2024 Prudential Life Insurance Review

This life insurance review is based on working with Prudential as a wholesaler and life insurance agent and also includes experiences from actual policyholders.

Working with Prudential since 1998, we’ve helped many clients get the best life insurance rates based on their individual needs.

Sometimes Prudential is the best, and other times one of the other 40 life insurance companies we work with is.

Is Prudential a Good Company?

As one of the largest life insurers in the United States, Prudential has $3.7 trillion of life insurance in force worldwide.

As a comparison, New York Life Insurance Company has $1 trillion of life insurance in force.

Prudential (aka PRUCO Life Insurance Company or Pru) offers competitive term life insurance and universal life insurance.

Retirement planning, investment management, and group life insurance are also available.

Financial Strength

  • AM Best – “A+”
  • Fitch – “AA-“
  • Moody’s – “Aa3”
  • S&P – “AA-“

Ratings as of 05/2021 and subject to change.

How Easy is it to Get a Policy?

Prudential makes it easy to apply for life insurance and complete the underwriting process.

Pru is a great option for:

  • Submitting applications electronically.
  • Answering health questions online – no phone interviews.
  • Available accelerated underwriting & no medical exams(1)
  • Policies are delivered electronically with eSignatures.
  • View your policy information and make changes online.

(1) – Must meet criteria for accelerated underwriting, otherwise paramed is required.

Prudential Accelerated Underwriting

With Prudential’s accelerated underwriting program, we gather some of the basics from you and submit a ticket to start the application process.

(Click to Expand)
Application Questions We Ask You – may vary case by case
  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license number, state of issue and expiration date.
  • Is the Proposed Insured a permanent, legal US resident?
  • Does the Proposed Insured wish to assign a Secondary Addressee?
  • Is the Proposed Insured the Owner?
  • What is your earned annual income?
  • What is your net worth?
  • Is anyone dependent on the Proposed Insured for financial support?
  • Beneficiary information – name, age, relationship to you.
  • Product info and rate class we are submitting
  • What is the purpose of the insurance?
  • Do you have any existing life insurance or annuities?
  • Will this insurance replace any existing insurance or annuity?
  • We’ll ask for the existing insurer details if replacing.
  • Is the proposed insured or proposed owner considering the transfer or sale to a life settlement company or other investor of: policy ownership; or, any interest in the policy benefits, either directly as a named beneficiary or indirectly as a beneficiary or owner of a trust or other entity?
  • We’ll ask you for bank information (not required)
  • Is the policyowner subject to FATCA reporting?

Once we submit the ticket, you’ll receive a link to the eInterview to complete health information when it’s convenient for you.

Customer Feedback – It takes some time to work through the eInterview (30 minutes), but if you’ve been through a phone interview asking those same questions, eInterview is better.

Who’s Eligible?

  • Age 18-60
  • Coverage amounts from $100,000 – $3,000,000
  • Term life insurance and universal life are available
  • Rate Classes – Smoker or better rate class
  • No major health issues
  • No DUI history and relatively clean driving record
  • U.S. Residents

If you qualify, you will be approved within days.

If not, your application will continue through the normal underwriting process requiring medical records and possibly a paramedical exam.

Where Prudential Underwriting Excels

Prudential is often one of the best companies for:

  • Non-Tobacco Life Insurance Niches
  • Large Face Life Insurance Cases
  • High-Risk Health Conditions such as:
    • HIV Life Insurance Coverage
    • Heart Disease Life Insurance
    • Diabetes Life Insurance
    • Sleep Apnea Life Insurance
    • GI Problems Life Insurance
    • Elevated Liver Enzymes Life Insurance
    • Life Insurance Build Charts
  • Non-medical Underwriting Expertise includes:
    • Private Pilots
    • Scuba Divers
    • Rock and Mountain Climbers
    • Risky Occupations

Prudential, Cincinnati Life, John Hancock, and Lincoln will give non-tobacco rates to cigar smokers and chewers with positive urine samples.

If you have health issues, risky occupations, or participate in adventure sports activities, Prudential is competitive.

Are Prudential Policies Competitive?

Prudential offers many types of life insurance, including term life insurance products and universal life insurance products.

Prudential Term Life Insurance

Prudential offers the Term Essential life insurance product.

The Term Elite was discontinued in November 2021.

Term Essential Highlights:

  • Minimum face amount – $100,000
  • Maximum face amount – $65 million
  • Level term periods and issue ages
    • 10-year – 18-75
    • 15-year – 18-70
    • 20-year – 18-65 (60 for smokers)
    • 30-year – 18-55 (45 for smokers)
  • Convertible to the lesser of the level-premium period or to the first policy anniversary on or after the insured’s 65th birthday, but at least five years.
  • Partial conversions available
  • Most permanent life policies available for conversion
  • Riders available (subject to rules)
    • Accidental Death Benefit
    • Children’s Protection Rider
    • Living Needs Benefit
    • Waiver of Premium
  • Renewable to age 95
  • After the level term, premiums increase annually.

If you’re a CPA, you may already be familiar with the AICPA term life insurance policies available. These group policies offer a 10 or 20-year term length.

Term Life Consumer Guides

Prudential Universal Life Insurance

A number of universal life insurance products are available from Prudential.

  • Essential UL
  • Founders Plus UL
  • Index Advantage UL

Each product addresses slightly different needs depending on what you are looking to accomplish.

With any universal life policy, always request the complete company illustration for review.

Essential UL Highlights

This policy offers no-lapse guaranteed death benefits and the ability to accumulate cash values over time.

Prudential says the Essential UL focus is for people who are:

  • Between the age of 50-90
  • Transferring wealth
  • Protecting income
  • Repositioning assets
  • Addressing potential future chronic/terminal illnesses

Essential UL Product Highlights:

  • Issue ages – 0-90 (75 for Return of Premium option)
  • Minimum face amount – $25,000
  • Riders available: (subject to rules)
    • Accidental Death Benefit
    • BenefitAccess Rider
    • Children Level Term
    • Enhanced Cash Value
    • Living Needs Benefit
    • Overloan Protection
    • Waiver of Monthly Deduction

We explain the basics of riders later in this article.

Founders Plus UL

This is an index universal life insurance policy that offers no-lapse guaranteed death benefits and the potential for cash value accumulation based on the interest crediting option(s) you choose.

Prudential says the Founders Plus UL focus is for people who are:

  • Between the age of 45-75
  • Transferring wealth
  • Protecting income
  • Addressing potential future chronic/terminal illnesses

Founders Plus Product Highlights:

  • Issue ages – 0-85 (75 for Return of Premium option)
  • Minimum face amount – $100,000 ($250,000 for age 81-85)
  • Riders available: (subject to rules)
    • Accidental Death Benefit
    • BenefitAccess Rider
    • Children Level Term
    • Enhanced Cash Value
    • Living Needs Benefit
    • Overloan Protection
    • Waiver of Monthly Deduction

The real appeal of index universal life policies is the potential to receive a higher crediting rate of interest than the traditional Essential UL.

Index Advantage UL

This index universal life insurance policy offers you the potential to build cash value over time through both fixed and indexed interest options.

Prudential says the Index Advantage UL focus is for people who are:

  • Between the age of 60-70
  • Looking to accumulate cash value
  • Supplementing retirement income
  • Addressing potential future chronic/terminal illnesses
  • Completing estate planning
  • Overfunding or short duration funding

Index Advantage UL Highlights:

  • Issue ages – 0-85 (75 for Return of Premium option)
  • Minimum face amount – $100,000 ($250,000 for age 81-85)
  • Fixed and participating loans available
  • Riders available: (subject to rules)
    • Accidental Death Benefit
    • BenefitAccess Rider
    • Children Level Term
    • Enhanced Cash Value
    • Enhanced Disability Benefit
    • Living Needs Benefit
    • Overloan Protection

With this type of policy, the owner overfunds the policy, builds up cash value using the different interest crediting options available.

Policy loans are then used to withdraw cash on a tax deferred basis, supplementing your retirement, etc.

Quick Note: We are not tax advisors and do not give tax advice…talk to your accountant for tax matters.

Prudential Life Insurance Riders

Prudential offers many life insurance riders for their policies.

Please note that rider availability depends on the product type you choose, the state of policy ownership, and other factors.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Provides an additional benefit if the insured dies as a result of an accident as defined by the rider.

The availability of the rider depends on your:

  • Such as state of residence
  • Issue age
  • Product selected
  • Underwriting rate class received, etc.

Coverage amounts of $25,000 – $500,000 is available. 

The maximum amount is limited to the lesser of $500,000 or the amount of life insurance you purchased.

Benefit Access Rider

The Benefit Access Rider is an accelerated death benefit rider for chronic illnesses.

The rider is available with Prudential’s universal life insurance policies.

Please note that the rider is not available in all states and there may be variations from state to state.

Ask us, and we’ll provide you with the most up-to-date information for your state.

Children Protection Rider

Provides inexpensive life insurance for your children.

The premium for the child rider is the same no matter how many children you have.

The child rider is available for issue to all children aged 14 days to 18 years of age.

Coverage amounts from $10,000 – $100,000 is available.

The rider may not be available if the primary insured receives a substandard underwriting offer of Table “B” or greater.

Underwriting may consist of obtaining medical records.

Child coverage may not be available if the child would receive a medical rating of “Table “A” or greater.

Children who are born or adopted are automatically added to the policy without underwriting.

Stepchildren are automatically added as well.

The children protection rider ends on the earlier of the following events:

  • The first anniversary on or after the child’s 25th birthday
  • The primary insured’s 75th birthday
  • 90 days after the primary insured dies

The above is just a general overview.

There are specific details that we will provide you with if the children’s protection rider is something of interest.

The child rider may be converted to an individual policy for your child following the child’s 18th, 22nd, or 25th birthday.

The above rider is available with the Term Essential and Term Elite products.

For universal life policies, the rider is called the Children Level Term rider, with essentially the same highlights as the above.

Living Needs Benefit

The living needs benefit rider accelerates all or a portion of your death benefit.

Available if you are defined as terminally ill or confined to a nursing home permanently.

The availability of this rider varies by state, and the product selected.

Overloan Protection

If you are buying a universal life policy with the intention of using policy loans or withdrawals in the future, you should get the Overloan Protection rider.

The reason why is this rider protects the policy from lapsing when there is an outstanding loan on the policy.

If your policy lapsed with an outstanding loan, you could end up with a sizable tax bill.

Does Prudential Provide Good Service?

Prudential is one of the better companies for customer service.

You may call customer service at 800-778-2255

Online access to your policy information is available by logging in – here

Prudential’s home office is located at:

213 Washington Street – Newark, New Jersey 07102


Prudential is a great life insurance company to consider.

There is no pressure or obligation with our service.

We’ll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your life insurance.

Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request today.

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