Prudential Life Insurance & Retirement Products Review
Having life insurance and a retirement plan is without a doubt, a great step that you ought to take to ensure that you live a stress-free life after retirement.
Not only will planning for your retirement make things easier for you, but it will also set your family up for success, should the unwanted happen to you.
Prudential Life Insurance is one of the insurance companies that have amazing packages for retirees and has been around since 1875, it has definitely withstood the test of time.
This insurance company has a range of annuities and investments that can come in handy when planning for life after retirement.
Who is Prudential?
Also known by the welcoming name ‘The Prudential Friendly Society’, this is an insurance company that was founded in 1875 with the goal of offering affordable life insurance to New Jersey’s working class.
Back then, the main product that the company offered was for burial services, which made it possible for families to pay for final expenses at a pocket-friendly cost of only three cents every week.
Unsurprisingly, these products were warmly welcomed by individuals who had no alternative methods to plan for the future, thus they sold pretty quickly.
With time Prudential was able to extend its services to New York City and later on, Philadelphia.
Ten years in business, the company had already achieved the 1-million policy mark, which was remarkable growth.
In 1892, Prudential Life Insurance brought the three-cent-a-week policies to a stop, but restored them in 1907, to the relief of the beneficiaries.
Precisely two years after that, the insurance company made a move that would make them an international company: they expanded into Canada.
As if that was not achievement enough, the company was able to achieve 10-million policies in force.
The fast and sizeable achievements of this company catapulted them to the forefront of the industry. In 1923, Prudential made yet another remarkable move by writing its first group pension plan which marked its move into retirement and financial services.
The company did not stop there and was able to establish itself as an American cornerstone after purchasing the Empire State Building in 1961, which they later sold in 1991.
Over time, Prudential has proved to be one of the companies that have had a strong financial foundation, having been able to withstand major financial crises and, of course, the test of time.
Today, the company has offices in different parts of the world, even though its headquarters have remained in Newark, NJ.
The company has a range of products for individuals and groups and is on the Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500 lists, which means that it is one of the largest and strongest companies worldwide.
It sells its policies through agents as well as financial professionals throughout the country as well as in different parts of the world.
Prudential Life Insurance’s Ratings
Life insurance and retirement products are a long-term investment, and for this reason, you have to ensure that the carrier of your choice has the capability to serve your interests for that long.
When it comes to financial stability, it’s without a doubt that Prudential is a company that is well-regarded.
1. Ratings from rating firms
To confirm this, we have considered what the top rating firms in the industry say about Prudential Life Insurance.
Such firms consider the financial strength of a specific company as a measure of the capability of the company to handle future claims in addition to being able to meet the obligation of policyholders.
As you would expect from a company that has been in business for approximately 146 years as of 2021, Prudential has passed these tests and proven to be one of the most credible insurance companies.
Other than owning more than a trillion dollars in assets, the company has also earned attractive ratings from three main credit rating firms.
The company’s best rating is an A+ from A.M. Best, which is a rating firm that focuses a lot on the insurance industry. Having gained a solid A+ rating means that the United States’ second-largest insurer is well-capable of meeting the financial needs of its policyholders.
Experts from Moody’s, which is a firm that analyses bonds issued by companies, gave Prudential a rating of Aa3, which is the fourth-highest rating that a company can attain.
What this means is that Prudential is a top-quality carrier with low credit risk.
Standard & Poor’s (S&P), which analyzes the stocks, commodities, and bonds of companies rated Prudential at AA-.
What this means is that the company’s quality is high and that in addition to being financially sound, the company has enough cash reserves to settle its debts. This also means that the likelihood of a loss is significantly low.
2. Third-party ratings
When it comes to customer ratings, this insurance company has a mixed record, which can make it challenging to make a conclusion.
Statistics from the National Association of Insurance Companies show that Prudential has had more than-average customer complaints associated with it.
However, it seems that Prudential has attained a fairly higher score with both Consumer Affairs and Consumers Advocate, as shown below:
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) uses different criteria to rank companies. Even though customers can submit their ratings to the BBB, such scores are not considered during the rating process.
However, BBB factors in the tangential metrics that use customer experience. In that light, Prudential Life Insurance has no ratings with the BBB.
Consumers Advocate: (4.3/5)
Consumers Advocate rates companies based on a number of factors, the main being stability, policy coverage, and reputation.
A rating of 4.3/5 is, thus, significantly solid and suggests that Prudential is a strong insurance company that consumers can trust.
Consumer Affairs: (4/5)
This is a platform that allows consumers to rate companies on a direct basis. The average ratings of Prudential at Consumer Affairs are 4/5, which is a great score, coming directly from users.
NAIC complaint index: 2.66
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), ranks insurance companies based on their national complaint index.
To determine the complaint index of a company, this firm considers the number of complaints that consumers submit to the state insurance departments.
A score of 0 means that there were no sufficient complaints to count, whereas a score of 1 is supposed to be the baseline average.
With a score of 2.66, Prudential has a value that is fairly larger than the average. Keep in mind, however, that their large customer base could be the reason for this.
What retirement and financial products does Prudential offer?
Even though Prudential is branded as a life insurance company, it offers retirement products that are highly valuable to individuals who are planning life after retirement.
That way, not only does the company ensure that one’s life after they have retired becomes bearable, but they go a long way to making that process bearable.
Below are the products that you can sign up for at Prudential to assist with prepping for retirement:
Just like other companies that offer similar products, Prudential also has different types of annuities that you can invest in for ongoing income.
Annuities are supposed to double as an insurance policy and an investment, by providing both a living income as well as a death benefit.
Prudential offers two main types of annuities:
These are annuities that have the potential of starting to pay out a very short while after the first payment has been completed.
Such annuities are a great choice for consumers whose needs come right away.
With these annuities, you will benefit from a range of income options once you have retired.
The top benefit of variable annuities is that they are customizable so as to offer the required benefits when one needs them.
The financial side of this life insurance company has a variety of investments that you can consider so as to save money, not only for retirement but also for other future needs.
There are several options, and they include:
- Brokerage Accounts
- Mutual Funds
3. Business Products
Planning for retirement should not only be tied to individuals. If you have a business, you can also take advantage of the group products that prudential offers, to help your employees enjoy the benefits of a well-planned life.
Some of the products geared towards institutional investors are:
- Group Life and Disability benefits
- Guaranteed Investments
- Institutional Retirement Services
- Financial Institution Products
What insurance products can you get from Prudential?
Depending on the type, insurance also comes in pretty handy when planning for life after you have retired.
In that light, Prudential offers the following categories of insurance products to make your retirement life easier:
1. Life Insurance
This is the original product of this insurance company that has grown to be one of their largest and comes in three different types.
Not only that, but Prudential has a long list of riders that are includable to individual life insurance policies.
This acts as an extra layer for protection, while also making it possible for customers to end up with a custom life insurance policy that meets their specific needs.
Term life insurance
You can choose from six different term life insurance policies (My Term, Term Elite, PruTerm Return of Premium, PruTerm WorkLife 65, PruTerm One, and Term Essential) by Prudential.
Each one has different coverage options and benefits to meet different needs.
One of the main benefits of the term policies that Prudential offers is that other than offering guaranteed premiums during the initial term, they are also convertible.
Universal life insurance
In addition to term life insurance packages, Prudential also offers five different Universal life insurance products (PruLife Universal Plus, PruLife SUL Protector, PruLife Universal Protector, PruLife Index Advantage, PruLife Founders Plus).
Despite having different benefits and features, each one of these plans has the benefit of lifetime coverage, flexible premiums, and a guaranteed death benefit.
Variable universal life
There are three main types (VUL Protector, PruLife SVUL Protector, PruLife Custom Premier II) of variable universal life insurance from Prudential, with each having customization options.
The customization capability of these products is a major win for the customers since it adds convenience when it comes to guaranteeing one’s life in the best possible way.
2. Life insurance riders
As mentioned earlier, Prudential has a variety of riders that a consumer can pick from, if they want to add value to their life insurance policy.
Not only that, but such riders come in handy when providing for specific needs.
You will want to keep in mind, however, that these riders have an additional cost tied to them, which raises your insurance premium.
You also ought to know that not all riders are attachable to any insurance policy.
The options that you have are:
- Child Level Term
- Estate Protection
- Accidental Death Benefit
- Overloan Protection
- Living Needs Benefit
- Enhanced Disability
- Child Protection Rider
- Benefits Access, an accelerated benefit rider
- Enhanced Cash Value
- Guaranteed Protection Rider
- My Needs Waiver of Surrender Free Rider
- Waiver of Premium
What are the pros and cons of choosing Prudential Life Insurance?
Before choosing Prudential as the carrier of your choice, you will want to pay attention to different factors.
The following pros and cons associated with this insurance company should offer a little guidance when it comes to deciding whether it’s worthwhile:
- Excellent ratings in terms of reliability and stability
- Amazing customer support
- Lots of products that can help with planning for retirement
- It’s a large and well-established company
- Offers a variety of online resources and tools such as Life Insurance 101
- Coverage limits are fairly high
- Has a wide range of policies that can be customized
- Offers no discounts on life insurance products
- The long list of product options can be confusing to some consumers
- Does not have whole life insurance policies
- Has no online quotes option for some policies
- Average customer satisfaction
So, is this insurance company worth considering by potential retirees?
It goes without saying that the company that you choose to go with when planning your retirement life will go a long way towards determining the success or failure of your plan.
As per the rating systems available online, Prudential Life Insurance is an average company, which means that there may be one or more companies that could be a better choice for retirees.
It’s however, good to note that for an insurance company this size, the number of complaints is fairly low compared to other companies in the industry.
And while this company has several complaints whose legitimacy cannot be proven, it has been praised by quite a large number of consumers, including those who have used retirement products such as annuities.
That being said, Prudential is a company that is worth trying out, especially going by the fact that there haven’t been lots of complaints from consumers who’ve used the retirement products that this company offers.
We can safely say that Prudential life insurance is a powerhouse when it comes to the provision of life insurance and financial products.
The company, in addition to being strong when it comes to financial stability, has had a long history as a true American Institution.
You get a wide line of products to choose from, most of which you can personalize. And while the rates might not be the lowest in the market, they are unquestionably reasonable when you consider what you get.
For potential retirees, this should be a company worth considering.
Of course, it’s always a great idea to do a little shopping around and comparing, as there may be a chance that you will come across better prices, a stronger reputation, or more.
The main takeaway is that there is not a major reason that should leave you yearning to strike Prudential off of your comparison list, but there is also not anything in particular that will make you want to push them to the top of the list either.