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2023 Prudential Term Life Insurance Review

Table of Contents

Term life insurance is a popular life insurance choice for those who want simple, affordable protection with flexible options.

As popular as term life insurance is, you will also want to ensure that your life insurance coverage comes from a trusted name when buying a plan. When doing so, consider looking into a Prudential term life insurance plan.

Prudential stands out from the dozens of other options for its multiple contract options, free living needs benefit rider, non-medical underwriting, and many other advantages. However, while Prudential term life insurance will be an excellent option for many, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best for everyone.

Before choosing a term life insurance plan, you should understand exactly what you’re getting from the coverage and how it compares to other options. You will want to compare prices, medical requirements, and policy features to ensure you’re getting the best coverage for yourself and your family.

Prudential term insurance plans are one of many options that we offer to our customers. We have put together the following review to give you a complete look at the term life insurance coverage

We examine the available policy riders, contract lengths, underwriting process, and eligibility requirements. By the end of the review, you should be able to decide whether Prudential is right for you.

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Prudential (Pruco) started in 1875 in Newark, New Jersey. Initially, the company sold burial insurance with premiums starting at three cents per week. Prudential issued over 5,000 policies within its first year. A decade later, the company had issued one million life insurance policies.

In the late 19th century, Prudential adopted the Rock of Gibraltar as the company’s logo. The rock represents strength and security, two traits often associated with Prudential.

Prudential remains one of the largest insurers in the world. The company has over $940 billion in total assets and holds over $4 trillion in life insurance policies. 

As of 2021, Prudential ranks number one on the Top 200 US Health and Life Insurers compiled by AM Best based on admitted assets. It also has hundreds of subsidiaries and operates in over 40 countries.

Prudential Life Ratings and Reviews

The financial stability of an insurance company is important. You want to ensure that the company can fulfill its obligations and pay your claim after you pass. Luckily, financial stability is one of the main strengths of Prudential.

The financial ratings from independent rating agencies are a good indicator of a company’s security. Here are Prudential’s financial strength ratings:

  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)
  • S&P Global Ratings: AA- (High Quality)
  • Moody’s Investor Services: Aa3 (High Quality)
  • Fitch Ratings: AA- (High Quality)

Prudential offers protection and peace of mind thanks to its strong financial outlook. The company recovered quickly from every major recession during its more than 145 years of operation. As a result, you should not need to worry about Prudential filing for bankruptcy or failing to settle a claim.

Prudential Term Life Insurance: Term Essential

Prudential offers a wide range of insurance products, but the main focus of the review will be on their popular term life insurance called Prudential Term Essential. The life insurance coverage provides three optional policy riders and an accelerated non-medical underwriting process for those who qualify.

Prudential Term Essential Policy Features:

  • PruFast Track accelerated non-medical underwriting
  • Four different level premium contract options
  • Living Needs Benefit Rider included at no extra cost
  • Three optional policy riders to choose from
  • Convertible to permanent life insurance coverage

Prudential Term Essential offers flexible, short-term insurance options with contract lengths ranging between 10 and 30 years along with a $65 million coverage limit for those who need a larger amount of life insurance coverage.

Here is a closer look at all features of Prudential’s term life insurance coverage, Term Essential.

Prudential Term Essential Overview

FeaturesTerm Essential
Issue Ages:18-75
Contract Options:10-Year: 18-75
15-Year: 18-70
20-Year: 18-65 (18-60 tobacco users)
30-Year: 18-55 (18-45 tobacco users)
Coverage Amounts:Minimum amount: $100,000
Maximum amount: $65,000,000
Policy Riders:Accidental Death Benefit (Optional)
Children's Protection Rider (Optional)
Living Needs Benefit (Included)
Waiver of Premium (Optional)
Renewability:Renewable to age 95
Conversion Option:Convertible up to age 65
Accelerated Underwriting:
(No Medical Exam)
PruFast Track
Ages 18-60 up to $3,000,000 in coverage
Traditional Underwriting:
(Medical Required)
A medical exam will be required if an applicant does not qualify for the PruFast Track accelerated non-medical underwriting program.
State Availability:Available in all states

Term Essential - Issue Ages

Term Essential - Issue Ages

The minimum issue age for a Prudential term life insurance policy is 18, and the maximum age is 75. Your age and tobacco use status at the time of applying for coverage will determine which contract options will be available to you.

Older applicants and those who currently use cigarettes and other forms of tobacco products may be limited to shorter contract options shown below.

Term Essential - Contract Options

Term Essential - Contract Options
10, 15, 20, or 30 years

Prudential term insurance plans are available in four different contract lengths of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. Each contract length offers a level premium paying period, meaning the rates are guaranteed to remain the same throughout the entire contract length.

As mentioned, contract lengths have a maximum issue age. Therefore, if you are over the maximum issue age for a specific contract length at the time you apply, you will have to choose a contract length that offers a shorter contract duration.

Current tobacco use, primarily cigarette and vaping, will limit some applicants to specific contract lengths as shown below:

  • Term Essential 10 years: Ages 18-75
  • Term Essential 15 years: Ages 18-70
  • Term Essential 10 years: Ages 18-65 (18-60 smokers)
  • Term Essential 10 years: Ages 18-55 (18-45 smokers)

Smokers have lower maximum issue ages for 20-year and 30-year terms. If you are a smoker, the maximum issue age for a 20-year policy is 60 instead of 65. The maximum issue age for a 30-year contract is 45 instead of 55.

Term Essential - Coverage Amounts

Term Essential - Coverage Amounts
Minimum Amount: $100,000
Maximum Amount: $65,000,000

The amount of life insurance coverage you apply for is the death benefit. Prudential term life insurance plans offer death benefit amounts starting as low as $100,000 up to a maximum of $65,000,000. 

The death benefit of a term insurance policy is guaranteed to remain the same amount throughout the entire contract length. It is only payable to the beneficiary if you pass away while the term insurance contract is active.

When applying for a policy and choosing a death benefit amount, be sure to factor in all potential financial risks that a death benefit could handle if you were to pass. One of the best ways to get started is with the help of a life insurance needs calculator.

Term Essential - Policy Riders

Term Essential - Policy Riders
Accidental Death Benefit (Optional)
Children's Protection Rider (Optional)
Living Needs Benefit (Included)
Waiver of Premium (Optional)

Prudential term life insurance includes four policy riders, including three optional riders and one that is included at no extra cost. The four riders include:

  • Living Needs Benefit – Included
  • Waiver of Premium Rider – Optional
  • Accidental Death Benefit – Optional
  • Children’s Protection Rider – Optional

The Living Needs Benefit is included with your policy for no additional charges. This rider pays out an accelerated death benefit if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness, confined to a nursing home, or requires a vital organ transplant.

The Waiver of Premium rider is an optional rider that allows you to skip your premium payments if you become totally disabled. The monthly payments are waived.

The Accidental Death Benefit rider is an optional rider that pays an additional death benefit if your death is the result of an accident.

The Children’s Protection Rider allows you to add optional life insurance for your children. You can include coverage on top of your base policy.

Term Essential - Underwriting Categories

Term Essential - Underwriting Categories
Preferred BestPreferredNon-Smoker PlusStandardPreferred SmokerSmoker

Prudential Term Essential uses six different underwriting classifications to determine eligibility and the cost of your policy. The underwriting categories include:

  • Preferred Best
  • Preferred Non-Tobacco
  • Non-Smoker Plus
  • Standard Non-Smoker
  • Preferred Smoker
  • Standard Smoker

All six underwriting categories are eligible for PruFast Track, Prudential’s accelerated underwriting process. In addition, Prudential will determine whether a medical exam is required during the application process.

Term Essential - Renewability

Term Essential - Renewability
Renewable up to age 95

Prudential Term Essential is renewable after the level premium contract period has ended up to the age of 95. After the age of 95, the policy ends. If you choose to renew the policy after the inial term length contract has expired, the premiums will increase with each new policy year.

It is often not recommended to keep paying on an expired term insurance contract if you can re-qualify for a new term insurance plan. This is because of the increasing cost of each new renewal year.

Term Essential - Conversion Option

Term Essential - Conversion Option
Convertible up to age 65

Prudential Term Essential life insurance plans are convertible to any permanent life insurance policy offered by Prudential Life Insurance Company. You may choose to convert all or part of the term insurance coverage to another policy without a medical exam.

The term life policy is convertible anytime after the fifth policy year and before the end of the level-premium period. You must also convert the policy before the policy’s anniversary on or after your 65th birthday, whichever comes first.

If you choose to convert your term insurance to a permanent life insurance plan, you will not be required to undergo new underwriting as the conversion option is guaranteed approval. However, your premiums will reflect the cost of the permanent coverage versus the price for the term coverage.

Term Essential - Medical Exam Requirements

Term Essential - Medical Exam Requirements
PruFast Track Accelerated Underwriting: Offered to eligible applicants ages 18-60 applying up to $3,000,000 in coverage.Traditional Underwriting: A medical exam will be required if an applicant does not qualify for the PruFast Track accelerated non-medical underwriting program.

Prudential offers its term life insurance plans through an accelerated underwriting process called PruFast Tack. With PruFast Track, all applicants between the ages of 18-60 and who are applying for $100,000 up to $3,000,000 in coverage will automatically be considered for the accelerated underwriting program.

If an applicant meets the underwriting guidelines for an accelerated non-medical program, approval can be made in hours or days without the need for a medical exam or lab works.

Applicants who do not meet a non-medical exam approval will be required to complete a traditional life insurance medical exam provided by Prudential free of cost.

However, Prudential’s accelerated underwriting process is a little more lenient than other companies’ options. For example, smokers may still qualify for a non-medical exam application. In addition, certain minor health conditions, such as mild anxiety, mild asthma, or controlled hypertension, could be eligible without requiring a medical exam.

Medical exams will also be automatically required for those over the age of 60 and applicants suffering from pre-existing medical conditions.

Application Process for Prudential Term Life Insurance

As mentioned, Prudential uses a process called “PruFast Track” for processing applications. Almost all applicants begin their application through a drop ticket process with the assistance of an agent. The entire application process is streamlined to offer an easy and convenient applying process. The steps include:

  • Submission for coverage
  • Telephone interview
  • Underwriting
  • Policy delivery

Applicants must first submit their electronic application. Agents use the Prudential Xpress Worksheet or Drop Ticket system to submit applications directly to Prudential.

Within 24 to 48 hours, applicants receive an email with instructions for completing a telephone application interview. The interview is conducted by telephone and typically takes 20 to 30 minutes. Some of the topics covered during the interview include:

  • A list of medications 
  • Employment history
  • Income and net worth
  • Name of a primary physician
  • Date of your last visit to a physician

After completing the interview, Prudential completes a review of the application to determine the underwriting path. Those who qualify for accelerated underwriting will receive approval for coverage with no medical exam required. 

Individuals who do not meet the criteria for accelerated underwriting may be required to schedule a medical exam or be asked to supply an Attending Physician’s Statement, also known as medical records. Accelerated underwriting decisions are determined within a few days but may occasionally be completed the same day.

If a medical exam or medical records are requested, approval timeframes can vary from a few days to a few weeks.

Prudential Term Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Prudential Term Essential includes many features found with other term life products. However, to better understand whether Prudential is the right choice, you likely have a few additional details you want to address.

Use the following answers to frequently asked questions to learn more.

Is Prudential a Good Company?

Prudential is a trusted, dependable insurance company with over 145 years of history. It is the largest insurance company in the world and has earned some of the highest financial strength ratings from the top independent rating organizations. As a result, you can count on Prudential for any of your insurance needs. 

Prudential also offers a wide range of both financial products and insurance products. Along with Prudential Term Essential, the company has another term life product called PruTerm. PruTerm includes one-year renewable term coverage. For your convenience, both options are available through our site.

What Determines Eligibility for Prudential Term Life Insurance Coverage?

Eligibility is determined based on a wide range of underwriting factors. Prudential reviews your eligibility based on the information you provided in the application and during the interview. In addition, the company utilizes third-party data to help authenticate the accuracy of responses to application questions. Some of the main factors that determine eligibility include:

  • Age
  • Weight and height
  • Medical history
  • Income and net worth

Age is the first factor that determines eligibility. You need to be between the ages of 18 and 75 to apply for coverage. Certain medical conditions may also disqualify you from receiving coverage. For example, applicants diagnosed with a terminal illness, HIV, and other significant medical conditions may have their applications denied.

Is a Medical Exam Required to Apply for Prudential Term Life Insurance?

A medical exam is required for those who do not qualify for the PruFast Track accelerated underwriting process. The main eligibility criteria for accelerated underwriting includes:

  • Ages 18 to 60
  • Coverage of $100,000 to $3,000,000
  • Smoker or better underwriting class

Prudential uses a statistical model to determine who needs a medical exam. Applicants aged 50 or older or applying for coverage of $500,000 or more are more likely to require a medical exam. 

The answers that you provide during the electronic interview may also disqualify you from the accelerated underwriting path. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you will likely need a medical exam:

  • Do you have heart disease or diabetes?
  • Have you ever had a stroke, cancer, or hepatitis?
  • Have you been treated for alcohol or drug abuse within the past 10 years?
  • Have you applied for life insurance in the past year?
  • Have you been convicted of a DUI or have any other motor vehicle violations?

Minor health conditions may not require a medical exam. Smokers may also avoid a medical exam if they have no other major medical issues.

How Quickly Is Approval for Coverage?

Applicants who do not need to complete a medical exam may receive a decision within a few hours up to a few days. However, the approval process takes longer if a medical exam, lab work, or additional information is needed, such as medical records.

As with any company, the timeframe can take longer when an exam is required, or medical records are needed. It can help speed up the process if an applicant can schedule their medical exam as soon as possible or help obtain a copy of their medical records if requested.

What Happens After You Are Approved for Coverage?

After you are approved for coverage, Prudential emails the policy to you and the agent or insurance broker. You must then submit an electronic signature to accept receipt of the policy.

The policy is active immediately after acceptance. You can then use the company’s online platform to monitor your policy and make payments. Hardcopy policies are available upon request.

Is There a Paper Application Option?

Prudential Term Life Insurance is available with a paper application for select individuals. Suppose the coverage amount is over $3 million or age 60 or older. In that case, you may submit a paper application, as you will not qualify for the PruFast Track electronic application process.

PruFast is also available in a paper drop ticket packet, but you will still need to complete the telephone interview.

How Does the Living Needs Benefit Rider Work?

The Living Needs Benefit Rider pays an accelerated death benefit to the policyholder if they have been confined to a nursing home or diagnosed with a terminal illness. In some cases, it can also be used if a policyholder is required to have a vital organ transplant.

The Living Needs Benefit Rider is a life insurance living benefits feature. It is referred to this because it allows a policyholder access to their death benefit while they are living. The amount paid to the policyholder is subtracted from the face value of the policy.

To qualify for the accelerated death benefit, you need to be confined to a nursing home for at least six consecutive months. You must also be expected to remain confined at the nursing home. The benefit is also available when diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less and in some states can be used if a vital organ transplant is needed.

The total amount that can be subtracted from the death benefit will vary depending on which has occurred:

  • Nursing Home Confinement: 70 to 80 percent of the death benefit.
  • Terminal Illness / Vital Organ Transplant: 90 to 95 percent of the death benefit.

Should any of the above occur, it is important to understand that you are not required to accelerate any portion of the death benefit. It is an optional policy feature.

What Happens After the Level Premium Ends?

After the level premium period ends, you may either renew the policy or allow it to expire. The policy is automatically renewable annually, but the premiums increase each year. With each new policy year after the level premium period, Prudential will notify you of the new cost for coverage.

In addition to an annual renewable option, Prudential also offers the option to convert the term policy to a permanent life insurance policy. However, you must do so before the level premium ends. The conversion must also occur before your 65th birthday.

Is Prudential Term Life Insurance Good for People with Pre-Existing Health Conditions?

Prudential may offer a convenient option for those with minor pre-existing health conditions. You can still qualify for accelerated underwriting and low premiums with certain minor health issues, such as:

  • Mild asthma
  • Mild anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Cysts
  • Benign polyps
  • Basal cell cancer
  • Certain types of benign heart murmurs

If you suffer from more serious medical conditions, you may face higher costs and need to complete a medical exam before qualifying. While the costs may be higher, Prudential remains a trusted, reliable choice for your insurance needs and is one of the best when it comes to life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions.

Is Prudential Term Life Insurance Good for Tobacco Users?

Prudential Term Essential is one of the best term life options for tobacco users. If you are otherwise in good health, you may still qualify for accelerated underwriting and low premiums.

Prudential may also be a smart decision for cigar smokers and those who use chewing tobacco or snuff. Most insurance companies charge higher premiums for all types of tobacco use. Prudential offers non-smoker rates for those who use cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff.

Those who smoke cigarettes or use a vaping device will be considered smokers and receive tobacco rates.

Is the Prudential Term Life Insurance Plan Affordable?

Prudential is the largest insurance company in the United States, but their term insurance rates are often among the costliest for healthy applicants.

Yet, tobacco users and individuals with pre-existing health conditions may find better rates with Prudential compared to other options.

Pruco term life insurance is often the top choice for applicants who are not in the best health and those who use cigars or smokeless tobacco.

Prudential Term Life Insurance Rate Chart

MaleTerm Essential 10Term Essential 20Term Essential 30
Age 30$30.19$36.75$42.88
Age 35$30.63$37.63$47.25
Age 40$34.13$45.50$72.19
Age 45$39.38$58.19$115.07
Age 50$54.69$92.75$185.07
Age 55$77.44$151.82$368.82
Age 60$123.82$281.32Not Available
Age 65$229.25$536.82Not Available
FemaleTerm Essential 10Term Essential 20Term Essential 30
Age 30$23.63$29.32$38.07
Age 35$23.63$30.19$42.00
Age 40$26.69$41.57$60.38
Age 45$37.63$56.00$91.00
Age 50$52.94$80.94$139.13
Age 55$60.82$111.57$258.13
Age 60$86.19$192.94Not Available
Age 65$138.25$340.82Not Available

*Preferred Plus Non-Nicotine underwriting classification. Monthly Male/Female premium rates are current as of 12/29/2021, representing the cost of a $500,000 Prudential Term Essential 10, 20, and 30-year life insurance policy.

How Do Prudential Term Insurance Plans Compare to the Competition?

Prudential has advantages and potential drawbacks compared to the competition. The advantages include the stability of the company and the leniency of the application process. Applicants with minor health issues and smokers are likely to receive better rates with Prudential. 

Yet, Prudential is not the most flexible option. Many other companies offer additional contract lengths, and riders, along with lower minimum coverage amounts. If you are healthy and need more flexibility, you may want to compare other term life products.

How Do You Get a Prudential Term Life Insurance Quote?

We offer the most convenient way to apply for Prudential term life insurance. Rates can be viewed through our online quoter. You can also receive assistance with your electronic application.

Get a quote for Pruco term life insurance with our online quoter today.

What Is Prudential Life Insurance Company’s Cancellation Policy?

You may cancel a term life policy anytime by stopping your payments—the policy lapses after you become delinquent on your premiums. You also have two weeks to cancel your policy. The two-week period starts after the date of receipt of the policy.

How Do You Contact Prudential Customer Service?

Policyholders can contact Prudential customer service via phone or email. Individuals with disabilities may fill out an online form to request online assistance. 

The general customer service number for Prudential is 1-800-PRU-HELP (1-800-778-4357). If you have any questions about your policy, you can also contact customer service at:

  • 1-800-944-8786 (for policy numbers starting with the letter “V”)
  • 1-800-778-2255 (for all other policies)

Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm ET.

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Advantages of Prudential Term Life Insurance

Prudential is one of many options when it comes to term life insurance. Here are a few of the advantages of choosing Prudential over the competition:

  • A strong company with a long history
  • Accelerated underwriting
  • Multiple contract options
  • Living needs benefit
  • Conversion option

Prudential is a well-known company with a long history. It has some of the best financial ratings in the industry, which should give you peace of mind in knowing that the company will still be around when your policy ends.

Many applicants also qualify for Prudential’s accelerated underwriting process. PruFast Track may allow you to receive approval in just a few days, even if you are a tobacco user. 

Prudential also offers multiple contract options, including three optional riders, four contract lengths, and the ability to convert the policy to a permanent life insurance plan. While Pruco term life is not the most flexible term life insurance plan, it provides more options compared to a permanent policy.

The Living Needs Benefit rider is another advantage of choosing Prudential. It offers a way to limit your financial burden when diagnosed with a terminal illness or confined to a nursing home.

Disadvantages of Prudential Term Life Insurance

The main drawback to choosing Prudential is the cost. Pruco term life is one of the most expensive term life products, especially for young, healthy individuals with no underlying medical issues.

Keep in mind that Prudential may still offer a more affordable option for tobacco users and those with minor health issues. 

Prudential term life insurance is also not the most flexible choice. Several other companies offer a wider variety of contract lengths, instead of just 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year contracts. 

The minimum coverage amount is $100,000. If you only want $50,000 in coverage, you will need to look elsewhere.

Conclusion – Is Prudential Term Life Insurance Worth it?

Yes, term life insurance from Prudential is worth it. Prudential Term Life Insurance can be thought of as a premium insurance option. It is a great choice for those who are willing to spend more on the advantages provided by Prudential.

Prudential offers multiple contract options, including a conversion option when the level premium ends. However, the company stands out for its accelerated underwriting and less strict eligibility requirements.

If you have minor health issues or use tobacco, Prudential term life comes highly recommended. Get a quote for Prudential Term Essential today to start comparing your options.

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Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance agency that strongly focuses on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. He is a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website.

Before becoming a life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps, transitioning from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage beginning in 2009. Since starting a career as a licensed life insurance agent, Jeffrey has helped thousands of families with their life insurance needs.

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