Protective Life Insurance Review

Competitive term life that can be converted at any time

Family
•••

Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

 

We use industry experts to independently research, test, and recommend the best services for our readers; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive compensation when you click a link or make a purchase.

Protective Life Corporation is a life insurance company based in Birmingham, Alabama. The company provides numerous life insurance types—with numerous optional riders—at rates that are lower than many other national providers. Consumers looking to get fast, reliable quotes are able to do so with different options to protect very specific needs during their life.

What We Like

  • Lower premiums on term life insurance

  • Online quote calculator for transparent pricing

  • Custom universal life policy that offers term-like structure and option to convert to permanent coverage

  • Online claims center to start or track a claim

  • Excellent ratings from BBB and JD Power

What We Don't Like

  • Mixed reviews for customer service

  • Only one policy of each insurance type available

Company Overview: Over 110 Years of Service 

Protective Life Corporation was founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 1907. Though the company is still headquartered there, it has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company since 2017. Protective has over $427 billion of life insurance in-force and makes it easy for shoppers to quote, apply, and service their policies online.

Available Plans: A Good Sample of Basic Offerings

Protective Life offers several different types of life insurance including term, whole, universal, and variable universal life. While the company offers several different types of insurance, it doesn’t offer multiple policies of each type, which consumers might find with other national providers like AIG.

The types of policies offered by Protective Life include:

Protective® Classic Choice Term

Term life insurance is one of Protective Life’s most cost-efficient forms of coverage. With term life, Protective Life customers between ages 18 and 75 get access to a set amount of coverage ranging from $100,000 to $50 million for a predetermined amount of time with premiums that won’t change over time. The company also advertises considerable savings for customers who purchase term life through them instead of State Farm or Prudential.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is one form of permanent life insurance that Protective Life offers —coverage up to $5 million that will last as long as premiums are paid. Whole life policies from Protective Life are available up to age 85 and have a cash value component that accumulates interest and grows over time. And premiums are guaranteed never to go up.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life (UL) is another form of permanent insurance offered by Protective Life. Like its whole life policies, Protective Life’s UL policies remain in force as long as premiums are paid. While these policies may be more expensive than whole life, they also offer policyholders the ability to grow their cash value faster and use their cash value to pay premiums. Coverage up to $5 million can be purchased up to age 85.

Custom Choice Universal Life

Protective Life’s Custom Choice UL policy is a relatively unique product that the company offers. Using Custom Choice, policyholders get a set amount of coverage (up to $5 million) for a defined period of time—just like term life. Policyholders also have the option to convert their policy to permanent coverage anytime within the first 20 years of their Custom Choice policy, up to age 70. Coverage is available up to age 85 if it’s not converted.

Variable Universal Life

Variable universal life policies from Protective Life are very similar to their traditional UL policies, including age and coverage limits. The biggest difference between variable UL policies is that policyholders get to choose how their cash value is invested. Using Protective Life’s variable UL policies, customers can invest in their cash value for greater growth over time. Cash value grows tax-deferred and can be used to pay premiums or to borrow against for other financial needs. However, additional fees will apply.

Indexed Universal Life

Indexed universal life insurance policies from Protective Life also allow policyholders to invest their cash value for faster cash accumulation over time. These investments are designed to track a stock index like the S&P 500. Annual earnings are limited but investors are also protected from losing money through their investments. Applicants can purchase up to $5 million in coverage up to age 85.

Available Riders: All the Favorites

To help policyholders get the most out of their coverage, Protective Life also offers a number of optional riders that can be added to their policies. These riders typically have extra fees attached but can help policyholders do things like accessing their death benefits early if they get diagnosed with a chronic illness or can add coverage for a child or spouse. Not all riders are available for every Protective Life policy.

Some of the optional riders Protective Life offers include:

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Many policies from Protective Life offer accidental death benefit riders, which increase the death benefits paid on a policy if the insured person’s death is the result of an accident.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Accelerated death benefit riders allow policyholders to access their death benefits while still alive if they’re diagnosed with a terminal illness or meet other qualifying criteria outlined in their policy.

Waiver of Premium Rider

A waiver of premium rider allows a policyholder to skip their regular premium payments if they become seriously ill or disabled.

Disability Income Rider

Protective Life customers who opt for a disability income rider will receive regular monthly payments if they come disabled and can’t work. These payments are typically a percentage of the total policy value.

For an IUL, the potential cash value accumulation is based on changes in one or more stock market indices, subject to caps and floors. When the market does well, so does your policy. Over the life of the policy, this could mean more cash value

Additional Purchase Option 

Also called a guaranteed insurability rider, additional purchase option riders give policyholders the option of purchasing additional coverage within certain dates. Customers who select this option are guaranteed not to be denied coverage if they choose to exercise their purchase option.

Term Insurance Rider

Term insurance riders are add-ons for permanent policies like whole or universal life. These riders allow policyholders to add term life coverage on one or more other insureds.

Children's Term Rider

A children’s term rider allows a customer to add term life coverage for a child to a permanent life policy.

Customer Service: Do Everything Online

Protective Live is best for customers who are comfortable handling customer service online. Policyholders can email customer service at ladphs@protective.com or chat live with customer service representatives through Protective Life’s website when representatives are available. Customers can also log in through Protective Life’s website to view and maintain their policies or to start or track a claim. Customers who need assistance by phone can call 1-800-866-9933. 

Customer Satisfaction: Ratings Don’t Match Reviews

Protective Life reviews mixed reviews online. The company has received superior ratings from JD Power and has an A+ rating from the BBB. However, the company also has 70 complaints through the BBB and receives inferior ratings elsewhere online. Customers should be aware before they buy a policy that they may be able to find better customer service through another provider.

Financial Strength: Reliable on Multiple Levels

Protective Life’s ratings for financial stability are almost universally excellent. The company receives superior A+ ratings from AM Best and Fitch, as does its parent company, Dai-ichi Life. Dai-ichi Life is the oldest and third largest insurer in Japan by revenue.

Cancellation Policy: Use Your Free Look Period

Customers who purchase policies through Protective Life have a 10-day period—called a “free look period”—during which they can cancel their policy for no cost. However, surrender charges kick in for customers who wait longer than 10 years to cancel. Protective Life charges a flat fee for partial surrenders. For full surrenders, surrender charges vary by customer age, sex, and rate class. While these charges are not immediately available on Protective Life’s website, they can be very high, reportedly ranging from 7% to over 40% for first-year cancellations.

Price: Big Savings Advertised

Protective Life claims on its website to offer discounted coverage, especially for term life policies. Customers purchasing term coverage can reportedly save up to 48% over other national providers like State Farm and Prudential.

Below are sample monthly premiums for $250,000 of term life coverage on a 20-year term non-smoking customers in excellent health in California: 

Competition: Protective vs. Banner Life

Banner Life is another life insurance company that offers both term and permanent coverage. The company isn’t rated by JD Power but has an A+ rating from the BBB and only four complaints. However, Banner also doesn’t offer as many types of policies as Protective Life. If shoppers don’t need as many options and want reliable customer service, Banner may be a better option than Protective Life.

Final Verdict: Discounted Term Coverage for Savvy Shoppers

Protective Life is a great option for shoppers who are comfortable quoting, reviewing, and administering policy online. The company also advertises considerable savings, especially for term coverage which gives it an advantage over other major carriers such as State Farm. Because the process is all online, customers need to be confident of their choice before purchasing a policy, as surrender charges can be very expensive.

Specs

Article Sources

  1. Protective. "Term Life Insurance." Accessed March 5, 2020.

  2. Protective Live. "Life Insurance Riders." Accessed March 5, 2020.

  3. SEC. "Protective Life Filing." Accessed March 5, 2020.

  4. Protective Life. "Get a Quote." Accessed March 5, 2020.