Prudential Life Insurance (Pruco) Review

A+ (from A.M. Best)

  • Purchase online
  • Competitive for high risk
  • No whole life
  • Some require exam

When you are in the market for coverage, in order to find the best life insurance quotes on any product it is important to know your options by comparing the different top rated carriers. Prudential Life is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the world of life insurance. Prudential’s life insurance division is known as Pruco Life Insurance Company and will be used interchangeably throughout this article.

Prudential: Who is it best for?

  • Cigar/pipe smokers: Prudential offers a favorable rating system for those who enjoy smoking cigars or pipes.
  • Those who have high cholesterol: Prudential offers a favorable rating system for those who are battling high cholesterol levels of 7.0 and under.
  • Those who have diabetes: Prudential offers a favorable rating system for those who are working to maintain their blood sugar.

How much does life insurance with Prudential cost?

Term life insurance: 30 year old female, excellent health

  $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1M
10 year $15 $18 $27 $31
20 year $16 $20 $27 $42
30 year $18 $22 $31 $55
No Exam (10 year term) $15 $18 $27 $31

Sample quotes based on Clearlink partner and are for illustration purposes only. Actual quotes may vary. Data effective 5/3/2019.

Term life insurance: 50 year old male, excellent health

  $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1M
10 year $27 $31 $55 $96
20 year $27 $46 $84 $158
30 year $41 $74 $140 $271
No Exam (10 year) $27 $31 $55 $96

Sample quotes based on Clearlink partner and are for illustration purposes only. Actual quotes may vary. Data effective 5/3/2019.

Prudential Term Life Insurance offerings

Prudential has a handful of term life options to choose from.


MyTerm is no medical exam life insurance that provides death benefit coverage up to $250,000. You can choose from different term lengths, including 10, 15, 20 and 30 years.

A terminal illness rider is available which allows you to access a portion of your death benefit if you are diagnosed terminally ill with 6 months left to live.

On negative of MyTerm is it is NOT convertible life insurance. So if you are nearing the end of your time and you want permanent coverage the policy would not qualify.

Term Essential

Term Essential is level premium term life insurance. Terms available include 10, 15, 20 and 30 years and the policy is renewable to age 95. The policy is also convertible term life, so you can convert to permanent life without a medical exam.

PruLife Return of Premium Term

Prudential offers return of premium life insurance with term lengths of 15, 20 and 30 years. At the end of your policy term you will receive your premiums back, assuming you did not cancel early, withdraw funds, or die (of course).

Prudential’s Universal Life offerings

One of the primary benefits of universal life is its flexibility. You can adjust premium payments, adding more in good times and paying less in bad financial seasons. Your policy earns interest and offers cash value growth, although the potential for high cash value growth is great with the next two products below.

Universal life is more death benefit focused which makes it ideal for long term planning, such as using life insurance for estate planning or funding a buy sell agreement.

Indexed Universal Life

Pruco offers three different indexed universal life policies. One is focused on the death benefit and lapse protection. Another is focused on cash value growth. And the third is survivorship life insurance that insures the life of two people, paying out upon the death of the survivor.

The company offering your indexed universal life (IUL) policy places your premium in a general account. You can then allocate your funds to a fixed account or to one of the indexed accounts. Since you are not directly investing in the market, each account has a guaranteed floor which protects against market loss.

Generally, you have a cap and floor, although some companies uncapped returns. The guaranteed floor in the fixed account is typically 1-3%. The guaranteed floor in the indexed accounts is usually 0-1%.

The maximum interest credited in your account depends on the declared interest rate set by the company in the fixed account and the cap in the indexed accounts. The declared rate and cap are subject to change.

Variable Universal Life

Variable universal life (VUL) offers the same flexibility of universal life and higher potential gains than indexed universal life. VULs offer a death benefit and an investment feature. With VULs you are making direct investment into variable sub-accounts, AKA underlying investment options.

VUL is similar to IUL in its mechanics. However, the main difference is the lack of caps and floors. With VUL, since you are making an investment into variable sub-accounts you take on more risk/reward. You have the potential for unlimited gains and losses depending on how your underlying investment options perform.

Why you should consider Prudential

The company is an innovator when it comes to underwriting for various niches including travel, DUI’s, cigar smokers, chewing tobacco, cancer survivors, and diabetes. Often, Pruco Life will offer the best rate class and price for clients who fall into these categories.


  • Financially stable
  • Competitive rates for high risk
  • Purchase term online


  • No whole life options
  • Some require medical exam

Some (of the many) niches where Prudential Life excels are:

  • Prudential Life may offer a preferred rate class for clients with HDL levels up to and including 6, even if the client is taking cholesterol medication.
  • Prudential Life also looks for the best possible impaired risk treatment for clients with asthma, atrial fibrillation, bladder and breast cancer, hepatitis C, mood disorders, and prostate and thyroid cancers.
  • Prudential Life is excellent at insuring non U.S. residents who do business in the United States or U.S. residents living abroad.

Offers a niche category termed “non smoker plus“

This is a rate class that falls in somewhere between a standard plus and preferred rate class for those who qualify.

Some categories of individuals who may qualify for Pruco Life Insurance Company’s Non-Smoker Plus ratings:

  • Cigar/pipe smokers and smokeless tobacco users such as Nicotine patch or Nicorette Gum users
  • Individuals with Cholesterol/HDL levels up to and including 7.0, even if they are on cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Large build clients ages 18-64: Males and Females 6’0″ up to 243 pounds
  • Large build clients 65 and over: Males and Females 6’0″ up to 294 pounds
  • Private pilots 25 years of age or older with more than 600 hours in total flight time and between 30 and 300 hours per year
  • Diabetics seeking life insurance with excellent control

Life Insurance Riders

Prudential Life Insurance Company of America and Pruco Life Insurance Company of NJ offer several life insurance riders, including:

  • Living Needs Benefit is an accelerated death benefit that allows you access to your policy’s death benefit if you suffer from a qualifying event, such as being diagnosed terminally ill, become confined to a nursing home, or require a vital organ transplant.
  • Children’s Protection Rider is a child term rider that protects the lives of all your children from 15 days and older, up to 18 years of age.
  • Waiver of premium rider is a waiver of premium rider allows premiums to not be paid if you become disabled before a certain age, typically by age 60 or 65.

Actual Age

Prudential Life uses the client’s actual age. Most life insurance carriers use the client’s nearest age to determine their “life insurance age.” Pruco Life’s clients are at an advantage here if the client is within six months of their actual birthday. Most companies will bump that client’s age up to the next year but Prudential Life will keep the client’s age until the client’s actual birthday. And in life insurance, age is a huge factor in determining the price the client will pay. Therefore, in many cases Pruco Life will be the better option for someone who is past that six month mark from their last birthday.

High Retention Limits

Prudential Life’s retention limit is up to $20 million on fully underwritten single life policies and second to die policies. These limits enable Pruco Life to issue up to $65 million for most single life and second to die life cases. These retention limits are among the highest available in the life insurance marketplace.

Anniversary Rate Reduction

In certain instances, (e.g., smoking, height and weight, occupation, aviation, etc…) reductions may be considered after the first policy anniversary. For example, if after the first year anniversary of the policy a client has stopped smoking, Prudential Life Insurance will consider a smoker to non smoker reduction in the rate class. This will subsequently change the premium from a smoker premium to a non smoker premium with huge savings attached. The advantage of doing this compared with re-applying is that the client would keep their original age and the premium would reflect that original age instead of the client’s current age. And after two years of no smoking, Prudential Life will consider a preferred rate class for the client.

HIV Life Insurance

Prudential life insurance company consistently sets itself apart as an innovator. And now the Company is continuing in that tradition by offering people life insurance with HIV. Once launched, policies will be available in 10 and 15 year term limits, with a conversion option to permanent coverage available.

How Prudential stacks up

Prudential Life Insurance Company of America offers life insurance in all states but NJ and NY. In those states, coverage is offered by Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey.

Either way, the company’s financial strength is top notch. Prudential Life is one of the most financially secure life insurance companies in the world, as is evidenced by the following ratings.

Prudential Financial Rating  
A.M. Best (FSR) A+
Moody’s A1
Fitch AA-

Table created using information available at,,, and Data effective 4/12/2019.

Bottom line:

Prudential could be a great option for you if you fall into niche high-risk categories or if you are looking to apply for term life insurance online.

Prudential Life is a great option for life insurance. However, Pruco Life is not the only kid on the block. As great of an innovator that Prudential Life is there are still many occasions when another top-rated life insurance company will be willing to offer a more competitive policy, rate class and price.

20 comments... add one
  1. nikki

    hi i just found out that my husband has been denied life insurance from a repeatable insurance company due to past health issues which he no longer has! he is 55 year olds and a non-smoker. looking for affordable policy (10 year term), without the hassle of medical exams and questions so he can have coverage. can you help?

    • TermLife2Go


      Thank you for stopping by. We will reach out to you shortly to see what we can do to help you and your husband.

      Thank you,

  2. Ingrid G

    Hi, I am looking for life insurance for my mom, shes 66 yrs old, with hypertension and kidneys problems. She had one before but was canceled due to her illness. Any recommendations.

    • TermLife2Go


      You should receive an email from one of our agents shortly with all of their contact information.

      Thank you,


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