New York Life Insurance Vs. Primerica: What’s The Difference?

New York Life Insurance and Primerica are two major players in the life insurance industry. With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to decide which company may be best for your needs. This comprehensive guide will compare and contrast New York Life and Primerica life insurance to help you make an informed decision.

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryNew York LifePrimerica
Type of CompanyMutual company owned by policyholdersPublicly traded company
Types of Insurance OfferedTerm, whole, universal, and variable lifeMainly term life
Coverage AmountsCustomizable based on needs$25K to $500K based on age and health
Policy Length10+ years for term, permanent options too10, 15, 20 or 30 years
Financial Strength RatingsHighest from all major agenciesHigh but slightly below New York Life
Customer ServiceStrong reputation, responsiveNeeds-based selling, some complaints
CostsPermanent policies have level premiums. Term costs more than Primerica initially but doesn’t increase.Very low initial term premiums but increases annually at renewal.
ProsHighest financial strength, dividend payouts, variety of policiesAffordable rates, needs-based selling, middle-income focus
ConsPremiums higher than PrimericaTerm premiums increase, lower ratings than NY Life

Overview of New York Life Insurance

Founded in 1845, New York Life Insurance Company is one of the largest and oldest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. It is well-regarded for its financial strength, high ratings from credit agencies, variety of products, and reputation for reliable customer service.

New York Life Insurance
New York Life Insurance

Some key facts about New York Life:

  • Operates as a mutual company, meaning it is owned by policyholders rather than shareholders.
  • Offers a wide range of permanent and term life insurance policies. Permanent options include whole, universal, and variable life insurance.
  • Has paid dividends to eligible policyholders every year since 1854.
  • Holds the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from the major credit rating agencies.
  • Maintains over $600 billion in assets under management and has paid out over $1.7 trillion in benefits since 1845.
  • Provides additional financial products and services including annuities, long-term care insurance, and investment management.

Overview of Primerica Life Insurance

Primerica is a leading insurance and financial services company in North America. It focuses on term life insurance and investment products targeted to middle-income consumers.

Some key facts about Primerica:

  • Originally founded in 1977 as a unit of Citigroup known as A.L. Williams. Became an independent company known as Primerica in 2010.
  • Operates under a multi-level marketing model with over 120,000 independent representatives selling Primerica products.
  • Specializes in 10, 15, 20, and 30-year term life insurance policies at affordable rates. Also offers permanent cash value life insurance.
  • Offers mutual funds, annuities, segregated funds, and other investment products through Primerica Advisors.
  • Insured over 5 million lives with term life insurance as of 2018. Has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best.
  • Provides needs-based analysis for life insurance and helps families become properly protected, debt free, and financially independent.

Also Read: Comparison Between Family First Life And Symmetry Financial

Key Differences Between New York Life And Primerica Insurance

  • Comparing Coverage and Policy Options

When choosing a life insurance policy, key considerations include the types of policies available, coverage amount limits, pricing, and length of coverage. Here is how New York Life and Primerica compare:

Types of Life Insurance Offered

  1. New York Life provides an extensive portfolio of policy types including term, whole life, universal life, and variable life insurance. Primerica focuses on term life insurance.
  2. Primerica’s term life policies can be renewed annually beyond the initial 10-30 year term. New York Life offers term policies with longer terms up to 40 years.

Coverage Limits

  1. New York Life does not disclose the minimum or maximum face amounts available. Coverage can be customized based on need.
  2. Primerica’s term life policies start with a minimum of $25,000 in coverage. Maximum is $500,000 depending on age and health.


  1. New York Life uses a proprietary pricing structure based on age, health, lifestyle, and more. Permanent life policies build cash value and have level premiums.
  2. Primerica term life premiums begin low but increase every time the policy renews. Rates are based on age, health, and coverage amount.

Policy Length

  1. New York Life permanent life insurance policies provide lifetime coverage. Term lengths can be 10, 15, 20 years or longer.
  2. Primerica’s term life insurance covers 10, 15, 20, or 30 years initially. Policies must be renewed annually after the term at increased rates.
  3. Financial Strength and Ratings

Choosing an insurer that is financially sound is key to ensuring your policy will pay out as expected. Here is how the companies compare based on independent industry ratings:

A.M. Best Ratings

  1. New York Life: A++ (Superior) – highest of 16 possible ratings
  2. Primerica: A+ (Superior) – second highest of 16 possible ratings

Standard & Poor’s Ratings

  1. New York Life: AA+ – highest of 22 possible ratings
  2. Primerica: AA+ – highest of 22 possible ratings

Moody’s Ratings

  1. New York Life: Aaa – highest of 21 possible ratings
  2. Primerica: A2 – fifth highest of 21 possible ratings

Fitch Ratings

  1. New York Life: AAA – highest of 24 possible ratings
  2. Primerica: AA – third highest of 24 possible ratings

Comdex Ranking

  1. New York Life: 98 – highest possible score
  2. Primerica: 92

Based on these ratings, New York Life maintains the edge for financial strength. But both companies receive high marks indicating stability and the ability to pay out claims.

  • Customer Service Experience

In addition to strong financials, the quality of customer service heavily influences client satisfaction. Here is how the insurers compare:

Primerica Life Insurance
Primerica Life Insurance

New York Life

  1. Known for reliable customer service and supportive agents. Many agents work directly for the company rather than as independent contractors.
  2. Offers Brickhouse, an online self-service platform for policy management and servicing.
  3. Customer service available by phone, email, online chat, and mobile app.
  4. No major scandals related to sales practices or misconduct toward customers.


  1. Focus is on need-based selling and education. Representatives conduct careful needs analysis.
  2. Some complaints about aggressive sales tactics from representatives. Allegations of inadequate disclosures in the past.
  3. Customer support by phone, email, and online. Mobile app provides account access.
  4. Lower Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating compared to New York Life (B+ vs A+).

When it comes to customer service, New York Life appears to have an edge in responsiveness, quality assurance, and avoiding customer complaints. But Primerica representatives provide needs-based selling and financial education.

  • Costs and Fees

Pricing is another key consideration when selecting life insurance. Here is an overview of costs associated with New York Life and Primerica:

New York Life

  1. Permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and has level premiums designed to remain consistent each year.
  2. Sample annual premium for $500,000 of coverage – Age 30: $2,400
  3. Term life policies begin with lower premiums at first then increase over time if renewed.
  4. Sample annual premium for $500,000 of coverage – Age 30, 20-year term: $540


  1. Term life policies start with low premiums then increase each time the policy renews annually.
  2. Sample annual premium for $250,000 of coverage – Age 30, 20-year term: $230
  3. Focus is affordability for middle-income clients. Lower cost than New York Life.
  4. Primerica representatives earn commissions on policies sold.

Additional Fees

  1. New York Life has no policy or maintenance fees. Primerica typically does not charge fees.
  2. Primerica representatives may earn commissions on policies sold. New York Life agents can earn commission but often work directly for the insurer.

Based on upfront cost, Primerica offers more affordable term life insurance compared to New York Life. But premiums increase annually after the initial term. Permanent insurance from New York Life comes with level premiums and cash value growth.

Watch this review video:

Pros and Cons of Each Provider

New York Life Pros

  • Highest financial strength and stability ratings in the industry
  • Wide variety of permanent and term life insurance options
  • Strong reputation for customer service and claims payments
  • Conservative investment approach protects cash value growth
  • Dividends paid to eligible policyholders every year since 1854

New York Life Cons

  • Premiums can be higher compared to Primerica
  • Fewer options for middle-income buyers looking for temporary coverage
  • Does not disclose much pricing information publicly

Primerica Pros

  • Specializes in affordable term life insurance
  • Represents over 100 insurance companies to offer competitive pricing
  • Needs-based analysis by representatives
  • Focus on educating middle-income families on finances
  • Lower starting premiums than New York Life

Also Read: Comparison Between Primerica And Northwestern Mutual.

Primerica Cons

  • Not rated as highly by credit agencies compared to New York Life
  • Term premiums increase every renewal period
  • Some complaints about sales and business practices
  • Representatives earn commissions based on sales

When weighing the pros and cons, New York Life stands out for financial stability, permanent life insurance options, and service quality. Primerica beats New York Life on affordability and needs-based selling to middle-income consumers.

Which Is the Better Choice?

So which life insurance company is better overall – New York Life or Primerica? The answer depends on your budget, needs, and preferences. Here are some key considerations:

  • If you want permanent lifetime coverage, New York Life may be the better option. Primerica specializes in temporary term insurance.
  • If you want the highest financial strength and most enduring company, choose New York Life. But Primerica is also highly rated.
  • If you want the absolute lowest cost term insurance for 10-30 years, Primerica likely offers more affordable rates.
  • For middle-income families, Primerica provides needs-based advice and education some may find helpful
  • If you want an extensive selection of policy types and features, New York Life offers greater customization.

For many buyers, the decision will come down to budget and whether you prefer permanent or temporary coverage. It’s wise to get quotes from both companies. An independent insurance agent can provide quotes and advice to help you determine the better option for your situation.

Also Read: Comparison Between MEDICA And Blue Cross Blue Shield

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is New York Life like Primerica?

While both prominent insurers, New York Life and Primerica take very different approaches. New York Life offers a wide range of permanent and term policies. Primerica specializes in lower cost term insurance for middle-income families. New York Life has higher financial strength ratings while Primerica wins on affordability.

Is Primerica a good insurance to have?

Primerica is a reputable company with highly rated term life insurance policies. It is a great option for those wanting temporary coverage on a budget. Make sure to be comfortable with the annually increasing premiums and be aware of sales representative commissions.

How legit is Primerica life insurance?

Primerica is a legitimate life insurance provider rated A+ by A.M. Best. They have insured over 5 million policyholders. While some complaints exist about sales tactics, their insurance policies are real and represent over 100 reputable insurers. Primerica also provides investment and other financial products.

Is New York Life Insurance Company legit?

Yes, New York Life Insurance Company is a legitimate insurer with the highest ratings for financial strength. Founded in 1845, New York Life manages over $600 billion in assets and has paid dividends to eligible policyholders every year since 1854. Their long history, conservative investments, variety of policies, and strong customer service make them a top choice for life insurance.

The Bottom Line

When choosing between Primerica and New York Life for your life insurance needs, consider your budget, desire for permanent or temporary coverage, financial strength importance, and customer service expectations. Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your situation. Obtaining quotes from both can help you find the best rate. Work with an independent agent to determine if New York Life, Primerica, or another company meets your needs.

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