Protective Life Insurance Review

Competitive term life that can be converted at any time

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Protective Life

Protective Life

overall rating

Our Take

Protective Life is a life insurance company that provides five main types of life insurance and makes a bold claim that it offers policyholders significant savings—especially on term life—over other national providers. However, they are limited with their online information and are not very responsive to phone calls.

Based on our review of more than two dozen life insurance companies, Protective Life Insurance was not one of the best companies we found. To see other options that may be better, visit our list of the best life insurance companies.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
  • 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

  • Mixed reviews for customer service

  • Only one policy of each insurance type available

Key Takeaways
  • Has excellent ratings from the BBB but poor customer reviews. 
  • Offers most core types of life coverage but doesn’t have a ton of variety. 
  • Some riders are available, but the list is far from comprehensive. 
  • Protective lets customers do just about everything online. 
  • Offers big savings: up to 48% versus other providers.
  • Year Founded 1907
  • Average Cost Per Month $7.30/month for $100,000 of coverage for 10 years for a 30-year-old non-smoking male
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal, custom universal, variable universal, and indexed universal life
  • Number of Plans Seven
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarter, annual, automatic, online
  • Official Website

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.

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.

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 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.

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 may 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.

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 access 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 through the website's messaging center 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 one of these numbers:

  • New Pending Policy: 1-800-366-9378
  • Fixed Life Policy: 1-800-866-9933
  • Costco Policy Holder: 1-844-740-5433
  • Variable Universal Life Policy: 1-800-265-1545
  • Annuity Contract: 1-800-456-6330

Customer Satisfaction: Ratings Don’t Match Reviews

Protective Life has mixed reviews online. The company has an A+ rating on BBB (but is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau). However, the company also has 102 complaints on BBB over a three-year period. Customers should be aware before they buy a policy that they may be able to find better customer service through another provider.

Protective’s customer service reviews online are mixed, so customers should beware before buying a policy.

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 has A ratings both in Japan and in the US.

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 to cancel. Partial surrenders may have a commuted value. While full surrender charges are not immediately available on Protective Life’s website, they can range from 7% to 0%.

New policyholders have a 10-day “free look” period, during which they can cancel their policy for no cost.

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 for non-smoking customers in excellent health in California: 

Age Male Female
25 $12.30 per month $10.95 per month
35 $13.65 per month $12.19 per month
45 $26.19 per month $21.24 per month
55 $61.24 per month $45.37 per month
65 $199.14 per month $134.29 per month

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 on BBB (but it is not accredited by 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 expensive.


All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For over two dozen companies, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown on what we evaluated.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Protective. "Dai-ichi Life to Acquire Protective Life." Accessed July 16, 2021.

  2. Protective. "Life Insurance Riders." Accessed July 16, 2021.

  3. Better Business Bureau. "Protective Life Insurance Company." Accessed July 16, 2021.

  4. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Protective Life Corporation and Its Key Life Subsidiaries." Accessed July 16, 2021.

  5. FitchRatings. "Fitch Affirms Protective Life's Ratings; Outlook Stable on Coronavirus Risk." Accessed July 16, 2021.

  6. Dai-ichi Life Group. “Bond & Rating Information.” Accessed July 16, 2021.

  7. SEC. "Protective Life Filing." Accessed July 16, 2021.

  8. Better Business Bureau. “Banner Life Insurance Company.” Accessed July 16, 2021.