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Principal life insurance review 2021

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Principal National Life Insurance is one of the best life insurance companies on the market. It is highly rated, offers a variety of policies and has great online tools and resources. The company was founded as an insurance provider in 1879 and has since expanded into retirement and investment products. Principal is a great provider to consider for anyone who is looking for life insurance coverage, even if you’re on a budget. 

Principal Quickpoints

  • Date established: 1879
  • Insurance products offered: Individual and group 
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior)
  • J.D. Power rating for overall satisfaction: 772/1,000 
  • Availability: 50 states and Washington D.C.

Every life insurance company has its pros and cons, including Principal. Understanding the advantages and drawbacks is important before choosing any life insurance provider. The table below includes some of the pros and cons of Principal life insurance:

Great financial strengthNo whole life insurance option
Valuable online tools and resources
Many policies available
Online quotes

Principal life insurance coverages

Principal offers a wide variety of life insurance policies. It’s a great place to start looking for life insurance if you’re not sure which type of policy you need. Principal’s website has resources to help first-time life insurance buyers figure out what each policy covers and how much coverage they might need.

Here are the life insurance policies available through Principal:

Term life insurance

Term life insurance policies are best for young and healthy people who are looking for affordable coverage. Principal’s term life insurance policies are available in 1-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term lengths. Term policies have low premiums and include a tax-free death benefit.  When the term ends, policyholders have the option to convert their policy into a permanent one without taking another medical exam. 

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance policies offer protection for the policyholder’s entire life. These policies are ideal for people who need to financially support loved ones after their death, want to use their life insurance as an investment vehicle or wish to leave money to heirs. 

Principal insurance offers three main permanent life insurance policies: universal, indexed universal and variable universal. These policies all have a cash value component, but the growth potential differs. Principal’s universal life insurance earns cash value at a floating interest rate. Its indexed universal and variable universal life insurance policies both earn interest based partly on stock market performance. Out of the three policy types, the variable universal policy  has the highest growth potential.

Additionally, Principal sells survivorship insurance. This policy provides coverage for two people and has a death benefit that gets paid out after both people have passed away. Survivorship insurance is often used with estate planning and may provide tax deductions for some couples. 

Principal life insurance riders

Principal offers several different life insurance riders, which is ideal for people who want to customize their policy. Every rider, besides the accelerated death benefit rider, costs extra and will raise your monthly premium. 

Life insurance riders are essentially an endorsement policy. They fill gaps in coverage and provide protection for certain situations that a standard term or whole life insurance policy won’t cover. Here are the riders that Principal offers:

Accelerated death benefit rider

The accelerated death benefit rider allows a policyholder to use a portion of their benefit to cover end-of-life expenses if they get diagnosed with a terminal illness. This rider can be added to any policy free of charge. However, only certain illnesses qualify, and to use the money, the insurance company will request an official diagnosis from a doctor.

Children’s rider

The children’s rider will pay a death benefit to the policyholder if their child passes away between the ages of 14 days and 18 years old. This rider only covers one child. Principal offers a minimum death benefit of $5,000 and a maximum death benefit of $25,000, available in $1,000 increments. The child is not required to take a medical exam in order for the policyholder to purchase this rider.

Conversion extension rider

The conversion extension rider offers an extended period of time for policyholders to convert their term life insurance into a permanent policy. Usually, the policyholder needs to convert their policy before the term ends. This rider, which comes at an additional cost, offers more time to convert the coverage, regardless of age.

Waiver of premium rider

The waiver of premium rider will eliminate the policy’s monthly premiums if the policyholder is diagnosed with a chronic illness, becomes seriously injured or is totally disabled. The insurance company will require proof of disability or illness before approving this rider. The premium is only waived until the policyholder turns 95. 

Principal life insurance customer and claims satisfaction

Principal’s life insurance reviews are impressive. The company was rated 772/1,000 for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, which is above the industry average. Principal and its parent organization, Principal National Life Insurance Company, both have an A+ rating from AM Best, indicating superior financial strength.

In 2019, Principal had fewer customer complaints reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on average compared to other insurance companies in the market. . If you’re looking for a provider with great life insurance ratings and customer service, then Principal is worth checking out.

Coverage also appreciates that Principal offers free online quotes, which can be difficult to find on other life insurance company sites. There is also an online coverage calculator that can help you determine how much life insurance coverage is recommended for you  based on your family’s needs and goals. 

Other insurance products available 

Principal sells life insurance, investment and retirement products under the Principal Financial Group. It offers both individual  and group life insurance policies. Here are the additional insurance policies available:

Disability income insuranceAffiliation Discount 
Group health insuranceN/A
Group paid family and medical leave N/A
Group disability insuranceN/A


  • Principal sells comprehensive policies for everyone
  • The company offers a variety of riders for customizable coverage
  • It has great financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings

We recommend checking out Principal to anyone who is in the market for life insurance. The company has excellent reviews for financial strength and customer satisfaction, plus a wide variety of policy options and riders. Though Principal does not offer a whole life insurance policy, coverage is available nationwide and you can get a free quote online.

Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth is an insurance writer for coverage.com, where she covers insurance providers and reviews policies to help consumers find comprehensive and affordable coverage for every area of their life. She has more than three years of writing experience for top online insurance and finance publications.

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