My Beef With Primerica

Formally known as Al Williams, Primerica is a financial services company based on the direct marketing or “MLM” Model with over 100,000 representatives. The company focus primarily on the life insurance with the “buy term, invest the rest” strategy and thus only market Term products. Many people question the “Pyramid” structure of multilevel marketing companies like Primerica. however in my view this is a very minor consideration and the company has a host of other problems which are far worse.

It’s the Attitude

Primerica agents are some of the most disliked within the entire industry. The agents would have you believe this is because Primerica is the single rebel facing off against an entire system perpetuated by evil agents out to make money at your expense. It’s their truth that infuriates the “status quo”. However the reality is far less sinister; it’s the attitude. Primerica agents strut around like they are gods solution to everything wrong with the industry. They constantly lecture the rest of us on how evil we are for marketing whole life products while they convince clients to replace their old whole life policy with a Primerica term.

It would be bad enough if the agents were just cocky, but combine that with the fact that the average Primerica agent is wholly uneducated on the topics they preach. Many Primerica agents are recruited right off of the street thanks to it’s MLM model. These agents are then taught the mantra of Primerica and released into the world to do the lord’s work. The agents that stick around long enough to hit RVP then teach the very same mantra to their recruits and the cycle goes on. Many Primerica agents don’t grasp even the basic concepts of how whole life insurance works; demonstrating a lack of understanding with built in guarantees, and potential dividend growth.

One could argue that passing their state licensing exams proves that they have the required knowledge to sell insurance. However as someone who also passed their state exams I can tell you that this is absolutely meaningless. The exams mostly cover the legal considerations of the industry but cover virtually nothing when it comes to actually helping the client. This may be my own anecdotal experience, but when I got licensed and started selling insurance I knew nothing about the industry. The company that I worked for didn’t really teach, but rather used us as phone fodder. As a result I held some very ignorant views. I didn’t understand that insurance and finance were intertwined. When looking only at insurance and ignoring everything else I couldn’t see the merit of term insurance at all. I actually refereed to it as “Trap” insurance. It wasn’t until I was in the industry for some time that I learned the merits of term when paired with a proper investing strategy. Does this mean I was a bad agent that didn’t do what was right for my client? No. It just means I was ignorant and needed much more training. Even today I’m constantly learning new things and refining my understanding of finances. This long ramble serves to illustrate a point. Getting licensed doesn’t necessarily make you qualified.

Mindlessly Replacing

One thing I’ve noticed from my friends in Primerica is they brag about replacing those terrible whole life policies far more than actually seeking out new uninsured clients. While It’s fine to replace a policy when the merits are there; Primerica agents see whole life as something that should “ALWAYS” be replaced. Never mind if it’s an important part of a larger financial plan. Never mind if the client is close to retirement age. Never mind If they have had it for years and replacing it would be catastrophic.

The thing Primerica agents don’t get is that term isn’t the one sized fits all solution. Sure young adults with families and kids might very well be better off with term, but not every client is a young adult with a family. Whole life makes a lot of sense for those clients that are looking for final expense policies with guarantees and no risk in the market. It makes a lot of sense for a professional seeking business succession planning. It’s the only real solution for high net worth individuals looking for estate planning. If ever there is a permanent need for insurance than permanent insurance is what makes sense. But god forbid someone halfway through their plan has the misfortune of sitting with a Primerica agent…

Expensive Products

Those that have drank the Primerica cool aid will actually argue that whole life companies sell subpar term to encourage clients to purchase whole life. Which makes it quite ironic that companies like New York Life for example (A company I am not affiliated with) has some of the most affordable term rates in the industry. Meanwhile Primerica has some of the most expensive. This means that the whole life company with sub par term actually has better term than Primerica.

The agents will often rebut this with the argument that Primerica term has a lot of features that makes it worth paying the premium. Such as the guarantee to purchase more insurance at a guaranteed rate. Besides the fact this feature isn’t unique to Primerica, in many cases the client would still be better off purchasing twice as much insurance at a more affordable price now than waiting to double the insurance later. In fact in some cases you can buy twice the amount of insurance for the same price.

Trash Talk

Primerica agents will be the first to slander other professionals as greedy bastards out to benefit themselves at their clients expense. This doesn’t really hold up to water. Firstly a professional can make much more charging a client yearly for assets under management than with whole life retirement alternatives. Secondly how is making $600.00 off of a whole life case any more “greedy” than up selling the client twice the insurance and still walking away with $600.00? At that point it’s about advising the client the pros and cons of both and letting them decide.

Conclusion

This doesn’t mean that Primerica is a bad company. Nor does it mean that if you have Primerica insurance you should replace it. I’m sure some Primerica agents are well meaning and don’t necessarily fit into this list, the vast majority in my experience have a cult like mentality and could do with opening their minds a bit. There is no universal solution. And we should always have be open to the idea that we aren’t as smart as we think we are. We can always learn something from somebody.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “My Beef With Primerica

Add yours

      1. Sorry it took this long to reply lol. Didn’t see the notice that you replied. But your information cannot be backed up by actual facts.
        1. “Primerica agents are some of the most disliked within the entire industry.” How did you come to this conclusion? Is this backed up by fact?
        2. “Meanwhile Primerica has some of the most expensive. This means that the whole life company with sub par term actually has better term than Primerica.” Again, just personal opinion. Not one ounce of fact to back yourself up. Cheaper always means better? I beg to differ. Because a Honda is cheaper than a Cadillac, does that make it better?
        3. “It would be bad enough if the agents were just cocky, but combine that with the fact that the average Primerica agent is wholly uneducated on the topics they preach. ” Once again, my friend, your personal bias opinion.

        I could go on and on debunking your remarks, however experience has taught me no matter what I say no one can change anyone else’s mind. If you are going to write a blog post bashing a company, use cold hard searchable facts, not your personal opinion.

        Also, I appreciate your non-affiliation with NYL, even though that’s a lie from a simple Facebook search of you.

        Like

  1. As someone who has bounced around a bit I can tell you that Primerica reps are not very well liked. Nobody takes them seriously.

    Primerica objectively does have very expensive term. That can be measured. Again. As a broker I can shop around for the best term rates available and have experienced Primerica rates first hand. Any objective measurement shows Primerica has expensive term. Just as Mass Mutual has expensive term. And no cheaper is not always better. But when you use cheaper is better as an argument against whole life then you better have some of the cheapest term rates in the industry to back it up.

    I was affiliated with Primerica for a short time and experienced everything first hand. I spoke to agents that hated whole life but didn’t know that whole life companies paid dividends.

    Also I’m not affiliated with NYL. I used to work at NYL. But they are a bunch of politically correct pussies that will throw their agents under the bus to avoid a fat feminist backlash if you hold politically incorrect views. Again. I know NYL’s rates first hand because I used to work for them.

    But you don’t have to take my word for it. A simple google search will give a non bias rate comparison.

    As for the Primerica reps being uneducated. I never said All primerica reps are uneducated. But the fact is most are because they haven’t been given the proper training and many fall out in year one.

    All agents are uneducated in their first few years. I’m a few years in and I’m still ignorant of many insurance topics. That’s why I work with other experienced agents. And that’s with Weekly training on advanced financial topics along with self study.

    Again. Not all Primerica reps are bad. I’ve dealt with a few that were good knowledgeable agents. They weren’t pushy. And in fact invited me to continue attending events even after I went to a whole life company. However many Primerica reps are unqualified because of the nature of the MLM model. That doesn’t make Primerica a bad company. It simply means it faces a different set of problems than most mainstream financial planning companies.

    The crux of this argument is I can’t stand the “Attitude” of the holy than thou you get from most Primerica reps.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: