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Primerica Life Insurance Review 2020

Captive agents with high turnover make this otherwise solid insurer a good option only if you research coverage beforehand.
Pro Bullet Term Life
Pro Bullet No Exam
Con Bullet Whole Life
Con Bullet Transparency
Researcher & Writer
Published on March 19, 2020

Update: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Primerica is one of several insurance companies that is directly addressing customers’ questions about the virus and/or providing specialized service options to ensure the safety of customers and agents alike. For up-to-date information, visit their website.


Although relatively young, Primerica is one of the nation’s largest insurance and financial services companies. The insurer receives high marks for financial stability and relatively few official complaints, but its multilevel marketing structure makes for a less-than-ideal buying experience.

Primerica: Solid term life insurance for middle-class families

With the slogan “Buy term and invest the difference,” it’s no surprise that Primerica doesn’t sell any form of permanent life insurance coverage. Instead, it sells only term life, which tends to have lower premiums than whole life and other permanent insurance options. And of course, the company’s financial services can help you invest the difference.

Primerica’s focus on term life underlines its efforts to cater coverage to middle-class families since term life tends to be the simplest, least expensive form of life insurance.

The company offers both medical exam and no medical exam term policy options, depending on what’s right for you.

That said, we don’t recommend relying on a Primerica agent to help you decide what’s right for you, because agents can’t sell non-Primerica insurance. If you’d like to explore your options beyond Primerica, call us and we’ll help you compare a variety of insurance providers.

Learn more about why term life might be right for you in our article on Term Life vs. Whole Life Insurance.

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Things to consider about Primerica

Sometimes called “Prime America,” the company focuses on the needs of middle-class families with life insurance underwritten by National Benefit Life Insurance.

Primerica began offering life insurance coverage in 1977 and has since grown to provide additional products such as financial planning services, pre-paid legal services, long-term care insurance, and home and auto insurance.

If you’re looking for additional financial or non-life insurance products, Primerica could be a one-stop shop.

How did Primerica get so big so fast? To begin with, Primerica’s former parent company, Citigroup, financially backed the insurer until 2011.

Primerica’s rapid growth may also have something to do with its multi-level marketing structure, which requires agents to prioritize recruiting more agents to work under them. Unfortunately, this structure can result in high turnover and large numbers of inexperienced and part-time agents in the Primerica sales force.

Primerica’s agents are captive, meaning they can only sell Primerica products, and they’re also independent contractors, meaning they’re not actual Primerica employees.

Agents won't be able to help you explore many options since Primerica sells only two types of policies, and they're both term life.

Comparing Primerica's rates to other insurance options will be challenging, too, since the company doesn't make its rates available online.

Primerica pros and cons

Pro HeadingPros
  • Pro BulletStrong, stable financial outlook
  • Pro BulletVariety of non-life insurance and financial products
  • Pro BulletFocus on middle-class families
Con Heading Cons
  • Con BulletMulti-level marketing
  • Con BulletLack of transparency around pricing
  • Con BulletLimited life insurance offerings (term life only)
  • Con BulletCaptive agent model

Primerica life insurance policies

Primerica offers only term life insurance, but you can choose from two distinct types of policies: TermNow and Custom Advantage.

Primerica TermNow

TermNow is no medical exam life insurance. Instead of requiring a medical exam to determine qualification, Primerica runs a background check via several databases (including the DMV and the Medical Information Bureau). Rates are higher than the company’s fully underwritten policies, and the death benefits top out at $300,000. The process could be as quick as a few minutes.

Learn about the best no exam life insurance companies and compare rates.

Primerica Custom Advantage

Custom Advantage is fully-underwritten life insurance with death benefits as high as $1,000,000 or more. The application process can take up to six weeks and requires a medical exam.

Primerica life insurance policies may also have the following features:

Guaranteed insurability

This option is available on all Primerica policies and lasts until the insured turns 95. Guaranteed insurability allows you to renew your policy without going through another medical exam or application process.

Increasing benefit rider

This rare rider will enable you to increase the death benefit value of your policy up to 10% for ten years. The rider stands out because most policies on the market will have benefits that stay the same or even decrease over time.

Terminal illness benefit

If you're diagnosed with a terminal illness while covered, you could get a waiver of premium and up to 70% of your payout before death, which you could use to help cover medical expenses.

Primerica history and financial strength

Primerica was founded in 1977 as an independent life insurance company. High financial stability ratings are an accomplishment for the company because some of its largest competitors have been around for much longer.

In 2018, Primerica brought in over $2.2 billion in life insurance premiums. That's up from $2.1 billion in 2017 and 2.06 billion in 2016.2

All that is to say Primerica is still growing. When paired with the strong industry financial ratings, this growth is a solid sign that Primerica is doing well. You can feel safe that Primerica will be around, should it come time for your beneficiaries to collect your death benefit.

Primerica financial and complaint ratings:

Top ratings entities give Primerica high marks for financial stability and a low number of complaints.

A.M. Best, which focuses solely on insurance companies, offers Primerica its superior rating of A+ and notes a stable outlook. S&P places the insurer at the bottom end of its second strongest category, at a stable AA-.

Fitch has not rated the company since 2013, when the entity discontinued its stable A+ rating due to lack of compensation.7

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have reported a complaint ratio of .65 for Primerica in 2018. To put that into perspective, the national average sits at 1.00. That means Primerica receives fewer complaints than it similarly sized competitors.

How Primerica’s premiums stack up: Value vs. benefits

When it comes to pricing, Primerica isn’t as transparent as other companies. There’s no way to get a quote on Primerica’s website. Instead, you’ll have to call or email an agent who serves your region to get term life insurance rates.

That said, a term life insurance policy will typically cost less than a whole life policy. Primerica’s two types of term life will also offer distinct pricing ranges. Custom Advantage policies will be cheaper than TermNow policies because the latter don't require a medical exam.

Most insurers increase rates for older people, with a significant jump in premiums around age 35. The earlier you can lock in your rate, the better.

Check out our Best Life Insurance Rates by Age article to learn more about life insurance pricing.

Primerica claims and customer service

In general, Primerica’s high turnover rates apply only to sales representatives, not to claims or customer service staff. Primerica pays out $3.5 million in benefit claims each day and satisfies 94% of claims within fourteen days of filing.8 The insurer also has very few official complaints filed with the NAIC.

If you’ve seen negative reviews or low satisfaction ratings attached to Primerica, there’s a good chance you’re hearing from disgruntled agents or people approached about a Primerica business opportunity, not dissatisfied policy-holders.9

That said, in the forward-looking statements section of its second-quarter earnings report,

Primerica admits several ways its multi-level marketing structure could present uncertainties to the company’s long-term stability.10

Primerica financial products

In addition to term life insurance, Primerica offers financial analysis services and investment assistance. The company’s flagship investment opportunities are PFS Mutual Funds, which are its top recommendations for families.

Primerica’s Lifetime Investment Platform also offers managed investments, annuities provided by several other insurance companies, business retirement plans, and the Primerica Online business success platform.

FAQs about Primerica

What does Primerica do?

Primerica is an insurance and financial services organization specializing in term life insurance for middle-class families.

Can I borrow from my Primerica life insurance?

No. A term life insurance policy doesn't typically build cash value. Primerica's philosophy is that you should skip on the higher premiums often associated with cash-value policies and invest the difference instead. If you want a cash-value policy, learn more about indexed universal life insurance.

Can I make money with Primerica?

Primerica is a multi-level marketing company. Agents make more money when they recruit others to work under them. Supervising agents get a cut from those commissions earned by representatives they've brought in.

Some agents are successful working within this system, but most don’t make enough of a living to stay with the company full time or long term. On average, Primerica paid out just $6,030 per sale agent in North America in 2017.11

Bottom line: Do your research before approaching Primerica

Because this insurer only uses captive agents, you won’t learn a lot about your life insurance options outside of Primerica’s products. That said, the company has solid financial footing and pays claims out quickly and without hassle.

Primerica products and services are aimed solidly at middle-class families, but not everyone who fits that description has the same needs. We think it's important to do plenty of research no matter what insurer you go with, but it's especially crucial with Primerica.

Reading this review is a great start, but don’t stop there. Check out other articles, like our Best Life Insurance Companies piece. And don’t forget about researching the best whole life insurance, because in some situations it can be a great choice.

Finally, don’t be a stranger. The independent agents here at TermLife2Go are licensed to sell numerous brands of life insurance. Let us help you find the right insurance policy for your needs.

Get a life insurance quote now or speak to a licensed agent at 1 (888) 234-8376.

Please leave any questions or comments below.

*A.M. Best’s financial rating scale is the following: A++ (Superior), A+ (Superior), A (Excellent), A- (Excellent), B++ (Good), B+ (Good), B (Fair), B- (Fair), C++ (Marginal), C+ (Marginal), C (Weak), C- (Weak), and D (Poor). A.M. Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. An FSR is not assigned to specific insurance policies or contracts and does not address any other risk, including, but not limited to, an insurer’s claims-payment policies or procedures; the ability of the insurer to dispute or deny claims payment on grounds of misrepresentation or fraud; or any specific liability contractually borne by the policy or contract holder. An FSR is not a recommendation to purchase, hold, or terminate any insurance policy, contract, or any other financial obligation issued by an insurer, nor does it address the suitability of any particular policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser.


  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “Primerica Life Ins Co"
  2. Investors.Primerica, “Primerica Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results
  3. AMBest, “Primerica Life Insurance Company
  4. FitchRatings, “Fitch Affirms & Withdraws Primerica Life's IFS at 'A+'; Outlook Stable
  5. StandardAndPoors, “S&P Global Ratings
  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “Consumer Information Source
  7. FitchRatings, “Fitch Affirms & Withdraws Primerica Life's IFS at 'A+'; Outlook Stable
  8. Primerica, “What Is Term Life Insurance?
  9. ConsumerAffairs, “Primerica
  10. Investors.Primerica, “Primerica Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results
  11. Primerica, “Important Disclosures
Written by
We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.