7.7 / 10

Protective life insurance review

Ease of use and competitive rates make Protective a good choice for anyone looking for a straightforward life insurance policy.

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Published November 22, 2019

Methodology
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Protective life insurance

OVERALL

7.7

THE GOOD

    Lower than average costs across the board

    Online policy management

    Offer rate reconsideration after the first year of the policy

THE BAD

    Slower than average application approval

    Policy cancellation requires a phone call

THE BOTTOM LINE

Protective offers some of the industry’s most affordable term life insurance rates and a policy that works in your favor. With features like no exclusions, you can be assured that your policy is doing what it’s meant to: protecting your loved ones.

Cost

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8.3

Confidence

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8.6

Customer Ratings

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8.1

Policy Options

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7.6

Customer Experience

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6.1

PROTECTIVE COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

3 of 5

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J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

A+

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BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A++

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A.M. Best

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

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The Bottom Line

Protective life insurance policies come with some minor inconveniences, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from purchasing a policy through them entirely. They’re easy to use, and you have the option to go through the application process again if any changes in your health make you eligible for a lower premium rate. What you get with Protective life insurance is a fairly simple insurance policy that doesn’t have any hidden caveats.

The Details


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The Good

Lower than average costs across the board. Compared to the industry average, Protective has generally competitive rates for healthy individuals. Though costs increase as you age, the cost of a Protective life insurance policy remains lower than other life insurance companies on the market.

Online policy management. You can apply for Protective life insurance online through Policygenius, and after that you can do most of the management online, too. Policies can be delivered electronically (rather than waiting for it to come in the mail) and you can update your beneficiaries, payment info, and address online for easy access.

Offers rate reconsideration after the first year of the policy. If your health improves or any conditions that caused higher premium payments have changed, your policy can be reviewed and reconsidered. This requires going through the underwriting process again, but the costs are covered entirely by the insurer. Protective is the best carrier out there when it comes to reconsideration and a good choice for people who think their health will improve over the next few years.

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The Bad

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

Policy cancellation requires a phone call. Even though the application and policy are delivered electronically, you’ll have to hop on the phone and speak with a representative if you need to cancel your policy. Though this may require some extra effort on your part, many insurance companies ask for a phone call and additional paperwork.

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The Breakdown

Cost

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8.3

Healthy individuals can see some of the lowest rates with a term life insurance plan through Protective. The quotes below are monthly premiums for a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for a healthy, nonsmoking male, in California.

AGEProtective AverageIndustry Average
20s$25.11$28.02
30s$28.35$32.06
40s$56.82$60.97
50s$141.26$152.00
60s$344.87$504.29

If you’ve had any health conditions in the past, you may be looking for an insurance provider that provides adequate coverage without the high cost. Protective life insurance offers decent rates for people with prior health conditions, though not the best. There are other life insurance companies out there that offer better rates for people with prior health conditions.

Here’s how Protective classifies common health conditions:

HEALTH CONDITIONPRICING
Survivor/Family HistoryGood
Recent Weight LossGood
Heart AttackGood
DiabetesGood
Sleep ApneaGood
Former Tobacco UseFair
High Blood PressureGood
High CholesterolGood
  • Excellent - Above average; company provides excellent coverage for clients with this condition.
  • Good - Spot on; company doesn’t look at this condition unfavorably in underwriting.
  • Fair - Could use some work; clients with this condition may be issued a lower health rating and subsequently higher rates than other insurers.

Confidence

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8.6

A good life insurance policy lasts long enough to cover any major expenses in the event of your death, such as a mortgage or college costs. Because you’re looking for long-term coverage, you want to pick a provider that you can trust will be around for a long time. Here’s how Protective ranks:

  • Number of policyholders: 6,000,000
  • Year founded: 1907
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA- (Very strong)
  • Moody's: A1 (Good)
  • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)

Protective life insurance has been covering millions of policyholders for over 100 years. With high ratings from financial rating companies S&P, Moody’s, and A.M., you can expect top-notch service and an insurance carrier that will stick with you for life.

Highest ratings from each firm are:

  • Standard & Poor’s: AAA
  • Moody’s: Aaa
  • A.M. Best: A++

Customer Ratings

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8.1

Reviews from financial companies are great and all, but what are actual people saying? Protective life insurance has a pretty good consumer record across the board. While their J.D. Power score isn’t perfect, they get fairly close with every other consumer rating. There are minimal consumer complaints with Protective life insurance.

  • J.D. Power: 3/5
  • BBB: A+
  • Consumer Affairs: N/A
  • Consumers Advocate: 4.75 / 5
  • NAIC complaint index: 0

What do these ratings mean, exactly?

J.D. Power rates insurance companies based on their product offerings, price, clarity of statements, interaction, communication, and application process. The overall satisfaction score is “based on how individual life insurance clients rate their overall experience with the provider" and determines the final score that we show here.

The Better Business Bureau ranking is based on tangential metrics that account for the customer experience.

Consumer Affairs is a platform for consumers to rate products and services, with ratings based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complain 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 life insurance’s score of 0 means that there weren’t enough complaints against them for a score to be created, which is pretty good considering they’ve insured over 6,000,000 people.

Policy Options

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7.6

Term life insurance

Term life insurance expires after a set number of years and usually has no cash value. It’s cheaper and simpler than a permanent life insurance plan, and usually the best option for most people.

Protective’s lineup for people who want to purchase temporary life insurance offers plans anywhere between 10-30 years. Unfortunately, those looking for term lengths of 35-40 years won’t be able to find extended coverage lengths with Protective.

Classic Choice Term

Protective life insurance offers a Classic Choice Term policy that is uncomplicated and offers competitive rates:

Key details
Annual payment discount3%
Payment methods availableCheck, auto bank draft, credit card only for first payment
Temporary coverageYes, on applications of up to 1,000,000 or applicants below the age of 80

Temporary life insurance coverage

Protective offers temporary life insurance on standard plans of up to $1,000,000 in coverage and on below standard plans of up to $100,000 in coverage. Anyone over the age of 80 applying for life insurance would not be able to take advantage of temporary coverage.

Available riders

You can get a more robust life insurance policy with the addition of riders to your policy. Protective has the option of adding on riders to cover unique circumstances that aren’t protected with a basic term life insurance policy.

  • Child protection rider — Provides death benefit protection for all-natural, adopted and stepchildren with ages ranging from as young as 15 days old through 18 years old — rather than purchasing individual policies for each child. Child rider coverage ranges from $1,000 to $20,000.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider — Also referred to as a terminal illness benefit, this can be used if you are confined to a nursing home for 6 months and are expected to be in the nursing home permanently or if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are expected to live for a maximum of 6 months. If you have to tap into this rider, you can use up to 60% of the policy’s death benefit or $1 million, whichever is less.
  • Accidental death benefit rider — Provides coverage that pays an additional death benefit if you die from an accident. Applicants ages 18-60 are eligible for the rider, and coverage and premiums end at age 65. Additional coverage can range from $1,000 to your policy’s face value.
  • Disability benefit rider — In the event that you become totally disabled, you can pre-determine a specific amount to go towards your premiums. A disability benefit rider expires when you are 60.

Note: The information above represents potential policy options and may not be available for every applicant. Speak to a licensed expert for a personalized look at your coverage options.

Customer Experience

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6.1

Protective life insurance offers an above-average customer experience, though there is room for improvement.

Application process

State availability

Protective life insurance is available in 49 states; only applicants in New York do not have the option to purchase Protective’s Classic Choice term policy.

Application length

The application form for Protective is shorter than most other life insurance applications, though the process includes similar components:

  • Online application
  • Phone interview
  • Paramedical exam
  • Underwriter review

Turn around time

Inversely, the application process for Protective life insurance may take longer than other insurance companies, especially if something needs to be verified with a doctor.

Change method Do you need to make any changes to your policy? Protective lets you do most of the work through their online portal:

  • Online: Update beneficiaries, payment information, or address
  • Phone: Cancel your policy
  • Mail: N/A

Payment methods

If you’re paying monthly, the first payment can be done by credit or debit card, but every payment thereafter 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.

Policy delivery

The final policy is delivered electronically for easy and instant access.

Claims documentation

Protective life insurance requires completion of the death form to receive the death benefit. This will ask for the following information:

  • Deceased’s name
  • Policy number or social security number
  • Birthdate
  • Death date
  • Cause and manner of death
  • Country of death

After you submit this information, you will need a copy of the death certificate to file your claim.

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.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.