Prudential Life Insurance Review – Products, Pricing, and Financial Strength

Prudential Life Insurance Review (Pruco)
Last Updated: 10/25/2017

AM Best Grade: A+ (Superior) 5 stars

Address: 751 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 800-778-2255


Also Known As: Prudential Financial, Inc., The Prudential Insurance of America, Pruco Life Co.

Prudential Financial, Inc. is a Fortune Global 500 and Fortune 500 company that was founded in 1875 in Newark, New Jersey. Prudential operates in 48 US States; in New Jersey and New York, Prudential operates under the business name Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey.

Quick Review Guide:

1. Company History
2. Insurance Products
3. Product Pricing
4. Underwriting Niches
5. Customer Service & Approval Process
6. Financial Stability & Ratings
7. Why We Like Prudential


Company History

The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society was founded by John Fairfield Dryden in the basement of a Newark, NJ building in 1875. Shortly after its foundation, the company changed its name to Prudential Friendly Society. The company got its start by selling industrial insurance to cover funeral and burial expenses for low-income families. The company was the first in the United States to offer insurance to working class people. Four years later, Prudential expanded their market into New York City and Philadelphia, and in 1885, the company sold its one-millionth policy to John Fairfield Dryden.

In 2001, Prudential transitioned from a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders to a joint stock company that is publicly traded on the NYSE (under the symbol PRU). Today, it’s now one of the largest life insurance companies in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and is the second largest life insurer in the United States. They distribute individual variable life, term life, and universal life policies. In addition to being in business nearly 150 years, Prudential employs about 48,000 people worldwide and has about 1.187 trillion dollars in assets under their management.


Insurance Products

Prudential offers a large variety of financial products and services, including:

Term Life Insurance
Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance
Variable Insurance
Mutual Funds
Retirement Plans
Real Estate Services

Prudential offers standard 10, 15, 20, or 30-year terms, guaranteed universal life policies that can extend your coverage to the age of 121, one-year term policies, and policies that will protect your working years (until you reach the typical retirement age of 65)—so their products are almost limitless.

The company’s term policies require a medical exam for approval and are convertible to a permanent policy without an exam.

Prudential also offers products—or riders—that can be added to your policy. The Return of Premium refunds your payments if you outlive the policy. And the Living Benefit rider can provide money to your family even while you are still alive, if you become terminally ill.

With Prudential, you have the option to reduce your premium rates after your policy is approved. If you have a health issue or condition that improves, you can reapply for life insurance at a lower rate. This option is similarly available to people who have quit smoking after 12 months of their policy being active. And if you don’t qualify for a better rate, your policy remains enforced, regardless of your current health.


Product Pricing

Every company has its own strengths and weaknesses when approving a policy. While Prudential has a host of policy options, they aren’t typically the most competitive when it comes to permanent insurance, annual renewable term, or policies that offer living benefits. In addition, Prudential is typically not the best option if you have a family history of cancer or heart disease, smoke cigarettes, or if you are in excellent health and under age 40.

However, Prudential is known for the tagline, “Bring Your Challenges,” and they mean it! The company specializes with some health and lifestyle issues that other companies will not even insure. If you have a pre-existing medical or lifestyle condition, one of our Term Life Advice agents can work with you to find out if Prudential will offer you the best rates based on your situation.


Underwriting Niches

Prudential is one of the most lenient companies in the life insurance industry.


If you have had a DUI in the last couple years, Prudential may be your only option for life insurance coverage. Most companies will decline an applicant who has had a DUI within the last 24 months, but Prudential is more lenient with this situation and may still offer coverage.

Tobacco Use 

If you use tobacco but do not smoke cigarettes, Prudential’s rates are probably unbeatable. Most companies classify clients as “smokers” whether or not they actually smoke cigarettes. Prudential is one of the few companies that will offer a non-smoking rate to someone who:

Smokes cigars
Chews daily
Uses an e-cigarette
Uses nicotine gums and/or patches
Occasionally smokes marijuana

However, if you are a cigarette smoker—even if you only smoke an occasional cigarette—Prudential will classify you as a smoker and you will not qualify for their top rate class or a non-tobacco rate class.

Travels Abroad / U.S. Citizenship

Prudential is also one of the best companies in the industry for non-resident citizens and travelers. They are one of the few life insurance companies who will offer U.S. citizens coverage even if they do not reside in the U.S. full-time or if they travel for more than three months of the year.

In addition, Prudential may also offer life insurance to applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If you live in another country and visit or stay in the U.S. for work, you may be eligible for coverage if you have a visa or work permit, and are legally residing in the country.


They are exceptionally flexible with clients who are considered to be a few pounds overweight, especially after the age of 60. In fact, the company’s weight allowances are some of the best in the industry. If you are 6 feet tall and weigh 228 pounds, you may still qualify for the best rate class, “Preferred Plus” with Prudential, while most companies would consider someone with this build to be at least one or two rate classes lower.


Prudential has excellent life insurance options for anyone over the age of 60. At that age, Prudential increases their weight allowances by roughly 12 percent—so you can weigh more and still qualify for their best rates.

If you are within six months of your next birthday, you may be able to save money with Prudential. The company does not use the “age nearest” rounding method to determine your “insurance age,” so they will consider your actual age at the time of your application. Being considered a year younger can save you anywhere from 12-15 percent!

Prudential also offers a policy reduction for its clients. This is a great feature for someone who is getting ready to retire, is living on a fixed income, or just paid off a large debt. The company will allow you to reduce your amount of coverage and maintain the rates you received when you were first approved and purchased the policy.


Customer Service & Approval Process

Prudential maintains a five-star customer service rating and is one of the easiest and most responsive life insurance companies we work with. Some of our clients even ask for Prudential by name, because of the company’s excellent reputation.

Prudential has an expedited approval process and typically approve life insurance policies within 3-6 weeks. However, if you have extensive medical records, it could take additional time to approve your policy.

Once approved, Prudential will mail a hard copy of your policy to sign and return; they do not have the option to electronically sign your policy at approval. This may add a few days onto the time it takes for your policy to become effective, but we have many clients who prefer reviewing (and saving a copy of) their policy as a tangible hard copy.

Because Prudential’s main offices are located on the East Coast, customer service inquiries must be handled during EST business hours. But if you’re using Term Life Advice as your insurance agent, you can contact us at any time and we will do our best to handle the request for you, so you’re not restricted by Prudential’s business hours.


Financial Stability & Ratings

In their 140+ years of business, Prudential has a perfect history of paying claims. And due to their underwriting strengths, A+ Rating, and proven track record of excellent customer service, Prudential is one of the top insurance companies in the United States.

Life insurance is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States. Each state has its own appointed commissioner to oversee the life insurance companies and the industry also relies on third-party assessments to determine the financial strength of each life insurance company. AM Best is the most trusted and widely used assessor, and they have assigned Prudential a “Superior,” or A+, rating due to their proven financial stability.

As of 2014, Prudential holds over $766 billion in assets and has over $2 trillion of life insurance policies in force. Prudential has an extremely diverse international business profile representing close to 50 percent of its operational earnings. The company’s A+ rating reflects its strong market position and financial flexibility.


Why We Like Prudential

We work with dozens of top-rated life insurance companies, and Prudential almost always seems to be one of the best. Here are just seven reasons why Prudential Financial, Inc. is an excellent option for life insurance coverage:

Competitive pricing
General underwriting leniency
History of excellence
Financial stability
Suite of term and universal life products
Additional policy benefits/riders
Niche markets (such as cigar smokers)

Term Life Advice is owner-operated, so while we think Prudential is an outstanding life insurance company, we have nearly unlimited options when it comes to finding you the best rate and policy. We’re here to help you make an informed decision and take the time to accurately assess your life insurance needs.

Give us a call today toll-free at: 855-902-6494, or request a free instant quote online below to compare rates from more than 60 highly rated life insurance companies.