I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 19, 2021

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principal life logo review

What’s New in 2021 for Principal Life Insurance

2020 was an unprecedented year and brought changes to most companies, including Principal Life Insurance. Here’s what’s new with Principal Life Insurance this year. 

How Has Covid-19 Affected Principal Life Insurance?

With Covid-19 affecting almost every aspect of people’s everyday life, Principal made several changes to help their clients. 

They started by creating retirement plan reliefs. Principal waived paid distribution and loan fees for people taking tax-favored withdrawals. The CARES Act made it possible to avoid unexpected costs for participants and sponsors accessing their lifelines. 

Principal extended grace periods for premium payments to give customers more time to cover necessary debts.

Finally, for businesses with less than 500 employees, Principal halted all rate increases on insurance coverage renewal dates. 

Due to Covid-19, Principal Life Insurance cut 7.5% to 25% on salaries for 23% of its global workforce.

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New Products or Changes

As of January 2021, Principal Life Insurance discontinued their Universal Life Protector V and Survivorship Universal Life Protector III.

At the same time, the company introduced Principal Universal Life Provider Edge IISM. The goal is to create more affordable premiums and benefit options for chronic illnesses.

Principal Life Insurance in the News

Principal Life Insurance hit a record high number of insurance applications in 2020, most likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In April 2021, the Southern District of Iowa ruled in favor of Principal in the lawsuit claiming that Principal violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. 

Initially, the courts dismissed the suit, claiming that Principal wasn’t a fiduciary. However, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling in February of 2021.

2021 Latest Principal Life Insurance Reviews

Principal Life Insurance company’s rating on Better Business Bureau sits at one out of five stars. 

Most of the customers’ complaints are about the long waiting periods for Principal Life Insurance services. Since many people lost their jobs in 2020, long waiting periods to verify employment endings stripped them from much-needed money.

Customers also discussed Principal canceling their ten-year-long life insurance policies due to alleged misunderstandings in due periods for customer payments. Although long-time customers, some report abrupt revocations, losing their money in the process. 

Other issues arise from long waiting periods for pension checks and withdrawing customers’ insurance. 

Several customers report that Principal products are easy to start, hard to finalize. Although there are no complaints about starting an insurance policy with Principal, many customers describe the withdrawing process as a painful experience. Additionally, there are reports of unexpected fees, such as excessive processing fees.

There are also reviews claiming that Principal took a portion of the customer’s investment or savings. Customers expecting to withdraw $50,000 or $60,000 ended up getting about $20,000 after a long waiting period. Better Business Bureau also reports scammers illegally using Principal Life Insurance logo and name to issue forged checks.

Principal Life Insurance is a reputable insurance company that’s been around since 1879. Before the company changed its name, it was known as Bankers Life Association.

Over the many years they’ve operated, Principal Life Insurance has seen steady success. Principal is a publicly-traded company that offers different types of insurance as well as financial products.

Our Principal Life Insurance review will help you make an informed decision as you consider your life insurance needs.

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What is Principal Life Insurance Company?

Principal Life Insurance is a company that offers insurance and financial products. The company has seen consistent, healthy growth since its inception in 1879.

What Does Principal Offer?

Principal Life offers different types of insurance products and financial products, such as retirement plans and mutual funds.

When you choose a policy from Principal Life Insurance, you will have the choice between term life, universal life, variable universal life, and survivorship insurance.

Term Life

Term life insurance means that the policy lasts for a set time (a term). You can choose from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty years for a term life policy.

Term life is a popular choice because it’s affordable and accessible. When you purchase it from Principal, you can convert it to a different policy later, so it’s durable.

Universal Life

Universal life insurance policies last your entire lifetime as long as you pay your premiums. They’re fully customizable with Principal, so you can choose how much and how often you will be paying into the policy.

Principal Life Insurance has two main universal life policies to choose from: universal life and indexed universal life. The most significant difference between the two is that the universal life policy uses a floating interest rate with a minimum rate guarantee.

The stock market index determines the indexed universal life policy interest rate.

Variable Universal Life

Variable Universal life is similar to universal life, but your money is invested more aggressively for the chance of higher returns and cash accumulation.

Survivorship

Survivorship insurance is just what it sounds like—for the survivors of a policy. It usually covers a husband and a wife, paying the beneficiaries after both people have died. Some people choose this policy because it costs less than purchasing two individual policies.

Principal Life Insurance offers a substantial selection of life insurance products. You’ll be able to decide which type is right for you and then customize it to fit your needs.

Their customer service has an excellent reputation, which means someone will be glad to walk you through the policies and help you make an informed decision.

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Is Principal Life Insurance Expensive?

Principal Life Insurance is not expensive. It’s competitive across products, and you can’t go wrong with the price when you purchase anything from Principal.

The price of your policy is determined by Principal’s underwriting, which uses the Prescription Database, the Medical Information Bureau, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

These sources provide Principal with information that determines your rates. The main factors that change your life insurance rate are lifestyle, age, occupation, and health. A clean driving record, a safe job, and no bankruptcies in the last five years are also considered.

To Get a Better Rate:

  • be tobacco-free for at least two years
  • show a clean driving record for the past five years with no more than two tickets in the last three years
  • have no felony convictions in the previous ten years
  • be reasonably healthy with a solid history of family health
  • have a safe job

The younger you are, the better your chances are for a lower rate.

Principal offers an annual payment discount to help you save money and healthy lifestyle credits that may improve your policy.

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Is Principal a Reputable Company?

Principal Life Insurance is one of the most reputable life insurance companies in the industry, receiving an A rating from all four independent agencies. The company has around 15,000 employees all over the world and is identified by Forbes as one of the 100 Best Companies To Work For.

All this information tells you that Principal is a robust and reputable company that has been around for a while. It is not going anywhere in the near future.

They have a solid foundation, so you won’t have to worry about buying a policy only to find out they are going out of business a few years down the road.

Pros & Cons of Principal Life Insurance

Principal Life Insurance will be an excellent choice for many people, and the pros generally outweigh the cons.

The list below should help you decide if Principal Life Insurance is right for you.

Pros

  • You can easily apply online.
  • The company has been around for over 100 years—they understand insurance and are rated highly.
  • Principal offers many different types of life insurance policies.
  • You can convert term life policies at a later stage.
  • There is a fast-tracked underwriting for healthy individuals.

Cons

  • The policy comes in the mail, which may be annoying to some customers.
  • Medical exams are required.
  • You can only file an insurance claim online.

The cons may not be a deal-breaker for you, depending on your lifestyle and preferences. You may also discover some cons not listed here that make you cross Principal Life Insurance off your list. Either way, it is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of any policy.

Is Principal for You?

As with any major decision, take the time to gather information and ask questions. This guide was written with you in mind to make the research process a lot easier. When you make an informed decision, you’re more likely to feel good about it in the future.

Principal Life Insurance company is a reliable choice because they’ve been in the business for a while and still boast a solid reputation and steady growth. They have a myriad of policies on offer to fit your unique needs.

Principal’s customer service is highly rated, too, just like the company. You should have all the assistance you need when you apply for your policy.