4.3 / 5

Protective Life Insurance Review

Ease of use, competitive rates, and up to $50 million in coverage make Protective a top-tier choice for anyone looking for a straightforward life insurance policy.

Nupur GambhirTim Torres

By

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is an insurance editor at Policygenius and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent in New York.

&

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres is a Reviews Editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the years.

Updated February 4, 2021|7 min read

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Protective

OVERALL

4.3

THE GOOD

    One of the best values on the market

    Variety of coverage amounts and term lengths

    Decent amount of online tools

THE BAD

    Slower than average application approval

THE BOTTOM LINE

Protective offers some of the industry’s most affordable term life insurance rates and a straightforward term life policy that works in your favor. With term lengths up to 40 years and coverage amounts up to $50 million, you can be assured that your policy will do what it’s meant to: protect your beneficiaries.

Protective is on Policygenius’ list of the best life insurance companies, based on cost, financial confidence, third-party customer ratings, life insurance policy options, and ease of application. Specifically, Protective is singled out as the best life insurance company for value.

For our reviews, we rate carriers based on the recommended term life product. For Protective Life, that’s the Classic Choice Term term life policy.

Cost

Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.

9.8

Confidence

Consumer confidence based on scores from major financial rating institutions.

8.6

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

8.4

Policy Options

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.

8.6

Ease of Application

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.

7.3

PROTECTIVE COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

3 of 5

J.D. Power surveys rate based on product offerings, price, statements, interaction, communication, and application.

J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

A+

An A+ denotes a score between 97 and 100 (out of 100) based on 13 criteria, including unanswered complaints, type of business, and government action.

BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A+

A.M. Best ratings range from A++ to D. An A+ rating denotes an "excellent" company based on their ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.

A.M. Best

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

The Details

The Good

One of the best values on the market. Compared to the industry average, Protective has highly competitive rates for healthy people. Though costs will increase as you age, the cost of a Protective term life insurance policy remains lower than most other life insurance carriers on the market.

Variety of coverage amounts and term lengths. Protective’s Classic Choice Term policy can get you up to $50 million in coverage. Applicants with Protective also have the option of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40-year terms. That’s a lot of time and coverage most life insurers do not offer. If you want to ensure a large payout for your family,  Protective could be your best choice. 

Decent amount of online tools. While researching Protective, you can use their online quote tool, coverage calculator, and online help chat for any questions you may have (of course, you can also ask Policygenius). On top of that, Protective lets you do most of your account management online, including updating your beneficiaries, payment info, and address, which is very convenient.

The Bad

Slower than average application approval. The average life insurance application can take about 30 days to get approved. With Protective, it can sometimes take longer. If any additional information is required by your physician, you can expect your application to be delayed more than it would be with some other insurance companies.

The Breakdown

Cost

Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.

9.8

People in decent health will see some of the lowest rates in the market with a term life insurance plan through Protective. 

In fact, besides Brighthouse, Protective is the best possible value you can get for life insurance. Low monthly premiums for most age groups and the opportunity to lower your rates if your health improves after a year make Protective’s Classic Choice Term product one of the most affordable policies out there.

To get a sense of what you could pay, the quotes below are monthly premiums for a healthy, non-smoking male in California applying for a $500,000, 20-year Classic Choice term life insurance policy.

AGEProtective AverageIndustry Average
20s$24.74$28.02
30s$27.63$32.06
40s$54.27$60.97
50s$134.28$152.00
60s$473.38$504.29

Sample rates are for a healthy, non-smoking male in California applying for $500,000 in Preferred-rate class coverage. Rates current as of February 2021, according to Policygenius data.

Term life insurance with Protective could also mean decent rates for people with prior health conditions. However, there are some life insurance companies out there that offer better rates for people with certain conditions, so be sure to compare before you commit. 

Protective term life insurance is best for the following groups:

  • People with anxiety or depression

  • People with asthma 

  • People with hepatitis

  • People with herpes

  • People with hyperthyroidism 

  • People with hypothyroidism

  • People with kidney stones

  • People with narcolepsy

  • People with OCD

  • People with scoliosis

People who use CBD and marijuana (up to twice per month) may also get better rates with Protective. 

→ Want more information about life insurance and marijuana use? Then you should read this.

Confidence

Consumer confidence based on scores from major financial rating institutions.

8.6

Protective, founded in 1907, has been serving millions of policyholders for over 100 years. You want to pick a provider that you can trust will be around for about as long. 

To make sure a life insurance policy lasts far into the future, we look at the scores for insurance carriers from the major credit rating firms, A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. High scores from those companies mean you can expect top-notch service and an insurance carrier that will stick with you for life.

Here’s how Protective ranks according to the financial experts:

  • A.M. Best: A+

  • Moody’s: A1

  • Standard & Poor’s: AA-

A.M. Best specializes in the insurance industry. An A rating is one of the best grades possible. It means Protective is “superior” compared to most other carriers. Companies with a B grade or lower are more vulnerable to risk.

Protective’s score of A1 from bond credit rating agency Moody’s means it’s a low credit risk and a great investment. Companies with an A rating and above are low credit risks.

Credit analysis firm Standard & Poor’s gives Protective an AA-, meaning their ability to meet financial obligations is very strong. Companies are rated on a scale from AAA to D. The higher the rating, the more likely a company pays its debts.

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

8.4

To get a feel for what the average policyholder thinks of Protective, we look at third-party customer sentiment sites and user review portals such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs. 

Turns out the Protective consumer experience is pretty good. They receive fewer complaints than other companies according to the NAIC, and they have had only 45 complaints in the last year, according to the Better Business Bureau. Although, according to J.D. Power’s 2020 life insurance study, there’s room for improvement. 

Here’s how customers rate Protective:

  • BBB: A+

  • Consumers Advocate: 4.8/5

  • Consumer Affairs: N/A

  • NAIC complaint index: 0.85

The Better Business Bureau bases its rankings on several different metrics that account for the customer experience. They give Protective a solid A+.

Consumers Advocate, a review site that rates companies based on policy coverage, reputation, and stability, among other factors, rates Protective a very high 4.8 out of 5 in their review. 

Consumer Affairs, a review platform for customers to directly rate products and services, has no entry for Protective. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complaint index. A score of 1 is the baseline average, and a score of 0 means there weren't enough complaints to receive a rating. Protective’s score of 0.85 means that they receive a below-average amount of customer complaints. 

It’s also worth noting that Protective got a 754 on J.D. Power’s 1000-point scale. That places Protective right in the middle of their carrier rankings, according to their 2020 life insurance satisfaction survey.

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Policy Options

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.

8.6

Protective offers a term life policy, a whole life policy, and multiple universal life policies.

There are no guaranteed or no medical exam policies from Protective. 

This review, and its scores, focus on Classic Choice Term, the main term life policy from Protective.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is usually the best option for most people. It’s cheaper and simpler than a permanent life insurance policy, and it expires after a set number of years.

Classic Choice Term

Protective’s main term life policy, Classic Choice Term, is a straightforward policy that offers plans anywhere between 10 to 40 years and the option to convert to a permanent policy without a medical exam. Premiums are guaranteed to remain fixed throughout the term unless you choose to have your rates reconsidered or you choose to renew your policy at the end of the term. 

A medical exam is required.

Policy FeatureClassic Choice Term
Eligible ages18 to 75
Term lengths10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 35-, 40-year terms
Coverage minimum$100,000
Coverage maximum$50 million

Considering the low competitive rates, wide range of coverage amounts and multiple available term lengths, Classic Choice Term is a terrific first choice for many shoppers. Not many insurers offer coverage amounts as high as $50 million, or term lengths as long as 40 years. Anyone who needs a lot of coverage for a long time can get it from Protective.

Available riders

You can customize your life insurance policy by adding riders. Protective has the usual choices, including child and terminal illness riders.

There’s also an option that controls the distribution of the death benefit. This rider makes the death benefit taxable, so we do not recommend you add it to your policy unless you think the beneficiary can’t handle or will misuse one lump sum.

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Included at no extra charge, this rider can kick in if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are expected to live only six months. You can use up to 60 percent of the policy’s death benefit or $1 million, whichever is less. Also known as a terminal illness benefit.

  • Accidental death benefit rider. This provides coverage that pays an additional death benefit if you die from an accident. Applicants aged 18 to 60 are eligible for the rider, and coverage and premiums end at age 65. Additional coverage can range from $1,000 to $250,000 up to your policy’s face value.

  • Children’s term life rider. Instead of buying individual policies for each child, this rider covers natural, adopted, and stepchildren, ages 15 days old through 18 years old. 

  • Income provider option endorsement. This rider controls how your death benefit is distributed to beneficiaries. If used, only half the death benefit is paid upfront and the remaining is distributed in an ongoing income stream, which is also taxed. This could be useful if you think your beneficiary will mismanage spending the payout, otherwise we don’t recommend adding this rider to your policy. 

  • Waiver of premium disability rider. If you become fully disabled, you can pre-determine a specific amount to go towards your premiums. Applicants aged 18 to 55 are eligible. This rider expires when you turn 65.

Temporary coverage

Protective offers temporary life insurance on standard plans of up to $1,000,000 in coverage. Anyone over the age of 80 would not be eligible for temporary coverage.

Policy conversion

You can convert your term life to a universal or whole life policy during the first eight years of a 10-year term; the first 13 years of a 15-year term; and the first 18 years of a 20-, 25-, 30-, 35-, or 40-year term. Product availability will depend on the time of conversion.

Rate reconsideration

Protective will let you reconsider your monthly premium after your policy’s activation. If you become healthier you may qualify for lower rates. However, if you use tobacco you will have to wait one year until you’re eligible for reconsideration. Protective covers any medical exam charges.

Permanent life insurance

Protective offers whole life insurance, universal life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, and variable universal life insurance.

Whole Life Insurance Details

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Whole life insurance lasts your entire life and provides cash growth at a fixed rate, which can be used for loans. However, that will reduce the available cash value and death benefit.

Premium payments are also much more expensive than term life insurance, and coverage and monthly premiums stay fixed so there’s no flexibility.

Unless you have very specific needs, we recommend people choose a term life policy over a whole life plan.

Protective Custom Choice Universal Life Policy Details

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This product somewhat resembles a term life policy. Premiums are lower than most other permanent plans, and you get coverage for a certain period of time, typically from 10 to 30 years, just like a term life policy. However, at the end of the term, you will receive less coverage even though the rate you pay will stay the same.

This could be a decent policy for people who think their life insurance needs will decrease as they age. Otherwise, we recommend choosing a simpler, cheaper, more customizable term life policy.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance Details

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This is a type of permanent life insurance policy that provides a flexible death benefit with cash-value growth tied to a stock market index, such as the S&P 500. Your premiums and death benefit are based on the fluctuations of the stock, though your earnings are protected from risk thanks to a rate cap.

Most applicants will not be able to afford this type of policy. Unless you’re rich, are planning an estate, or don’t mind the complexities of the stock market, you’re likely better off with a regular term life insurance policy.

Variable Universal Life Insurance Details

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Protective has variable life insurance policies available, too. These are permanent life insurance plans that provide a death benefit and cash value growth that’s connected to stock investments. Your premiums and eventual payout will vary depending on how the market performs. However, the interest rate for cash accumulation is not guaranteed.

If you have a lot of money and you’re comfortable with market risk then this could be an option for you. But for most people, a variable life insurance policy is a poor investment due to the complexity of the policy and the high costs involved.

→ Want to learn more about universal life policies? Check out our comprehensive explainers that detail the pros and cons of this type of coverage.

Ease of Application

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.

7.3

The application process will vary depending on what policy you apply for. The details below reflect Protective’s term life policy, Classic Choice Term.

Application process

Applying with Protective involves an online application followed by a phone interview. Applicants will be asked questions about their medical and prescription histories. Since Classic Choice Term is a fully underwritten policy a medical exam is required.

Turnaround time

The time to wait for a policy decision with Protective may take longer than other insurance companies, especially if something needs to be verified with a medical professional.

Policy delivery

The final policy is delivered electronically.

More Info

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State availability

Protective life insurance is available in 49 states. Applicants in New York do not have the option to apply for Protective’s Classic Choice Term policy.

Change method

If you need to make any changes to your policy, Protective lets you do most of the work through their online portal.

You can view policy details, make a payment, enroll in and update EFT, change contact details (mailing address, phone number, email address), change your beneficiary, change your name if married or divorced, and obtain change forms, confirmations, and tax forms online.

Payment methods

If you’re paying monthly, the first payment can be done by credit or debit card, but every payment after will need to be a bank draft. If you opt to pay annually or semiannually, then you can pay by credit card or check for each payment.

Digital tools

Protective has an easy-to-use quote tool on their website, as well as a coverage calculator and an online chat service for any questions you may have, which is actually pretty rare on life insurance carrier sites.

You can also use the online quote tool on the Policygenius site.

Claims documentation

Beneficiaries will need to submit the following information to receive the death benefit:

  • Name of deceased
  • Policy number or social security number
  • Death certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Protective offer online quotes?

Yes, but only for the Classic Choice Term life policy. All you have to do to receive a quote is enter some basic information like your birthdate, height, weight, and whether or not you smoke. You can also use the Policygenius online quote tool for a quick and individualized quote.

Do I need to take a medical exam?

Yes. Classic Choice Term is a fully underwritten term life policy, so you will need to schedule and undergo a medical exam with a physician. Protective does not offer a guaranteed issue, no-med term life policy.

What are the main health conditions that Protective covers?

Protective covers a pretty good amount of common health conditions, including anxiety, depression, hepatitis, herpes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, kidney stones, narcolepsy, OCD, and scoliosis. People who use marijuana or CBD may also see better rates with Protective compared to other carriers.

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.

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