Primerica Canada Reviews
Lets See How They Stack Up to the Competition
Disclaimer: Policy Architects has no affiliation with Primerica Canada. We quote plans from traditional life insurance companies who compete with Primerica. This brief and detailed article is intended to provide you with information to help guide your purchasing decision.
Primerica Canada is a legitimate, "A+" rated company that sells term life insurance. They use a multi-level marketing (MLM) strategy, which means their agents are often more interested in recruiting than becoming life insurance experts. Not to mention, Primerica life insurance rates are among the highest in Canada.
James Heidebrecht - Founder of Policy Architects
Are you looking at all the Primerica Canada Reviews to see if this company meets your life insurance needs?
This is a relatively well-known company but are they a fit for you?
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know we have the most comprehensive series of reviews on life insurance companies in Canada. Check out our top 8 list for 2020!
Remember not all insurers are created equal. Always consult an independent agent to make sure you sign on with the one that is right for your circumstances.
Your health, age and family background all impact the premiums you pay. The thing is each insurer has a niche where they excel.
So how does Primerica stack up to the competition? Let’s take a look right now!
What Is Primerica?
Founded in 1986, Primerica Inc. is an American insurance and financial services company. Their main headquarters is located in Gwinnett County, Georgia…
….and their main office in Canada is located in Mississauga, Ontario.
There is a bit of controversy surround their business model as they operate as a multilevel marketing operation (MLM). You can read more about this later in the review.
The main product they sell is term life insurance and in fact, they were the first to promote the philosophy of buy term and invest the difference.
I have to give them their due, when Primerica first arrived in Canada a few decades ago, they were a welcome shake-up to a stagnant insurance industry. Their focus on selling term when most companies were pushing whole life on consumers forced the market to change for the better.
Term insurance allows people to purchase very affordable temporary coverage to protect themselves during periods of vulnerability. This approach also frees money to be invested in more profitable vehicles.
As of 2017, Primerica life insurance company reported having 120,000 independent representatives in the US and Canada.
PFSL Investments Canada Ltd. is the broker-dealer affiliate here in Canada. In 2015 Primerica was listed by Forbes as one of “Americas 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies.
Primerica Financial Rating
So what is a financial rating and why does it matter to you?
A financial rating is a score an independent credit assessment organization gives a life insurance company.
For example, they assess Primerica Canada’s financial strength and ability to meet its obligations when it comes to paying out life claims and benefits.
Life insurance is a long term commitment. What looks incredible one year can be on shaky ground the next. The best way to assure your investment is safe is to do a little legwork to see if the company is being responsible.
Don’t get me wrong there are protections put in place for people who are attached to a company that is going belly up.
BUT it’s better not to have to deal with the hassle if you don’t have to.
When it comes to financial stability. You have no worries when it comes to Primerica! In September 2018 they were issued an A+ from A.M. Best! Whoo wheee that's a score for Primerica.
That's awesome! Where do I sign up?
Settle down my friend. We just scratched the surface. There are so many other considerations. While this is a good start we have many other things to discuss.
Is Primerica a Legitimate Company? What Do Consumers Think?
Another factor you should look into is how people view the life insurance company you’re considering.
I will, however, add a caveat here. Bad news travels fast, you know what I mean? Sadly people rarely promote things that are going well – but when they have a complaint you hear about it far and wide.
This is even more true when it comes to life insurance.
Policyholders EXPECT that their claims are going to go off without a hitch. I don’t think a lot of people really think about giving a shout out to the agent that helped get them with the most incredible policy ever!
…and if you add the stress of death even fewer people think about sending in that 5-star review.
NOT true when it comes to claims and hiccups.
So while this is an important thing to consider. You need to mitigate just how seriously you take these reviews because a lot of the top life insurance companies get dinged.
Things to be on the lookout for are relevance. What sort of insurance claim are they talking about and does it apply to? Another area to keep an eye out for is continuity.
Insureye Independent Life Insurance Reviews for Primerica Life Insurance Canada
This isn’t great. 2.3 stars out of 5. But don’t forget what I said above. Reviewers are fickle. So let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here.
HMMMMM! There are a lot of dissatisfied customers out there.
Yes, I saw the occasional good review but for the most part, people seem unhappy with Primerica Canada. Everything from the cost of premiums to customer service.
While I hesitate to give too much credence to these reviews, they shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.
Primerica Canada Reviews - Are Employees Happy?
Wow now, this is terrific! It seems like people who work at Primerica Canada are very happy. They try to convey a culture that’s caring and it makes a difference for their employees.
From the reviews, it looks like community and service are emphasized and people who work there are compelled to share their positive experiences.
Score for Primerica! 4.6 stars out of 5 at Glass Door.
Indeed doesn’t fall far afield of these numbers at 4.2 stars out of 5! Another score for Primerica. It looks like they are doing something right as employers and this does give you some insight into how they do business.
So what do I care if the employees at Primerica love working there?
Company performance and they way the employees feel is connected. I say this is a positive aspect of the culture promoted at Primerica Canada.
Primerica Life Insurance Products
I really enjoy this part of my reviews. This is when I get the chance to look at everything that’s out there.
Hey, it’s easy to get myopic and these reviews make me take time out to see what’s new!
Life insurance is a complicated business. There are a ton of companies and some very different approaches.
Every life insurance company has a niche that they like to claim as their own. This is important point for an agent to thoroughly understand to get the best possible rates for their clients.
Products also change from company to company. If you think they all offer the same thing…
Some insurers specialize ONLY in life insurance while others offer a whole host of other products. Each and every insurer’s offering is different when it comes to coverage, riders, etc.
That’s why you should always work with an independent life insurance agent. We know the ins and outs of the underwriting processes AND the products.
Primerica Term Insurance
Primerica offers term life insurance. Their product page, unfortunately, doesn’t provide a lot of information. It’s more of a marketing pitch.
You can easily access figures such as the payout percentages and the average time it takes to process a claim…
…but information regarding Primerica’s actual products is nowhere to be found.
While I love term life insurance, I like to see a little bit more information about the policies.
TermNow is Primerica’s No Medical offering which means no physical or health exam is required as part of the application process.
Of course, this means your policy is more expensive than one that is medically underwritten. Also, there is a $300,000 cap on the amount of coverage you can apply for.
Primerica Custom Advantage
Custom Advantage is Primerica’s fully underwritten term life insurance product. You can apply for coverage amounts of $1 million or more. A life insurance medical exam is required and as such, the application process is longer.
NOTE* Primerica Canada does NOT have a permanent conversion option with their term insurance products. You can read more about it here.
Looking For A Term Life Insurance Quote?
Does Primerica Have Whole Life Insurance?
Primerica does NOT offer any form of permanent life insurance, including whole life or Universal Life.
They rely solely on the concept that term works for most people most of the time. Primerica was the first company to support the statement “buy term and invest the difference”.
Why is this a problem?
All other major carriers in Canada who sell term insurance offer what we call in the insurance business, a conversion option.
This allows you to exchange your term coverage for permanent coverage and it’s VERY, VERY important. Especially if you should become uninsurable during your term.
If you get sick, or god forbid, develop a life-threatening illness, the conversion option is the ONLY way to guarantee your insurability moving forward!
Primerica Financial Services
There are insurers like Foresters that specialize ONLY in life insurance products.
I actually quite like this approach as I feel they have a niche and are experts in it.
Primerica Canada is one of those insurers that extends its market into other products including financial services. So let’s take a look to see what they offer right now!
Primerica Financial Needs Analysis
As part of its services, Primerica offers a complimentary Financial Needs Analysis (FNA).
If you’ve read any of my previous articles you know Policy Architects does a needs analysis to determine how much life insurance you need to cover your family if you die.
Primerica uses this service to market their products. They give you a detailed analysis of your current financial situation and suggest a strategy to help you attain future financial stability, which I am sure includes using their products.
Primerica prides itself on helping people who don’t have endless funds to invest.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies won’t work with you unless you have $100,000 or more in the bank.
Primerica’s investment products are as follows:
- Mutual Funds: As you may know, mutual funds offer you an opportunity to invest with others in a fund. For as little as $25.00 – $50.00 per month you can join a program run by PFSL Investments Canada Ltd.
- Segregated Funds: This is similar to a mutual fund. This investment tool allows you to invest in stock and bond holdings through the fund. Primerica’s segregated funds have a 75% capital guarantee, creditor protection, and transferability. Their Common Sense family of funds includes: Asset Builder Funds III – VII & Strategic Retirement Income Fund.
Primerica Debt Consolidation
Debt is an issue that faces us all! It’s spinning out of control in Canada.
Primerica pinpointed a need and offers services to help you get out of debt and into a better financial situation.
The solution they provide is a consolidation loan.
You have one payment at a lower interest rate that allows you to chip away at the money you owe faster. I’m not familiar with all of the ins and outs of these loans, so I will leave this to someone who does to comment on the viability of these services.
The debt to income ratio of Canadians hit a record high of 178.5 percent in the fourth quarter last year as mortgage holders continued to take on non-mortgage debt.
The ratio increased as average monthly required payments rose 4.5 percent compared with a year earlier, while disposable income rose only 2.5 percent, the agency said.
Disability Insurance: Primerica Enhance
Disability insurance is something everyone should consider.
Especially if you work for yourself or lack company benefits. People are living longer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be disabled or get sick and recover at some point in your life.
This coverage fills in the holes left by unfortunate events. The tab on the Primerica site for Disability is a little confusing as this insurance gives you the following coverage:
- Guaranteed Issue Critical Illness
- Medical Benefits
- Travel Emergency Medical Coverage
- Business Overhead Expense Coverage
- Roadside Accident & Sickness Benefit
- Dental Benefits
- Fracture Accident Coverage
This is really nice! It appears they’ve thought of everything that could potentially fall through the cracks.
Prepaid Legal Services
Legal advice is very costly.
We all know that questions surface all the time when it comes to contracts and disagreements. What if I told you that Primerica Canada offers a service to cover those needs?
For $25.00 per month you’re given access to legal advice for the following matters:
- Legal Consultation and Legal Assistance Services
- Will Preparation
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney (Property and Personal Care)
- Estate Settlement Legal Advice
- Documents and Contracts Reviewed
- Small Claims Court
- Consumer Protection Assistance
- All Other Legal Work
Is Primerica an MLM?
OK so let’s talk a little bit about the elephant in the room.
If you’ve read anything about Primerica chances are you know they are built on a multi-level marketing business model.
This is a strategy that companies use to encourage distributors to recruit new sales people to market their products.
The senior distributor is financially rewarded by receiving a percentage of their new recruits’ sales. These are unsalaried jobs, which means you don’t make money if you don’t sell products.
The higher up the chain you are and the more recruits you take on the better your salary. Sadly a lot of people that work for MLMs don’t make much money. You really have to be on top of the food chain to make this strategy work for you.
Hmmmm, is this in my best interest?
For me it's one of the cons of dealing with Primerica.
Don't Get Me Wrong: Life Insurance is a Commission Based Business
It sure is. You don’t make a sale, you don’t get paid. Every life insurance product has a commission built into the price, regardless of whether you buy it directly through a bank or a captive broker. You’re paying this commission regardless of whether you get any good advice or not!
It’s the main reason I always recommend people deal with independent life insurance agents. If you’re paying a fee, you might as well get some value for your money.
Commission breath stinks and you want to avoid working with people who are tied to a specific company.
Tied agents won’t tell you that you can do better with a different insurer. That would mean losing a sale which impacts their bottom line.
If you add that to people working for a company that encourages them to recruit their friends and family for financial gain – well you can see where it would get sticky.
I hate to say this but I have a tendency to avoid companies that use an MLM strategy altogether.
Primerica Application Process
I found the Primerica Canada site to be very unhelpful.
There’s not a lot of information about their products – I just found marketing jargon about why I should use them as an insurer.
Not a ton of useful information about the terms available, age limits or face value.
Honestly, I was also surprised that there wasn’t a button to start the application process.
From what I saw, they only have contact information where I assume you call to speak with a tied agent to get the ball rolling? In my humble opinion user experience for the application process is a fail.
I’m sure Primerica is missing the chance to gather more customers because of this gap.
Primerica Term Life Insurance Rates
So let's take a look at the cost of Primerica's term life insurance. I think at the end of the day this is the information that is most interesting to my clients. They want to know how Primerica compares to their competition. Spoiler Alert...They're Expensive!
Primerica Life Insurance Canada, 20 Year Term, Standard, Non-Smoker Rates
|30 Year Old Male||$36.58||$65.08|
|30 Year Old Female||$36.58||$65.08|
|35 Year Old Male||$44.65||$81.23|
|35 Year Old Female||$44.65||$81.23|
|40 Year Old Male||$63.18||$118.28|
|40 Year Old Female||$63.18||$118.28|
|45 Year Old Male||$101.18||$194.28|
|45 Year Old Female||$101.18||$194.28|
|50 Year Old Male||$167.20||$326.33|
|50 Year Old Female||$167.20||$326.33|
|55 Year Old Male||$277.40||$546.73|
|55 Year Old Female||$277.40||$546.73|
|60 Year Old Male||$513.00||$1,017.493|
*Quotes above are for Primerica Canada’s custom advantage 20 year term, monthly, Standard Health Class, non-smoker. Your rates may differ depending on your unique circumstances. June 2020.
Primerica Penalizes Women!
Did you notice anything weird about the Primerica Life Insurance Rates above?
If you look closely, you’ll see that their rates are the same for men AND women! Primerica Canada is truly gender neutral when it comes to underwriting… Kudos to Primerica, they support women’s equality!
…or maybe NOT.
Most life insurance companies cut women some slack when it comes to rates because statistically, they live longer than men. In fact, across the board, women should expect to pay 30% less for their life insurance than men.
Primerica does NOT do this, they simply charge women as much as their male counterparts. In other words, if you’re a woman, you pay 30% MORE with Primerica Canada for your term insurance then with any other carrier!
Hey, I’m all for equal rights but if you’re a woman, do you really want pay the same rates as a man?
Since women have a longer lifespan, they will more likely outlive their policies’ terms. In many cases, men are the primary income earners for the household, which means that they typically purchase bigger policies than women do. Often, a man needs to purchase a policy to provide for his family in case he dies and the family loses its main source of income.
Looking For A Term Life Insurance Quote?
Comparing Primerica Canada To Other Companies
Primerica's Gender Neutral Underwriting: Doesn't Pay Off for Women
Ok, let’s take Debbie. She is 45 years old, a nonsmoker and in ok shape.
We anticipate she will get a standard rating. She needs $500K in coverage for 20 years to make sure her family can keep the house if she passes away suddenly.
We are scoping out all the insurers to find the one that suits her the best. Remember, her rates are based on her age, gender (typically), medical history and the amount and length of her coverage.
Debbie heard about Primerica Life Insurance Canada and wants me to get some rates for her.
She pays $101.18 per month for 20 years.
Empire Life Rates
Because we’re independent life insurance agents, we want Debbie to shop around.
We’re already familiar with Primerica’s rates and their policy when it comes to women and we think she can do better.
Let’s take a look at another company: Empire Life. We pull the rates and guess what? Debbie will pay $56.25 per month if she goes with this carrier!
Remember she is going to pay these premiums over 20 years so let’s take a look at the overall difference:
OUCH! I am just going to leave this here, as I think the number speaks for itself. Just think of the things you could do with this sort of cash. This is EXACTLY the reason you need to consult an independent life insurance agent before you sign on the dotted line.
So let's take a look at another scenario....
Age & Primerica Life Insurance Canada Rates
As I mentioned before your rates are tied to your age. The older you are the more risk an insurer takes on to protect you. So it makes sense that they pass that risk on to you. That being said, there are insurers that are more lenient than others when it comes to age. Let’s see how Primerica stacks up.
30 Year Old Non-Smoking Male:
Primerica vs. BMO
For this example, I’m going to use a 30-year-old male non-smoker in great shape. We managed to get him preferred plus rates and I’m encouraging him to take advantage of his good health and lock in for a 30-year term.
He has a very young family and this protection will take him through the most vulnerable periods. He is a doctor and has a lot of obligations so we’re opting for $1 million in coverage.
Our client is familiar with Primerica and wants me to check out the rates.
Primerica Canada is offering coverage for $78.38 per month. Not bad! But being an independent agent I want to see if we can do better.
It looks like BMO is offering $69.75 per month. Better, but not by a mile. I will, however, do the math to show him the savings over 30 years which will accumulate:
Well the cost of term life insurance between these two companies isn't radically different! But what if the client is older with declining health?
50 Year Old Non-Smoking Male in Standard Health
Primerica Canada vs RBC Rates
For this example, I’m using a 50-year-old male non smoker who is in standard health.
He just started a business and wants to make sure that his partners and employees are protected if he dies unexpectedly.
He thinks $500K of coverage for 20 years will do it.
One of his friends has a Primerica policy and they are very satisfied with their service so he asked me to check the rates. The premiums cost about $167.00.
Because I’m an independent agent I encourage him to shop around before applying.
With a little research, I see that RBC offers premiums for about $118.00 per month. If he signs up for Primerica our client pays:
My take away? Perhaps Primerica is looking for young healthy people to insure.
As you age - especially if you're a woman you will pay a hell of a lot more. In fact as a woman in your 60's it becomes extortionately more expensive. A non-smoking woman who is 60 years old with a standard rate pays about $269.00 for $250K of coverage for 20 years.
If she looked at another company like Manufacturers Life Insurance, her premiums would cost her approximately $161.00. The difference is staggering over her term:
What Happens When Your Primerica Term Coverage Ends?
This is a terrific question, my friends because the goal is for you to live past the end of your term.
Life insurance is one of those products you pray you won’t have to use. The thing is, you need to remember life insurance is a business so underwriters bet on you living, that’s how the companies make money otherwise they’d be out of business.
So what happens when your coverage ends?
If you’re healthy, nothing happens. If you require protection moving forward, you simply re-apply for some new term or permanent coverage (with another carrier) to take care of whatever your need happens to be.
I love term life insurance because it provides TEMPORARY coverage for periods of vulnerability. So if you are 35 years old and get a 30-year term, chances are you won’t have the same need for coverage when you’re 65.
BUT what if that’s not the case? Life happens and now you still have a mortgage.
If you go with a Primerica policy you’re out of luck! Especially if you have developed some medical issues which make you uninsurable at the end of your term.
All other Insurance companies have a term conversion feature that allows your policy to roll into a permanent policy WITHOUT a medical exam. This is a perk for people who see a decline in their health but still need protection.
Primerica does NOT have a permanent life insurance product to exchange your term coverage for. Bear this in mind when you sign on the dotted line.
This is one of the main reasons I would NOT recommend Primerica life insurance to any of my clients.
Looking For Term Life Insurance Quotes Online?
Primerica Canada "Pros"
Great Financial Rating
Primerica Canada has an A+ rating which means they're a very financially stable company. If you have protection through them rest assured you're covered. They are very well regarded.
It appears that Primerica treats the people who work for them well. Glass Door gave them a glowing review and I do think this is a factor when it comes to choosing a company.
Strong, Community Based Culture
Primerica is interested in helping "main street" people to access to financial products such as debt consolidation, mutual funds, segregated funds and financial needs analysis.
Primerica Canada "Cons"
Primerica ONLY sells term insurance
Term is the only life insurance product they have. If you are looking for anything permanent you need to find another company which brings me to....
Primerica's Term Insurance is Very Expensive
I don't find Primerica Canada to be a competitive company for life insurance. They are never the most affordable in the bunch. In fact, when I run insurance quotes for clients, they are often the most expensive. It suffices to say, I've helped more than a few clients save money by replacing their Primerica coverage with a lower cost alternative.
For example, let's look at Primerica's "Term to 95" coverage which many of their agents sell. It has guaranteed level premiums up to age 55.
At age 55 if you have one of these policies, your cost rises every 5 years until you're 70. Believe it or not, at age 70 your monthly costs will then go up each and every year up to the age of 95. Can you imagine how much you'll pay over the life of your policy?!
No Conversion Option with Primerica Term Insurance
If your health has changed for the worse and you still have a need for protection after your term expires, you are out of luck!
All major life insurance companies in Canada and the US provide a term conversion option you can execute between the age of 65 and 75 depending on the carrier. You can exchange all or a portion of your term insurance for guaranteed permanent coverage without providing any medical evidence.
Do consumers execute this option frequently? No. Then why is this so important?
Here's why. Let's say God forbid, you develop life-threatening cancer a year before your term policy is set to expire. The built-in conversion option allows you to switch your term to permanent insurance moving forward without have to undergo a life insurance medical exam. The insurance company can't stop you from doing this, it's written in the contract. You simply fill out a form and pay the associated cost and you're good to go.
Because Primerica has no permanent products, this is NOT an option for you. If for some reason, you become uninsurable, there's really no other way to put it, you're screwed!
Women Pay MORE for Primerica term insurance!
If you're a woman, go to another insurer! Primerica Canada's gender neutral approach doesn't benefit you at all.
Their rates are higher for women across the board ESPECIALLY as you age.
Primerica Doesn't Like High Risk Applicants
If you have any preexisting health conditions and are concerned about your insurability, Primerica should not be your first choice as a carrier.
If you've read my high risk life insurance article, you'll know you're healthier than you think. It may be possible to find affordable coverage even if you are worried. Unfortunately, NOT with Primerica!
Primerica has Captive Brokers
Primerica agents ONLY sell Primerica policies. So if you want to get the best possible rates always consult and independent agent as they usually have access to all the top life insurance companies in Canada.
Primerica Canada is an MLM
This a personal thing - I'm not a fan of multi level marketing.
I do understand that others vociferously disagree, but I for one don't like this approach. Sadly there's an emphasis on recruiting rather than the needs of the clients.
Is Primerica Canada The Best Company For YOU!?
If you are perusing Primerica Life Insurance reviews, then this is the article for you. We have a lot of information about this company!
To be quite honest, Primerica doesn’t sell substandard term insurance policies. If you base your choice solely on their financial strength, it seems like a good option.
The challenge is, however, their policies offer the same benefits as other companies at a much higher cost.
Insurance Companies Are Not Created Equally
Don’t get me wrong, Primerica Canada is a reputable and financially secure company so they can’t be faulted there. If you have a Primerica term insurance policy, rest assured, if something happens, it will be paid out guaranteed.
BUT if you’re looking for the best possible rates from one of the top life insurance companies in Canada, don’t waste your money paying more when you could do better elsewhere.
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