My Honest Primerica Review and why I think you should think twice
Before I get into it, let me say this.
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Ah, life insurance.
It’s the insurance no one wants to think about until it’s too late. But when we do think about it, we all want to work with a reputable business that’s here to stay.
No one wants to turn in a claim while grieving a loved one and discover the insurer went belly up years ago.
Primerica is a network marketing company that offers life insurance plans and other financial services. Like no other company in this industry, they’re also an MLM.
Granted, it’s not your typical MLM category like skincare or home jewelry, and direct selling isn’t a common method for selling life insurance, but Primerica is making it work.
The question is, can it work for you? Let’s take a look.
1. What does Primerica sell? Primerica sells insurance products and financial services to “Main Street” families, including Financial Needs Analysis, Term Life, Investments, Auto & Home Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance, Pre-Paid Legal, and Identity Theft protection.
2. What are Primerica’s most popular products? Term Life Insurance is Primerica’s flagship product and what they’re most known for. Their term life insurance plans are reasonably affordable, and they were given an A+ superior rating by A.M. Best, a rating only the top 15% of life insurance companies achieved.
3. How much does it cost to join Primerica? It costs $99 to join Primerica, plus a monthly subscription fee of $25 for the online support system.
4. Is Primerica a scam? No, Primerica is a publicly traded company that sells real insurance and financial products. Scam or not, though, to succeed with this MLM, you’ll need to go through more training than with other MLMs. Insurance is a highly regulated industry, so you’ll need to understand the products you’re selling, what the regulations are, and how to talk about them so you’re compliant. That being the case, you’ll need to pass your insurance licensing and possibly other training as well.
5. What is Primerica’s BBB rating? A+
6. How long has Primerica been in business? Since 1977
7. What is Primerica’s revenue? $1.69 billion
8. How many Primerica distributors are there? 130,000+
9. What lawsuits have been filed? In 2014, Carolyn Arline and Machell Amador filed a lawsuit against Primerica for refusing to pay the full benefits due under the life insurance policy. In 2013, Primerica was faced with 238 retirement plan cases, where they were accused of bad investment advice.  In 2014, Primerica set aside $9.3 million to settle with these people. This was a big news story, and led to Primerica being asked to testify in 2015 against a new regulation designed to protect retirement savings from dodgy investment managers. In 2012, Miriam Arellano filed suit against Primerica for breach of contract, consumer fraud, and negligence. Mrs. Arellano was awarded compensatory damages of $82,000 and punitive damages of $1,117,572. In 1998, The Securities and Exchange Commission instituted proceedings against PFS, a subsidiary of Primerica, for failure to reasonably supervise four of their representatives. In addition to these cases, there have been a lot of “interpleader” cases, where there’s a debate over who should receive the life insurance payout.
10. Comparable companies:
There’s big money in the life insurance industry, so should you join up with these guys?
Product-wise, the insurance company seems legit. But as far as the business opportunity goes, there are better ways out there to make a sustainable passive income…
Either way, here’s the full review on Primerica.
Primerica was founded in 1977, went public on the NASDAQ in 1983, and split off from their parent company Citigroup in 2010. They’re now headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.
According to Forbes, Primerica founder A.L. Williams began his career in life insurance after his father died and their whole life insurance plan ended up being worthless. He was distraught over the poor options for life insurance and lack of knowledge regarding those options among the mainstream population.
Basically, back in the 70s, companies were pushing expensive whole life insurance policies on Americans who didn’t have a lot of financial knowledge, convincing them that it would not only protect their family in the event that they die, but that it was also a very smart investment. Whole life insurance pays out no matter what, accrues interest over time, and you can even take out loans against it, whereas term life insurance only pays out if you die within the policy’s term (10 years, 20 years), and it has no cash-in value.
So, it sounds like term life insurance is throwing your money away, and whole life insurance is investing it.
But here’s the thing: term life insurance is super cheap… like, a few dollars a month cheap. Whole life insurance is very pricey, often in the hundreds, and a lot of these predatory companies promised lifetime payout but found loopholes to get out of paying out once the insured person actually died. Exactly what happened to A.L. Williams when his father died.
So, he started Primerica (first called A.L. Williams & Associates) as a life insurance and financial services company that would serve Main Street America. Their slogan, “Buy Term and Invest the Difference,” and their focus on educating mainstream America about their options caused many people to leave their whole life insurance policies and buy into this new term life insurance company.
Pretty quickly, they grew to become the largest seller of life insurance in the U.S., and they really did transform the industry. Now, Primerica is the largest independent financial services marketing organization in North America. Operations extend throughout the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
They’ve also got insane profit margins — in 2017 they hit over 18% net profit. The average net profit margins for the insurance industry? 4-5%, if you’re lucky.
Primerica started out with a great mission that transformed the industry, but a lot of their success has been due to the way they treat their employees and agents (distributors). Right off the bat, A.L. Williams knew that his salespeople would be the lifeblood of his company, and he places a huge emphasis on “pushing up” his employees by holding weekly video conferences with them and speaking to each one of his hundreds of thousands of agents personally.
It shows, too. Their employee reviews on Indeed are extensive, and with 1.3k reviews, they still manage to maintain a 4-star rating.
Primerica’s life insurance and financial services products include:
- Term Life Insurance
- Mutual Funds
- Segregated Funds
- Manages Accounts
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Legal Services
- Auto Insurance
- Homeowners Insurance
- Credit Monitoring
- Debt Management Plans
I won’t bore you with the financial details of each and every product, but I will talk a little about some of their more popular products.
Term Life Insurance
This is the product they’re most known for. Their term life insurance plans are reasonably affordable, and they were given an A+ superior rating by A.M. Best, a rating only the top 15% of life insurance companies achieved.
In 2015, they paid out a total of $1.2 billion in death claims, and 92% of their claims were paid within 14 days.
The biggest complaint most people have about life insurance companies is that they find ways of not paying after your loved one dies, so the fact that they pay their claims on time and with reliability is a huge strength. There have only been a few cases of this not happening, so it’s definitely not the norm (see lawsuits in the FAQ above).
One of the big drawbacks here is the fact that they use network marketing, so their Agents have a high turnover rate. As a customer, instead of working with the same person for years, (someone who has likely built a career in life insurance), you could be working with a life insurance newbie who’s going to quit in 6 months.
There’s a $99 cost to join — more and more, it’s looking like this is the standard price for start-up kits at newer MLMs
You don’t get any product, obviously (no physical product to be had), but it does pay for state insurance and financial services exams that you may need to take as well as your license to sell life insurance.
They highly encourage you to pay an extra $28/month for access to their online tools.
Commission is 25% on all financial services sales, which is kind of low, but not bad considering that the product is recurring monthly as long as customers don’t cancel their policy.
Your commission can jump all the way up to 70% if you can advance your rank quickly enough, and you also get 10% overrides on your personal recruits.
You’re highly encouraged to start with a “warm market” — a list of friends and family you want to sell to. First red flag. MLM destroys friendships, no joke. You don’t want to be THAT guy who’s trying to make a dollar off your cousin.
What’s even worse, though, is when you run out of “warm market” friends to listen to your sales pitch and you have to hit up your “cold market” — aka walk up to random strangers and ask them to buy your life insurance. Sound like fun?
To most people, it doesn’t. That’s probably why the average Primerica rep only makes barely over $5,000 in annual income. Literally below the poverty line.
Also wayyyyyyy less than what you can make working for a traditional life insurance company (average salary at State Farm, for example, is $32,000).
So the company is legit, and their life insurance seems to be some of the best on the market.
Primerica’s also got a great corporate culture and a solid mission.
But the direct selling structure is their fatal flaw: it’s just not possible for over 99% of the people who buy into MLM to make good money and avoid alienating their friends.
It’s just not a strategy that works for anyone but the top .001%.
If it really is the products that intrigue you, and you want to give it a shot, going with a company that has been in the game a while isn’t a bad way to go.
But if it’s just the income opportunity you’re after, you might just be wasting your time.
Look, not a hater of Primerica but I’ve been involved with network marketing for over ten years so I know what to look for when you consider a new opportunity.
After reviewing 200+ business opportunities and systems out there, here is the one I would recommend:
Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?
A lot of people have been asking us, “Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?”.
Read this unbiased review to learn more.
Primerica has been the subject of controversy recently, with some people claiming its a scam, while others say its a life-saving opportunity.
Who can you trust?
Let’s find out if Primerica is a pyramid scheme or not.
Primerica Review Summary
Product Name: Primerica
Product Type: MLM for Insurance and Financial Services
Creator: Glenn Williams
Price: $99 + 25/month.
Best For: Those that want to recruit new members to build a team and sell insurance and financial related products.
Summary: Primerica has more value in it’s core insurance and financial products compared to most mlm products. The primary focus is on sales and recruitment of new members like all MLM systems.
However, you’ll be competing in a tough niche with established brand name companies using outdated marketing methods, backed with a mlm reputation – Not an easy sale. Your success will be highly dependent on your sales and marketing skills.
Recommended: No. If you’re looking into Primerica for the money making opportunity, I’d encourage you to take a look at my favorite online business training program. It’s got all the tools and support you need to run a successful online business. Plus 10 Free classes to get started
Would you like to check out our Primerica Video Review? Just click the video below…
What is Primerica:
Established in 1977, Primerica is a company in the Financial Services industry, and they provide various insurance and financial plans for middle class families.
To join the company, an initial fee of $99 is required plus an additional $25/month to use their online platform and tools.
To earn money, members are required to promote the company, and build a team to earn additional bonuses and rewards.
In short, members will be promoting two things; the financial plans, and the business opportunity.
- Debt Solutions
- Auto & Home
- Long-term Care
- Legal Protection
If someone you refer to Primerica buys a financial plan or joins the business opportunity, commissions will be added to your account.
So as a member, can you make money with Primerica?
Naturally, there are different levels within the company, even official positions with a fixed salary, so income levels vary drastically.
Though this company does use the same pitch that most network marketing companies use (e.g. live free, be your own boss), it does have some unique features.
For instance, one thing about the company I appreciate is that every member needs to do a background-check before participating in the business opportunity.
As we all know, there are a lot of people promoting network marketing companies who have no idea what they’re doing!
Primerica officially hires members, so a background check is necessary.
The initial fee of $99 is put towards a background check and a sales license, and the fee can be refunded in a few months time.
Then, once everything is in the clear, a subscription fee of $25/month is required to access the tools and platform.
In most cases, when a company hires someone, they’ll pay for a background check out of their pocket, instead of asking the employee to pay it.
Nevertheless, the fee is refundable, so it’s not a complete deal breaker.
It’s a smart move on the companies part, it filters out the untrustworthy members.
I also like how after the background check you’ll be given an official license to promote the business.
The background check will scan for criminal records to see if you’re a fit to work for the business.
In short, the Primerica does put effort into making sure their independent distributors are qualified, unlike other companies that hire everyone under the sun.
In other words, the company follows the rules, and they want all the paperwork to be done properly.
Primerica Training Included:
Some training material is also included in the members area.
The material will teach you how to market the services without coming across as too pushy.
There are also some marketing tools to help with promotion.
In addition to marketing material, there are some helpful videos that explain various rules of personal finance.
The commissions are also not too bad, with each member qualified to earn 25% of the sale they make.
Is Promoting Primerica a Good Idea?
When you register for a license, Primerica asks for a list of “Hot” leads – anyone who you think would be interested in the business.
In most cases, this is a list of your friends and family members.
Like most networking companies, the idea is to build your team so you can live off of your team’s sales commissions.
If you do decide to promote Primerica, you should learn how to target warm traffic that’s interested in Primerica’s products.
Makes for an easy sale!
It’s not that hard and you can learn how I do it in our free eBook. It’s really a guide to how I rank on Google.
Is Primerica a Scam?
To be honest, Primerica is not a scam or pyramid scheme.
Though it does have some things in common with pyramid selling it also is a bit different.
For instance, the commissions are not “Sent Up” the ladder, and there are no down-lines.
Instead, new affiliates are added to your team, and there can only be one team.
There are membership levels, and you can qualify depending on the amount of sales you and your team earn.
To join you’ll need to send an application to the company or get in touch with an representative, there are no online registration forms at the moment.
Need help understanding the difference between MLM’s and Affiliate Marketing? Check out our in depth post comparing the two models by clicking the image below.
Why Is Primerica Considered a Pyramid Scheme?
The problem with Primerica is they advertise the opportunity as the solution to all your problems.
- Financial freedom.
- Be your own boss.
- Never worry about money again.
- Earn a comfortable income.
- Work from Home.
- Dream Big.
These are all vague promises.
Primerica also wants you to believe its very easy to make money with the program, but its actually a little harder than you think.
If you don’t have experience in sales, it will be difficult to promote this company, at least enough to earn some side-income.
In short, Primerica is a company that does have some issues but it’s definitely not a pyramid scheme or a scam.
Can you make fast cash?
I can’t recommend this company for fast cash.
If you need fast cash, read this article.
Primerica, like most network marketing companies, is a long-term project that you slowly build.
If you’re good at selling insurance (the main product being sold) then you can likely see some success with this business.
But keep in mind, about 60% of all members fail to make a single cent.
Nevertheless, the company’s services are useful and have helped many people come out of financial holes.
In other words, its easier to promote Primerica services than other networking marketing services where there’s not much value.
Conclusion to Our Primerica Review:
To summarize, Primerica is not a pyramid scheme, but I also don’t recommend it.
I don’t think its a good idea to invest so much time into a business that could go under at anytime, taking all your hard work down with them.
It’s also a struggle to find clients.
I think its much better to build your own website, one that can – potentially – bring in a lot of clients and cash on auto-pilot.