Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? – Can You Make Money Selling Life Insurance?

Hey, welcome to my Primerica review! Perhaps you’re here because you’ve heard about Primerica, or somebody tried to recruit you in Primerica business. So now you’re doing your research to see what is Primerica all about, and most importantly, get your answer to the question: Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?

I have already reviewed a lot of MLM opportunities here on my website.

And there’s one common thing I’ve noticed, among many others, is that all of these companies are making their business opportunity sound so good and easy to do and that if you get involved with them, you are going to make a lot of money and change your life for the better.

But these, in essence, are things they want you to believe in, and there are also things they are not telling you upfront.

So, before going headlong into Primerica, it helps a lot to make a good research on the company, so that you know right from the start what you are getting yourself into.

I have already made this research for you so you don’t have to endlessly browse the internet trying to put together all the pieces of the puzzle. You’ve got everything you need in one place.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the facts right now!


Primerica OverviewIs Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - The Logo

Full Name: Primerica Financial Services

Type: MLM Business Opportunity

Primerica’s Official Website: www.primerica.com

Founder: Arthur L. Williams Jr.

Year of Establishment: 1977

Price to Join: $99

Recommended? No


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What is Primerica?Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - The Logo 2

Based in Duluth, Georgia, USA, Primerica (or as someone also calls it Prime America) is a multi-level marketing company selling life insurance and financial services.

Initially, the company was called A.L. Williams & Associates, as it was established by Arthur L. Williams.

Their philosophy is to buy a term policy and invest the difference that you’re saving.

Thus, you can get out of debt if this is what you are eventually looking for.


Who is the Founder?Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - The Founder

Arthur L. Williams Jr. is the founder of Primerica Financial Services and one of the American billionaires featured several times on Forbes.

Early in his life, Arthur aspired to be a professional football coach.

But a circumstance from his personal life to some extent determined Arthur to take another path in life.

When his father unexpectedly died from a heart attack in 1965 and left his family underinsured even though he had a whole life insurance policy, Arthur’s cousin introduced him to the concept of term life insurance.

At that time, this alternative to whole life insurance was almost never sold and rarely heard of in the industry but Arthur decided, in 1970, to join his cousin at ITT Financial Services that later on went out of business.

Six months prior to ITT Financial Services collapse, Williams went on board with Waddell & Reed, another Buy term, and invest the difference (BTID) company.

Despite the fact that Arthur gained momentum with this company and enjoyed numerous benefits working with Waddell & Reed, the organizational structure was putting some limitations on how much the company could grow, in Arthur’s perspective.

This leads him to establish his own company in 1977, in which a lot of emphases are being put on people.

If you’d like to know more about Arthur Williams, here is a video about his career and how he started Primerica:

 


What is Primerica’s Financial Situation?

When reviewing different MLM business opportunities, I like to have a look at the company’s overall financial indicators.

It’s not giving much information on how good the opportunity is for an average person but it shows how well (or bad) the company is performing financially.

In the end, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to join a company that’s registering negative numbers, right?

Well, it seems that it’s not the case of Primerica, though.

Over the last few years, the company has experienced a steadily growth.

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Financial Situation

 

It’s obvious that there’s something that Primerica is doing right.

Just to compare, one of the MLM companies that are doing the worst these days, is Zija International.


What are Primerica’s Products?

Primerica sells a range of insurance, investment, and debt products to consumers. Here are the main service categories:

Financial Needs Analysis

Term Life, Investments

Auto & Home Insurance

Long-Term Care Insurance

Pre-Paid Legal

Identity Theft Protection.

For that purpose, Primerica partners with a lot of related companies in the United States like Axa and Lincoln Financial Group.

So, in essence, they don’t do the financial or insurance services themselves.

They find the best company for each client and with a contract make sure the client gets what they pay for.

 

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Partners

 

If you are thinking of becoming a Primerica representative, you are going to be expected to sell those services, in exchange for a commission.

It is interesting that customers can go directly to these companies if they need this type of service.

So, it could be difficult for you to sell these services as an MLM representative because people are already sick and tired of MLMs and generally, don’t like to be sold to.


Are Primerica Products Worth the Price?

First of all, it worths mentioning that Primerica products are generally more expensive than its market competitors.

Guys from www.valuepenguin.com have made a comparison of Primerica’s term life insurance quotes against 50 insurers that showed that Primerica is more expensive for the same coverage, on average between 11% and 30%.

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - More Expensive Than Competitiors

 

On top of that, Primerica is receiving a good deal of customer complaints.

On BBB (Better Business Bureau) alone, Primerica received 114 customer complaints in the last 3 years.

Of those, only 38 complaints were closed in the last 12 months.

This tells us that Primerica could have been worked better at resolving issues people are having with their service.

Here’s a screenshot of what people are saying about Primerica services on BBB:

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Customers Complaints


How Much Does it Cost to Join Primerica?

If you want to become a Primerica distributor, you’ll have to pay $99 for your Independent Business Application.

This includes classroom courses and books, and also an official “Primerica Sales License” and a background check

Every new Primerica distributor needs to undergo a screening process.

They’ll check for your background for any criminal record and things like that.

This ensures the quality of their Sales Representative which is a good thing.

Also, there’s a monthly subscription fee of $25 for the online support system (your Primerica website).


How to Make Money With Primerica?

Primerica is different from the rest MLMs just by the fact that it’s not selling skincare or weight loss products.

But the principles of making money are pretty much the same.

The first way to make money is to sell Primerica insurance plans and other financial services yourself.

When you get somebody to sign up for Primerica services, you earn 25% of the contract value. 

Another way is to recruit people underneath you.

In this case, your job is going to be to determine amongst those whom you’ve signed up as a customer, who wants to continue with Primerica business opportunity.

When you start building up your team of distributors, you then get the chance to earn overrides (up to 95%, depending on what is your rank) from what they are selling, and also, from what your distributors’ team is making, and so on, up to eleven levels.  


Does Primerica Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?

Once you join Primerica and pay all the associated fees, you’ll get your Primerica replicated websites.

All the sales that you’ll make through your website, will be automatically assigned to you.

But before you get excited about this opportunity to build your business through the internet, I want you to think about how your website is going to stand out from all those websites that were already launched when other people joined Primerica a long time before you?

These replicated websites look pretty much identical and all that differs are little snippets of codes that, in essence, serve to differentiate whose a particular website is.


Is Primerica Legitimate?

The pro of this company is that Primerica is legitimate as long as there is a product/service behind it.

If you manage to sell Primerica’s products, you can make money with them.

Primerica is also rated A+ on BBB which in essence, is a good sign, as BBB’s mission is to advance marketplace trust.

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - BBB Accreditation

 

If you are familiar with BBB, most probably you know that it’s very hard for a company to be accredited by BBB and get an A+ rating.

What’s even better is that this company has been in business for more than 40 years and they got BBB accreditation since 1980.

If this company is a scam or a pyramid scheme, it would be impossible for them to maintain such a good rating for such a long period of time.


Can You Make Money With Primerica?

Before deciding to join Primerica, I want you to answer this question for yourself: Where are you going to find the people to sell life insurance to?

Because, normally, Primerica will not give you any list of potential customers, and if you want to make money with Primerica, it’s your responsibility to find people who would be interested to buy Primerica products.

You’ll be advised to create your own list, usually formed of your friends and family members, or your job colleagues, neighbors, etc.

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Sell to Friends and Family

 

Then try to sit down and sell him/her life insurance. That’s kind of difficult to do. You have to be a very good salesperson to do that.

I’m not saying you can’t do that, or you can’t learn how to do that but this can make a lot of people uncomfortable because it’s not the easiest skillset to learn.

The next question I want you to ask yourself is: do you want to be a financial adviser, and are you ready to study in order to become one?

If your answer to any of these questions is no, then most probably Primerica is not for you.

In order to be able to make money with Primerica, you’ll need to be a good financial planner. For this purpose, you will need to study, pass some exams, and get a license to become an insurance agent.

Otherwise, it would be illegal for you to speak to customers about life insurance.

If this was not enough for you, I’d want to give you some numbers from Primerica’s annual income disclosure statement (this document shows who makes what and at what level, on average), if the company would have such a document publicly available.

Unfortunately, Primerica doesn’t disclose this information which itself is a red flag.

However, I have found some information on Truthinadvertising.org, that asked Primerica about average distributors earnings and this is how they answered this question:

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Representatives' Earnings for 2018

 

So, they did it very generally, not giving many details about the ranks and income on those ranks.

They’ve just stated that, on average, Primerica representatives earned $6, 069 for the entire year of 2018.

Could you totally rely on the income you’d make from selling Primerica?

It’s obvious that you’ll need to seek other sources of income too.


The Good and The Bad

PROs

#1. Reasonable Startup Costs

Is $99+$25 seems a lot for you to start your own business?

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The $99 is refundable and it’s for the purpose of sales license and screening. The only major long-term cost is $25/month, which is really affordable for most people.

#2. Publicly Listed Company

Primerica first became a publicly listed company in 1989 on the New York Stock Exchange. 

#3. Trustworthy Distributors

As I have explained earlier on, every new distributor that joins Primerica has to undergo a certain screening and background check. Once they’re approved, they get an official “Primerica Sales License”.

This process ensures that Primerica representatives are of a certain quality. You can hardly find any other MLM company that would have that strict onboarding process. 


CONs

#1. Need to Go Through a Proper Training

Although they are telling you that people from all walks of life can join Primerica and be successful at selling financial and insurance services, there is a need for going through more training than in any other MLM.

This is because insurance is a highly regulated industry, and there is a need for you to get certain licensees in order to be able to legally sell those services.

#2. Most People Failed to Make Sustainable Income With Primerica

I have already mentioned this earlier in this post, that already existent Primerica distributors are not making enough money to “live the life of their dreams”, which Primerica is promising you in its presentational videos. 

In addition, here’s what people are telling on Indeed.com about what it takes to be a Primerica representative:

 

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Reviews on Indeed.com

 

 

#3. Beware of Lawsuits Around Primerica

Unfortunately, Primerica is another MLM company that couldn’t avoid the reputation of scandalous lawsuits.

In 2012, the company got involved in a series of lawsuits that alleged that Primerica’s representatives sought to profit by earning commissions after convincing Florida firefighters, teachers and other public workers to divest from safe government-secured retirement investments to inappropriate high-risk retirement products offered by Primerica.

There were 238 cases in total and Primerica had to pay $15.4 million to settle those allegations.


My Final Opinion About Primerica + A Better Alternative

To sum up, about Primerica, it works, it’s legit, they’re a good company, lots of people are making money with them.

However, the majority of people that get involved with them, a lot of them don’t really start seeing results of making money up to a year or two because they have to get good at selling, at getting referrals, they have to learn properly how to recruit other people, and train and motivate them to do this Primerica business.

Most of the people who join, usually don’t like to sell and that’s why they sooner or later quit.

And as the majority of MLMs compensation plans tell us that the real potential for making money lies in building your team, if your team is not making money, either do you. So, in my opinion, it’s a lot of effort for so little return. 

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It’s a lot more passive way to make money.

In fact, it’s a way to create passive income for yourself and your family, as once you built this business, you’ll get paid over and over again for the work that you did just once.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and now, you’ve got your answer to the question: Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave then in the comments section down below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.

I wish you to stay well and safe, and I’ll talk to you within my next post very soon!

Natalie

Primerica MLM

$99
5.7

Product

7.0/10

Support

6.0/10

Business Opportunity

4.0/10

Pros

  • Reasonable Start-up Costs
  • Publicly-Traded Company
  • Trustworthy Distributors

Cons

  • Most People Failed to Make a Sustainable Income
  • Customers' Complaints
  • Beware of Lawsuits Around Primerica

5 thoughts on “Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? – Can You Make Money Selling Life Insurance?”

  1. Wow, it really looks like you can’t make anything with this program at all.

    I think what worries me the most is the statistics you gave from the BBB, the last thing I would want is to be caught up in a lawsuit, even if you won the lawyers’ bills would still bankrupt you.

    Thanks for the frank review of this product.

    Reply
  2. Hello Natalie, this is the first time I have come across a review on Primerica MLM.

    Your article prompted me to view their site and check out any offers.

    I realize that they help families better understand their personal finances, by offering a needs analysis on finances.

    I particularly liked the fact that you explained the pros and cons of Primerica and laid this out in a very simple and easy to read manner.

    You also offered alternatives to making extra income for families such as blogging and affiliate marketing.

    Thanks for this very insightful post!x

    Reply
  3. Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Natalie!

    One of my cousins used to work for Primerica, but he left for the very reasons you listed-he couldn’t make a sustainable income with them, he didn’t like seeing so many negative reviews after he began working there (that apparently weren’t there when he started working for them. Haha), and Primerica was sued twice while he was employed by them (he understandably didn’t want to be associated with a company in a nasty lawsuit).

    I’ve never done any business with them but based on what you said, coupled with my cousin’s experiences, I will be staying away from them at all costs, BBB accreditation and all.

    Haha, Great read! God bless you!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for the detailed info about Primerica.

    I think your review was honest as you outlined the pros and cons and tackled the subject from several angles to give the reader a thorough view to make informed decisions.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Hello Natalie,
    Thanks for this very DETAILED review on Primerica.
    A few years ago, a friend of mine approached me with becoming a member. It was totally new to me and I found out along the way that it is LOADs of hard work and minimal ROI…mainly your time.
    I did not stay with the business for more than 3 months because just as you outlined, you really need education in insurance especially if you plan to sell any of the associated products being offered by Primerica agents.
    Would I do it again – nope – but I sure wish I had your review before I had invested time and money. In any event, water under the bridge and I chalk it up to life experience. Thanks so much.
    Michelle

    Reply

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