primerica, also referred to as Prime America. I encourage you to spend a few minutes with this article to get the facts about term life insurance from Primerica.
We also recommend you look over our list of best life insurance companies to help you make a better-educated decision for your life insurance purchase.
Be aware that Primerica is built as a multi-level marketing business.
Which means the agent who presented you this Primerica term life insurance will probably ask you to join their team in the future – so they can make money on the life insurance policies you sell. Once you are a part of the organization, they will encourage you to do the same thing.
This doesn’t exactly scream “expert” life insurance agent. In fact, most recruits have trouble passing the insurance exam, according to the Wall Street Journal. While this might seem like some “scam” it’s not. They are a legitimate company that offers creditable life insurance policies.
The reason I present this information first is so you know that your Primerica agent is a recruiter first and life insurance agent second.
Enough of that. Lets get into the review of Primerica’s (aka Prime America) actual term life insurance offerings.
Fact #1: Primerica ONLY offers term life insurance
Which is fine, for today, if you only need term life insurance. However, one of the biggest benefits of a term life insurance policy is its conversion feature – a feature that almost every other life insurance company on the market has, but “Prime America” does NOT.
A life insurance conversion lets you convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent policy without having to go through underwriting again. No one really plans on converting their policy to a permanent one when they initially purchase term life insurance, but it’s common for situations to arise throughout the term of your policy where you might consider it.
For example, suppose your policy is about to expire and you can’t qualify for coverage because of a health issue you developed. The conversion option lets you keep your coverage in the same health class that you applied. This can be a HUGE choice for your family down the road. Especially if you aren’t in as good health condition as you were when you originally applied for the term policy. Considering that most applicants tend to gain weight and take less care of themselves, being able to convert your term policy could save you thousands of dollars on life insurance.
You don’t know how much your life can change. You could have more children, change jobs, move states, etc. And because of this, your term life insurance policy needs to be flexible. There is no reason your term life insurance policy shouldn’t have this conversion option. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever need the conversion policy, it’s nice to have it there just in case.
Fact #2: Primerica (Prime America) has EXPENSIVE term life insurance
Run an instant life insurance quote and compare it to your Primerica life insurance rates. You’ll notice that there are much better life insurance options out there with the same financial ratings. The policies will offer the EXACT same thing. The same amount of coverage for the same length of terms.
Here’s why: We’re an independent life insurance broker and can offer any life insurance company on the market. On top of that, we let you compare rates side by side, so you know you’re getting the best rate available.
Because of how many people are involved in a Primerica life insurance policy, the agent, the person that recruited that agent, and so on, Primerica has to raise their rates just to stay afloat. Having so many insurance agents helps to sell more policies, but it also means that rates have to be higher.
Just know that you can find MUCH better life insurance rates by shopping elsewhere. Unless for some odd reason you would rather pay more money for the same coverage, Primerica might not be the best option.
And for the record, all of the quotes you see from us have the conversion option that was mentioned above.
Lets review the Primerica “Term to 95” product that most Primerica agents are selling.
Here’s a sample illustration from Primerica for a 35 year old – Standard health class and a smoker. The annual payment of $855 is guaranteed level until age 55 showing the rates going up every 5 years to age 70, where it goes up every year.
Do you see what happens after the level period ends, in this case at age 55 – the payments go up significantly. To the point where it’s likely unaffordable. At age 70, it goes up every year but I don’t want to fill this article with screenshots of illustrations from Primerica.
If you compared this same client to the open market and ran quotes for a 35 year old male, standard smoker – you would get over 20 companies that are less expensive. Many of them with living benefits that would let you access the death benefit if you had a heart attack, cancer, stroke of qualifying trigger. So you could pay less and get more benefits.
You can beat Primerica for any age and health condition.
In other words, can do SO much better than Primerica for term life insurance.
Fact #3: They don’t take any high risks
If you have any moderate to major health issues, good luck getting coverage with Prime America. It seems we’re always helping those who were declined life insurance by Primerica find affordable life insurance coverage.
Don’t let health issues hinder you from trying to obtain coverage. Check out our review on AICPA Life Insurance and AARP Life Insurance, whose major advantage is that they have very limited health questions, and almost anyone will be able to get coverage, though there are disadvantages to them as well, such as higher rates.
Several different things could make you a “high-risk applicant”, things like having a preexisting health condition, using tobacco, or being obese. All of these would cause you to be declined with Prime America, but not with most other life insurance companies.
In fact, this is what prompted us to write this article. Too many people think they are uninsurable, but in reality, they just used the wrong company for their risk. If you’ve ever been declined for life insurance by Prime America, don’t worry. You can still find affordable coverage. It is easy to get quotes from credible companies.
If you find yourself in this category, we’re high risk life insurance experts, so please do not hesitate to contact us. Life insurance is one of the most critical purchases you can make for you and your family, don’t let a declined application from Primerica stop you from having the coverage you deserve.
Don’t let a Primerica agent spin the truth about their life insurance offerings.
If you confront your agent/friend/family member about being able to find coverage at sometimes HALF the cost, they’ll have a canned response they’ve been trained to give. They’ll tell you about 3 things:
- Financial Ratings – Your Primerica agent will tell you about the A+ AM Best financial strength rating. Just know that almost all of their competitors have A or A+ ratings and still crush their rates. Their A+ rating is no better than the dozens of other companies that have received an A+ rating.
- The VALUE of their policy over others – Your Primerica agent will tell you about the “living benefits” of their policy which other life insurance companies with less expensive rates included with their policies as well. There’s nothing special about their “living benefits” over others. These benefits are also offered by dozens of other life insurance companies (at a fraction of the cost).
- Quick claims paying – Most likely you’ll hear a story of how someone’s mother or father passed away and Primerica paid their claim within 1 week (I’ve heard the same story from several agents). It’s just a canned response they’re trained to give to sell you “peace of mind”. The truth is if you’re outside the 2 year contestability period of a life insurance policy, almost every life insurance company will have a check in your hand within a week.
You see, Primerica agents are masters at “spinning” the truth about their expensive life insurance offerings. And they have to because it’s the only insurance they can sell. They can’t offer anything else.
Don’t get us wrong, Primerica, aka “Prime America” agents are GREAT people. Don’t automatically mistrust the person because they are an agent at Primerica. They genuinely want to help your family, and we applaud them for that. They are just limited in their life insurance options. Because of their limited abilities, they are forced to spin the truth to help sell more policies.
Our Primerica life insurance review is intended to get you the information your Primerica life insurance agent wouldn’t ever provide, similar to our Zander Life Insurance Review and Globe Life Review.
When we field the question “Is Primerica Life Insurance, a good company?”, We always refer people to this article. There is nothing inherently wrong with Primerica Life Insurance as a company. They are legit, they aren’t scamming anyone, but they are almost never the best option.
In these tough economic times, you need to pay the lowest possible cost for your term life insurance. Don’t waste money paying more for a policy that you could get for half the cost somewhere else. Make sure you contact an independent agent so you can compare rates.
Update July 2016 e-mail from someone being recruited by Primerica with information about their “Getting Rich” book:
Hello, I’m writing you to express my appreciation for you honest review of Primerica. I also appreciate the stellar interpersonal communication job you’ve done in the comments section. I recently became familiar with Primarica through an attorney that I work for as an estate planning paralegal. She mostly does family law but wanted to expand her estate planning practice, so she hired me.
Before I knew I was even hired for the paralegal position, she was talking to me about this “other aspect” she wanted me to try. That was Primerica. I was under the impression that this “life-insurance thing” was part of the estate planning gig. She then said she would pay for my $99 licensing fee right then. I had no idea that this was completely separate from the paralegal job. Once I realized that, I told her I really wanted to focus on estate planning and learning everything about the software, Wealthdox. But she kept reverting the conversation back to how I could pay for law school with Primerica… I wasn’t buying.
After going to a couple of meetings with her in order to get her off my back, I wanted to vomit. I don’t even know where to begin… but here’s some observations: I did go to one meeting with “third party authors” who wrote a book called “getting rich.” It was all about how other insurance companies are screwing people. They of course said that Primerica is the only company that will not. They then casually said that this book was written on request of the Primerica CEO!!!
Then they tried to equate themselves with consumer reports and the wall-street journal because they also advocated for Term and investing the difference. I couldn’t help but laugh! The wall-street journal didn’t recommend Primerica, they just recommend Term. They are a third party; these “authors” were not.
Then they went on about how if you buy ten of their books you’ll get 100 clients…. And these books are only available to Primerica agents. (That’s not a red flag.) Yet, people lined up to buy…(Vomit-tears). The irony was palatable! After that I told my boss that I was very excited about taking the lead on building her estate practice, but had no interest in Primerica.
Bottom Line: Compare Companies Before You Decide.
Before you decide on Primerica we suggest visiting our 10 Best Life Insurance Companies of 2018 page to educate yourself on other options that could offer similar (or better) coverage at a lower cost.