Principal Life Insurance Review 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

To make sure you’re getting the best life insurance plan for your needs and premiums that fit your budget, it pays to shop around. Another company that offers a host of life insurance products is the financial company Principal. Below in our Principal life insurance review, 

We’ll look in-depth at which life insurance products it offers and the reputation of the company.


  • Principal has most of the major life insurance types, along with survivorship insurance and a term life option that can run just one year
  • The company is well-rated through AM Best and the J.D. Power 2019 Life Insurance Study
  • Principal also has a low complaint index through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)


  • There isn’t much of a digital experience: there is no quote system and the site just has you call or email them directly
  • The company does not mention offering guaranteed universal life insurance 

Life Insurance Products Offered by Principal Life Insurance

To start our Principal life insurance review, we looked at the products the company offers. Like most insurance companies, Principal divides its life insurance products into two types: term life and permanent life.

On the term life page, the company states that people usually use the term life policies for taking advantage of lower age-based rates if they are young, keeping premiums low, purchasing a short-term solution until they can afford a permanent option and using term life to supplement permanent policies.  

The policies come in 10, 15, 20 or 30-year terms. An interesting feature is that the company offers a one-year term for short-term needs, which is somewhat unique in the industry. After the term is up, Principal allows you to convert that term life plan into a permanent policy without providing more evidence of insurability. 

The permanent life insurance page lists four major types the company offers: 

  • Universal life insurance: Accumulates cash value using a floating interest rate
  • Indexed universal life insurance: Can access tax-deferred cash values with no penalty and features interest rate protection  
  • Variable universal life insurance: Can also access tax-deferred cash values with no penalty and can convert cash values into annuities to help create extra income 
  • Survivorship insurance: Covers two lives and the death benefit pays out upon the death of the second life, it’s also used in estate planning for tax deductions 

Survivorship insurance is somewhat of a unique offering among the major life insurance companies.

>>MORE: Learn How to Use Indexed or Variable Life Insurance Policy in Retirement Planning Through A Case Study

Principal also has group life insurance if you are looking to protect employees. 

Financial Strength Rating of Principal Life Insurance

Through AM Best, Principal Life Insurance Company has an A+ (Superior) rating and the company outlook is listed as stable.

The long-term issuer credit rating is listed as aa (Superior) and the outlook is listed as stable.  

Customer Satisfaction Rating of Principal Life Insurance

Principal Financial came in fourth in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study. It got a 789 out of a possible 1,000 points with the median score being 761. It also had four circles out of a possible five, which is labeled as “better than most.”

Below are how Principal ranks in individual categories:

  • Overall satisfaction: 4/5
  • Product offerings: 4/5
  • Price: 4/5
  • Statements: 3/5
  • Interaction: 4/5
  • Communication: 4/5

Consumer Complaints Rating of Principal Life Insurance

We also checked how the complaints looked for our Principal life insurance review. Principal Life Insurance Company had a total complaint index of 0.19 for 2019 through the NAIC (company code 61271). That puts it below the 1.00 measure for expected complaints for the industry.  

Individual life in 2019 only had five complaints, putting the complaint index at 0.31. 

Digital Experience Rating of Principal Life Insurance

The company doesn’t seem to offer online quotes. There is a small block of text on the right side of the webpage that says “we’re here to help.” It tells you to call an 800 number or gives a link to the insurance help section.  

Once you follow the link to the help section, you get an FAQ page. The side of that page has the 800 number or tells you to send them an email.  

Final Thoughts in our Principal Life Insurance Review 

In our Principal life insurance review, we found that Principal is a solid company that is well-rated within the industry. It offers many of the basic life insurance types that are common for the industry, along with some interesting options like a one-year term life plan and survivorship insurance. Just don’t expect much of a digital experience with this company.

Thang Truong
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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