Primerica Review – Pyramid Scheme or Legit MLM?

Primerica is a company that provides insurance, investment, and financial services. It is not a pyramid scheme, though it has been described as a multi-level marketing (MLM) company.

There is a good chance that you heard about Primerica through someone – a friend or family member.

Many people these days are looking for additional income, and you are most likely one of them. There was then an opportunity to work from home by joining Primerica as one of their agents.

However, as I’ll discuss in this review, there are some reasons why success with Primerica is unlikely. Experienced salespeople and well-funded recruiters are the only ones I can think of to have real success with this MLM program.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Primerica. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to the Primerica MLM program that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

What is Primerica?

Primerica, Inc (NYSE: PRI) is a company that provides insurance, investment and financial services to middle-income families in the United States and Canada. It is the parent company of National Benefit Life Insurance Company, Primerica Life, Peach Re and Vidalia Re. It went public in 2010.

Primerica’s products include term life insurance, annuities, and financial investments, which cater to middle-income families. The company doesn’t offer permanent policies such as universal or whole life insurance and actively promotes term life insurance.

Primerica’s term life insurance policies are not bad per se, but the company’s high prices and questionable sales tactics have earned it a bad reputation among insurance industry insiders.

In 2021, Primerica earned $900 billion from active term life insurance.

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Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme?

It is easy to mistakenly assume that Primerica is a pyramid scheme because of the way they do business. When you compare network marketing and pyramid schemes, the goods and services offered are the deciding factor.

Recruiters in a pyramid scheme usually promise members substantial returns on their initial investments, which is why the scheme is illegal. Those at the top of the pyramid recruit additional investors and receive a share of their returns, creating a cycle of growth and profit. 

Products and services are rarely delivered as promised, and initial costs can be prohibitive.

Recruiters in a pyramid scheme usually promise members high returns on their investments, so many people are enticed to join the scheme.

A one-time fee of $99 covers the cost of a background check, and $25 monthly fees cover the cost of Primerica’s marketing resources. The key difference is that recruiters in this case do not receive a share of early contributions. The commission structure is based on a share of sales of insurance and financial products. Primerica sales representatives receive commissions on both their own sales and the sales of their recruiters.

Given the prevalence of online pyramid scams, you should be wary of doing business with a company that uses a multi-level sales system. Even if it is a genuine company, this system can drive up prices for the end consumer.

The life insurance agent receives a commission and that he, in turn, must pay 11 other agents for their services. Primerica works this way, resulting in a higher initial investment compared to more conventional business models.

Is Primerica An MLM?

Primerica is not a pyramid scheme or scam, but a legal business model based on multi-level marketing. Contrary to popular belief that MLM companies are inherently fraudulent, Primerica appears to be a legitimate business.

In the business model known as multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing (NM), sales representatives build teams of salespeople who report to them and share in the revenue generated by those teams. The MLM business model is used by many reputable companies, especially in the banking and insurance sectors.

Sales representatives in multi-level marketing (sometimes called “network marketing”) earn commissions based on the sales of their downline recruits.

A rep’s main job in a multi-level marketing company is to recruit new salespeople to their team so they can earn higher commissions. The skills they develop as insurance salespeople are secondary to the skills they acquire in recruiting. Friends and family members of potential recruits are also often the target of emotional manipulation by reps.

For efficiency, Primerica agents do not need to be as knowledgeable about life insurance as their more traditional counterparts. Primerica customer service may not provide adequate support when you have critical questions about your coverage. Because of the lack of guidance, customers may purchase inadequate coverage.

Having a large number of people in one’s “downline” is essential for success in a multi-level marketing company like Primerica.

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What Products Does Primerica Offer?

Financial Needs Analysis

The Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) is a 100% marketing tool used by Primerica to identify “gaps” in your insurance and investment plan so that representatives can begin to look for places to sell.

Term Life Insurance

Primerica does have a good term life insurance product. Nonetheless, Primerica’s price for a simple term life insurance plan is up to 29 percent higher than the market average.


All investments and annuities on that side of your house are handled by Primerica’s financial investment sales department (PFS Investments Inc. dba Primerica Advisors).

Primerica has no ownership in this arrangement. Instead, it serves as a go-between for larger mutual funds and the insurance company.

Auto & Homeowners Insurance

Primerica Secure refers customers to Answer Financial to purchase auto and homeowners insurance. In other words, the business sent to Answer Financial by Primerica agents will pay them a small fee.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance pays policyholders a daily amount for services such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

You can select from a variety of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you require when and where you require them.

Primerica Debtwatchers™

Primerica has teamed up with Equifax to offer an online tool that helps you figure out how much debt you have and how to pay it off as one of their more recent products.

This program focuses heavily on debt accumulation and uses your Equifax credit report to assist you in developing a plan to get out of debt quickly.

Primerica Legal Protection Program

Primerica also sells Pre-Paid Legal Provider’s main product. Pre-Paid Legal/LegalShield is a company that provides basic legal services as a monthly membership and offers discounts to lawyers in their network.

ID Theft Defense

Another service provided by Primerica is ID Theft Defense. It is a product that functions similarly to LifeLock. Financial institutions have occasionally provided this type of service to their customers for free or at a reduced cost.

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Cons and Complaints of Primerica

1. Very Few People Can Make Money With Primerica

Success is difficult to achieve with an MLM company like Primerica.

You can look at the statistic that says 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money.

The reason for this is that MLMs have sales quotas that require members to continue selling products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions.

They will not be paid if they do not meet the quota.

As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

2. Losses From Primerica MLM Program Are Reframed As Investments

Primerica MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ in their business so as to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, dangling the carrot of future financial freedom. 

But the reality is that these are not investments. You are unlikely to get the money back. And the return on “investment” is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is cheating.

3. Primerica is a Cult

Why do people continue to work for Primerica if it appears to be so bad? Our investigation of MLMs revealed that they all have cult-like company cultures.

Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset.

MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement.

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them.

Rejection from people they once considered practically family is one of the most devastating losses experienced by former MLM representatives.

MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize their events and business over their personal lives in order to further embed them in the business while separating them from their family and friends.

4. You May Need to Purchase Primerica Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. It’s a losing proposition all around.

I think it’s quite ridiculous when you have to buy the products you are trying to sell. But this is very common for people who join MLMs like Primerica. That’s why in the long term, you are going to lose a lot of money, not to mention making money.

5. Primerica Products are Overpriced

As with other MLMs, Primerica offers overpriced products. Primerica’s cost for a simple term life insurance policy is up to 29% more expensive than the industry average for the same product.

In fact, Primerica scores poorly in the J.D. Power life insurance customer satisfaction study, and many customers use the Internet and the BBB to voice their problems with the company.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to sell Primerica products because it has a bad reputation and your prospects can buy the same product elsewhere at a much cheaper price.

This explains why most people who join MLMs only focus on recruitment instead of selling actual products.

6. Primerica’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Some people have benefited financially by joining a network marketing/MLM company. Unfortunately, most people who join MLMs are left with nothing but regret and a lot of useless products that they were unable to sell.

MLM like Primerica is fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top.

The majority of those in the top tier and pioneers make the most money, while those at the bottom will not even break even after a few months.

As a result, many people do not consider Primerica to be a legitimate business opportunity.

7. Primerica Is Like A Pyramid Scheme In Disguise

If you want to avoid losing money every month, the MLM will actually encourage you to recruit people.

Every system that requires you to recruit people in order to make money eventually looks like this.

Primerica is not a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense because you can earn money by selling their products.

However, in order to make a living, you will need to hire others in reality.

8. Recruiting is Required to Succeed

I don’t recommend MLMs to people for this reason. MLMs like Primerica put a lot of effort into recruiting. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with Primerica require recruiting. If you don’t recruit, you are destined to lose money at the end of the day.

My #1 recommended platform is different. You can make a 4-figure, 5-figure or even 6-figure passive income by promoting and selling products you truly like. You don’t have to recruit people but recommend useful and great products. I will tell you more at the end of this Primerica review.

9. Primerica Has Received Many Customer Complaints

Primerica has received nearly 140 customer complaints in the last three years. A large proportion of these complaints relate to the products and services offered.

Another problem is that Primerica only offers term life insurance, which customers must renew on a regular basis. Each renewal carries the risk that Primerica will reject the policy based on pre-existing conditions. Situations like this have led to a whole series of lawsuits, which Primerica is having investigated.

As an agent, it’ll be difficult for you to sell Primerica policies because many customers have had dissatisfactory experiences.

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Primerica Allegations and Lawsuits

In 2014, they faced 238 lawsuits from Florida state employees, all of which they settled for a total of $15.4 million.

Miriam Arellano brought another matter to the court’s attention. After meeting twice with a Primerica salesperson to purchase life insurance for her husband, filling out the application and medical questionnaire and being assured they qualified for a $100,000 policy, she filed suit against the company in 2014. 

Arellano had doubts because the premium was too high, but after further discussions, they agreed to increase coverage to $150,000 for a slightly higher premium. 

Unfortunately, in the ensuing confusion, the application was canceled, and Mr. Arellano died unexpectedly before the policy could take effect. 

The death benefit application was denied by Primerica because there was no active policy. She filed suit against Primerica for breach of contract and bad faith. Arellano won the case in court, and Primerica paid him $40,000.

The company has been in business for 43 years and has been accredited with the BBB since 1980, earning it an A+ rating. Of the approximately 100 complaints filed against the company during that time, most involve some aspect of its product offerings or billing practises. 

Cancellation of an insurance policy due to a delay in submitting direct deposit information, a problem with timely mutual fund releases, and so on are all examples.

How Much Money Can You Make At Primerica?

Primerica is a legitimate way to make money. But it won’t be easy and you won’t get rich overnight, even though some representatives may tell you that.

The company has published reports showing that the typical salary for a licensed rep is between $7,000 and $5,000 per year (or $415 and $583 monthly). Even if you devote all of your working hours to it, you won’t be able to make ends meet on that salary.

Moreover, Primerica’s entry-level commission structure is much lower than the norm I have observed in the financial services sector. Primerica insurance agents, for example, receive between 25 and 30 percent first-year commission (FYC) on all policies sold in the first year.

There is a possibility that these agents will make more money if they meet their production and recruitment goals. Until then, they can only prepare to fight or flight.

Primerica’s initial contract level of 25-30% FYC is too low in my opinion.

The few reps who manage to make hundreds of thousands per year are anomalies that likely skew the average salary. Since Primerica reps are compensated solely through commissions, calculating an exact hourly wage is next to impossible and would vary greatly depending on the individual.

Work ethic is not a guarantee of success in this MLM model, as in any other MLM.

You cannot make any money at all in this business unless you sell something or recruit a large number of agents.

If you do not get paid, you can feel extremely desperate, which could contribute to the bad reputation of the company.

It seems easier to make money with this company by recruiting agents than by making sales. In fact, the company team strongly encourages this.

How Much Does It Cost To Join Primerica MLM?

It costs $99 to get started, which is a one-time fee. Then, in order to continue working as a Primerica recruiter, you must pay $25 per month.

You don’t have to pay extra or sell or buy a certain number of other products each month to stay active.

Primerica Compensation Plan

Primerica offers four main ways to earn a commission:

Sales Commissions on Insurance

You are compensated when you sell any type of financial plan.

Overrides on Downline’s Insurance

10% override commissions on sales generated by your downlines.

Differentials from Downline’s Insurance Sales

You earn money by assisting your downlines in selling insurance.

Commission on Other Products

You can earn money by selling any other Primerica product.

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Positive and Negative Feedback From Primerica MLM Participants

Positive Feedbacks

  • MLM Opportunity at Low Prices
  • Excellent BBB rating
  • Extremely thorough screening
  • Primerica does not operate as a pyramid scheme.

Negative Feedbacks

  • Many complaints about the products
  • Primerica’s multi-level marketing plan has flaws.
  • Few success stories and a low earning potential

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Should You Become A Primerica Representative?

To help you make an informed decision about becoming a Primerica representative, we go over company culture, training, and other relevant information.

Fees And Schedule

Primerica’s website is entirely dedicated to the “business opportunity” of becoming a licensed professional through the organization.

When you sign up as a Primerica representative, from the time you decide to become a licensed representative and obtain your insurance license (which, as far as I can see, costs about $99 and is not funded by the company), you are responsible for your own time and efforts.

When you work as a Primerica representative, your time is your own. The hours, schedule and methods of your work are up to you. The company gives you complete control over your income, as it depends solely on your sales and the sales of those you attract to the company.

So whether you make money depends on your ability to produce leads for either goal. 

Unfortunately, my research into the Primerica experience has shown that you are not provided with many resources or training on generating leads.

Pitching To Friends And Family

Primerica advises focusing instead on your “warm market,” i.e., the people who are in your personal and professional network.

Assuming you pass the training, you will soon be constantly trying to attract members of your personal networks by selling them things and inviting them to join your team. This is not required, but it is highly recommended.

So that’s Primerica’s formula for success. As a sales strategy, it takes advantage of the relationships its representatives already have with potential customers.

Working Culture

Licensed representatives have the autonomy and independence that attracts many people to the profession, but some workers complain about the intense pressure and “cult-like” atmosphere.

Before you decide if this is the right choice for you, I recommend you take everything with a grain of salt and do thorough research on websites that are not biased or affiliated with the company.

In summary, I would say that you will be working in a culture that may or may not be a good fit for you, and that a lot depends on your ability to attract new customers and vendors.

You should only join Primerica if you are up to the task, have experience selling to people in your “warm market” and believe in the same things the company does. A more secure source of income would be more deserving of your time and effort.

Is Primerica a Scam or Legit?

Primerica is not a scam. It is a legit insurance company that uses a multi-level marketing strategy, with eleven tiers of representatives and recruiters selling financial products and services for commission.

In contrast, a fraud is defined in the Oxford Living Dictionary as “a dishonest scheme; a deception” 

However, it is unlikely that you can make a living selling Primerica products. In fact, the majority of Primerica salespeople work only part-time. A few people can earn money as a full-time Primerica representative, but only if you put in a lot of effort. And they usually make a lot of money at Primerica by advertising aggressively.

Worse, Primerica’s term life insurance has a bad reputation. However, company representatives are told that anything beyond term life insurance is undesirable because the product has a much higher profit margin 

The company sells term life insurance but does not offer life insurance quotes on its website, making it difficult to compare prices with other insurers.

In fact, several lawsuits were filed against Primerica in 2012 alleging that the company’s representatives tried to profit by earning commissions after convincing Florida firefighters, teachers and other public employees to switch from safe, government-backed annuity investments to Primerica’s high-risk annuity products.

As a result, some people think Primerica is a scam.

Primerica Review: Final Verdict

Here comes the conclusion of my Primerica review. Overall, I don’t recommend joining Primerica MLM program to make money.

You will have a tough time in the beginning when you are prospecting and trying to find recruiters to add to your Primerica commission.

The worst part is that you practically have to ask your family and friends to join your Primerica business opportunity. It’s not fun.

Your upline is constantly following up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material even as you struggle to get people to join your downline.

The reality is that you’re likely to lose more money. Statistics confirm this as well. 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that is one of the main reasons they leave. 

Why not consider starting your own online business if you want to earn money and have a flexible schedule? 

Thus, you can choose what you want to promote rather than having someone tell you what you must promote.

Let me tell you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online in the next section. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in a year. Most importantly, unlike MLM models, It’s 100% legit and sustainable.

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Primerica MLM Review

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