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Principal Financial Life Insurance Review

Written by Jason Patterson

Here at, we want to help as many customers get the life insurance they need.

We’ve worked with a lot of life insurance agents through the years. We’ve seen a lot of them trying to sell expensive policies which aren’t up to par.

We don’t want to be like those agents. We aren’t tied to any specific carrier.

To help you find the proper plan at the lowest price, we’ve spent countless hours combing through companies and reviewing carriers. Think of us as insurance matchmakers.

In this article, we’ve explored Principal, a favorite carrier. How do they stack up? Keep reading to find out.

History of Principal

The beginning of Principal goes back to 1879 as The Bankers Life Association.

The original purpose of the company was to give cheap life insurance to people in the banking industry. The founder, Edward A. Temple, decided to take a different approach to insurance and benefits.

Every participant would pay a deposit of $1 times the person’s age and a one time fee of half this number.

One exciting part of Principal’s history is they had no paid employees until 1893. Until this point, all of the work was done by volunteers.

Fast forward to 1941, Principal began offering group insurance coverage. They started targeting smaller business and offering them group health, life, accident, and hospital insurance.

They were no longer focused on bankers, which means the name didn’t make any sense. In 1985, they decided to change their name to Principal.

Life Insurance Products from Principal

When it comes to choices from Principal, you won’t be overwhelmed with options (not that this is a bad thing). They only offer 4 plans.

Like most companies, they sell a term insurance plan. Principal sells term plans in 10 years, 15,20, or 30 years. They also sell a one year plan if you find yourself needing a plan to fill a coverage gap.

Their term insurance is “standard.” Nothing flashy. Basic coverage at a basic price.

One benefit of the term plans from Principal is the opportunity to covert your term plan into a permanent policy without having to go through the application process or take a medical exam.

When it comes to permanent coverage, you have three choices from Principal:

  1. Universal Life Insurance
  2. Variable Universal Life Insurance
  3. Survivorships Insurance

Let’s look at each of these plans and give you some details about the coverage.

Universal Life

Universal life is not the most popular option for permanent coverage. It’s a unique kind of coverage, but for some applicants, it’s perfect.

Universal gives you the ability to change your payout and premiums (within a certain amount), and it has an interest rate which can be higher than other whole life plans.

Variable Universal Life

Variable universal is similar to universal life, with only a few differences. One of the fundamental differences is the amount of interest you can earn on the cash value build up inside of the plan. Variable universal gives you the potential to earn much more.


These policies protect two people, not just one. There will be two people listed on the plan, and the beneficiaries won’t receive the payout from the plan until BOTH people have passed away. The benefit of these plans is they are much cheaper than other policies.

Survivorship plans are typically used for estate planning.

Other Products From Principal

Aside from life insurance, Principal also has a wide array of financial products. They sell mutual funds, annuities, disability insurance, 401ks, and some workplace benefits.

For annuities, Principal sells four kinds:

  1. Fixed annuities
  2. Income Annuities
  3. Indexed Annuities
  4. Variable Annuities

Annuities are good strategies for those looking to get some guaranteed income during retirement. This can solve one of the biggest fears people face when getting close to retirement, running out of money.

You can open up an IRA, Roth IRA, a 401k plan or a 403b plan. They are very focused on helping their customers manage their finances and make the most of their investments.

$1 Million Life Insurance from Principal

At, we specialize in plans with a million dollars of coverage or more. We’ve spent years identifying the best companies for each kind of client.

Principal is one of those companies we’ve worked with. When we first talk to customers, they want to know how much they are going to spend on their coverage. Our answer is always the same, “it depends.”

We can’t tell you how much you’re going to pay without knowing your age, gender, tobacco usage, health problems, and more. Once we get all this info, we can give you exact rates.

Until then, we will give you a generic quote to give you an idea of how much you MIGHT pay.

If you’re a 30-year-old male who is buying a $1 million plan from Principal and you don’t smoke, you may receive rates around $80 a month. This is for an applicant who gets preferred rates.

If your a female in the same situation looking for $1 million, you may get slightly cheaper premiums at $66 a month.

The older you are when you apply, the higher your premiums are going to be. Let’s look at a 40-year-old man looking for $1 million in life insurance. With Principal, a 40-year-old man who doesn’t smoke and gets preferred rates will pay a little less than $100 every month in premiums.

How do these rates compare to other companies? For the generic quotes we ran, Principal tended to be one of the more affordable options, especially for older applicants.

Another area where Principal tends to shine is with people who are in less than excellent health. If you have recently lost a lot of weight, you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, you’ll find lower premiums with Principal than other carriers out there.

They sell three riders you can add on to your plan:

  1. Accelerated Death Benefit
  2. Disability Income
  3. Child Protection

The more riders you add, the more expensive your monthly premiums are going to be, but these policies can ease some of the worries you might have.

Final Verdict on Principal Life Insurance

When it comes to buying life insurance from Principal, they are an excellent choice.

You don’t have anything to worry about. If you decide to buy the policy from Principal, you can complete an application on your computer, and if you don’t have any severe health problems, you can be approved fast.

They are a quality company with reasonable prices, but how do you know if they are right for you? The best way is to explore all of your options.

If you don’t have anything to compare it to, how do you know if it’s the best choice? Before you apply, take the time to do some searching.

Getting several quotes before you buy will allow you to see if you have the best price for your coverage.

You don’t have to do all of the shopping alone. You don’t have to do any of it. We can be your life insurance shoppers.

To get your quotes, you only have to do one thing: fill out the form on the side. That’s it. Answer those questions and you get your quotes.

About Jason Patterson

Jason Patterson has been in the insurance industry for over fifteen years. Starting in 2005, he became one of the first agents to sell medicare supplements online. From that small start, he grew an agency that helped thousands of people with their insurance needs in all fifty states.

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