Q:

Is Primerica a scam?

A:

Quick Answer

Primerica is a multi-level marketing company, according to industry professionals. The business practices of such schemes are often called into question, but they typically are not considered outright scams.

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Full Answer

Primerica is an insurance-sales business based on a multi-level scheme, colloquially called a "pyramid scheme" by many. Their sales representatives sell financial products, such as life insurance, term life insurance, mutual funds and annuities. Representatives receive a commission based on sales, with their recruiters also receiving a portion. The recruiter's recruiter, in turn, also receives part of the commission; the chain of commission-sharing goes up to 11 levels of recruiters. As such, representatives are also incentivized to recruit other salespersons and become recruiters themselves to increase their earnings.

To become a Primerica sales representative, a person must pass a background check, for which Primerica charges a fee. Representatives are also highly encouraged to pay a monthly fee for access to a website.

In 2009, Primerica generated 2.2 billion dollars in revenue, most of which came from direct premium payments from customers. Their most popular product was term life insurance. Sales commissions that same year totaled 34.3 million dollars. In 2008, the company took in 2.19 billion in revenue and had a net income of over 167 million dollars.

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