Protective Life Insurance Review: Cheap Term Policies and Easy-to-Use Online Portal

Protective Life Insurance Review: Cheap Term Policies and Easy-to-Use Online Portal

A variety of term and permanent life insurance products, but you can expect expensive rates for smokers.

Good for

  • Low term insurance rates
  • Online quote and claim system

Bad for

  • Smokers
  • No-medical-exam policies or people with pre-existing conditions

Editor's Rating


Find the Cheapest Life Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Protective Life Insurance Co. is an insurance provider that offers term and permanent coverage. Term insurance through Protective can be applied for through its online portal and has some of the lowest rates in comparison to other top life insurance companies. Protective further offers a variety of permanent insurance policies—such as whole and universal life. However, Protective is not a good choice if you smoke, as the company's rates are considerably higher when compared to competing insurers. The insurer does own two subsidiaries—West Coast Life Insurance and Liberty Life—that both offer similar products to Protective.

Protective Life Insurance Products

Term life insurance is the cheapest product offered by Protective and is offered in a large variety of coverage amounts and policy lengths. Permanent coverage is also available, which provides lifelong protection but is a more expensive form of life insurance. With all insurance policies through Protective, you can add basic riders like the accidental death benefit, waiver of premium and disability income riders. But if you are looking for guaranteed insurability or no-medical-exam policies, then you would need to look into other insurers, as Protective does not offer these types of plans.

Both term and permanent policies have a death benefit which can be received in two different ways through Protective. This includes either taking the normal lump-sum payment or creating a checking account, known as an Immediate Benefit Account. When filing and receiving your claim, if you have a death benefit of more than $10,000, you will be eligible for this separate account. In this case, the death benefit would be placed into the Immediate Benefit Account and earn interest, providing you time with your investment decisions.

Protective Term Life Insurance

Protective Life Insurance offers term insurance coverage through its Protective Classic Choice product. The insurance plan is guaranteed level throughout the coverage period, meaning you will pay the same premium until the policy ends. Once the policy ends, you are offered the ability to renew your coverage annually, but this will often come with an increased premium.

You can purchase Protective term insurance with a death benefit between $100,000 and $50 million. Coverage lengths for its Protective Classic Choice include:

  • 10 years
  • 15 years
  • 20 years
  • 25 years
  • 30 years

Term life insurance quotes are available online through the Protective website. Protective Life Insurance offers term life insurance that is cheaper than average when compared to some of the biggest providers. But, if you smoke, we would recommend that you search for cheap life insurance through a different insurer, as you may be able to acquire lowest-cost quotes elsewhere. In the graph below, we have provided a comparison of term life insurance rates among Protective's Classic Choice product and equivalent policies offered by some of the largest life insurance companies.

Protective vs Largest Insurers

Protective offers the option to convert your term life insurance to a permanent policy without the need for an additional medical exam. This flexibility can be valuable if your needs change in the future. For example, if you want to convert to universal life but have developed a disease that would make you uninsurable, then Protective would not be able to deny the conversion due to your illness. It is important to note that more conversion options will be offered to you during the early years of your term life insurance. Furthermore, pricing for your new policy with typically increase after the conversion but will not change based upon your health.

Protective Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance through Protective is the company’s base form of permanent life insurance, which has lifelong protection. Whole life builds cash value at a predetermined, fixed rate throughout the life of the policy. This cash value can be used for loans in the future, but an outstanding policy loan will reduce the available cash value and death benefit of the policy.

Some limitations of whole life include that these policies are more expensive than other types of life insurance, such as term or guaranteed universal policies. Furthermore, the face value and premiums are not adjustable. This provides no flexibility later on in life if your financial stability or needs change. For example, say you lost your job and were unable to pay the premiums for your life insurance that month. In this case, the policy might lapse and you may lose your coverage.

This type of product is the right option if you have a high income and can afford to pay premiums for the lifetime of the policy. Whole life is meant to be a long-term estate planning product for younger families and would not make sense if you are looking for short-term coverage, in which term life insurance would be a better choice.

Protective Universal Life Insurance

Protective offers four universal life insurance policies that provide lifetime protection. These include:

  • Custom Choice Universal Life Insurance
  • Survivorship Universal Life Insurance
  • Variable Universal Life Insurance
  • Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Protective Custom Choice Universal Life

Protective Life's Custom Choice UL is a mixed plan that combines aspects of term and permanent insurance. The product is similar to universal life in that it offers flexible premiums but differs in that there is no cash-value accumulation. You have the option to choose if the premium is level throughout the policy lifetime or if you want to adjust the payments up or down. Coverage lengths are flexible—10 years to lifetime—and Custom Choice UL has a minimum face amount of $100,000.

The Custom Choice UL policy also has a unique benefit at the end of the policy. After the initial coverage period ends, premiums will remain the same while the policy's death benefit decreases. This can give you time to maintain some coverage while you assess your needs and make a plan to purchase a new policy. Furthermore, similar to term insurance, you have the ability to exchange the policy for permanent insurance anytime within the first 20 policy years. The Custom Choice UL makes sense if you have short-term coverage needs but also want flexible long-term options in case you have unexpected changes to your financial needs.

Survivorship Universal Life Insurance

The Protective Survivor UL policy is the same as the Custom Choice UL but covers two separate lives. Also known as second-to-die insurance, the insurance policy covers two partners with one policy and the death benefit would pay out when the second insured person passes. This type of life insurance is best for couples and can be a useful option if you or your spouse is not easily insurable at an affordable rate. For example, if your husband or wife has a pre-existing condition, like diabetes, then survivorship UL could cover you and your spouse at a lower cost than separate policies.

Often, this policy can be cheaper than purchasing two separate universal life insurance policies, since the expected lifetime is based on the healthier person insured. Besides this added survivorship portion of the policy, the coverage operates exactly the same as other universal life insurance policies. This includes a cash value that can grow tax-deferred.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Variable universal life (VUL) insurance through Protective, called Investors Choice VUL, is similar to their traditional universal life policies, but you can choose how to invest the policy's cash value from a variety of investments offered by the insurer. The interest rate for cash value accumulation is not guaranteed. On the other hand, the policy has uncapped cash value growth potential. This means that the cash value can have large percentage gains but also can decrease depending on the investment performance.

The Investors Choice VUL is only a good option if you are seeking higher potential cash value growth. A key downside to VUL is that many of the funds where your premiums are invested come with significant fees that reduce the overall return you receive.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Protective's Index Choice Universal Life policy is similar to VUL but differs in the investment options for your cash value. In this case, Protective takes the premiums you pay for the policy and invests them into an S&P 500 account. The index's performance determines the interest rate of growth for your cash value. Unlike the Investors Choice VUL, this plan has an interest rate cap of 9% but also gives you security with a floor of 0%. This means that even if the S&P 500 performs poorly your cash value would not decline.

Protective Child Life Insurance

Protective offers child life insurance through their Protect My Child insurance policy. This product is a whole life policy with level premiums and offers lifetime protection. Furthermore, it has a cash value that can be used for future expenses that your child may incur. Typically, a child policy will be cheaper than standard whole life insurance. However, this type of life insurance is not a great investment for saving for the future and is most useful for providing funds for a funeral in case your child passes away.

Child life insurance through Protective has coverage levels ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 and is available for children between 14 days and 17 years old. Once a child reaches the age of 18, the policy can be converted to a regular whole life insurance policy. Furthermore, for the level premium child policy, the coverage would automatically double with no increase to the premium.

Protective also offers a single payment option for their child life insurance. The single payment child life insurance product is a whole life policy but does not have any of the same advantages that the level payment option does. This includes no guaranteed insurability for life, no face value that doubles at age 18 and no ability to purchase additional insurance coverage in the future.

Protective Life Customer Reviews and Complaints

Protective Life's CEO is Rich Bielen, and the company is based out of Birmingham, Alabama. This life insurer is a good choice if you want a policy through a financially stable insurance company. Protective Life Insurance has a rating of A+ (Superior) with A.M. Best and AA- with Standard & Poor's. Both of these ratings indicate that they have the ability to pay claims and are financially healthy. Protective has a few subsidiaries that sell life insurance products as well, which include West Coast Life Insurance and Liberty Life.

Although Protective Life is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), its A+ rating shows that the company does care about its interactions with policyholders. Similarly, its NAIC complaint ratio of .47 demonstrates that Protective has few complaints when compared to the total amount of policies it writes. However, Protective does have some negative reviews, which focus on a lack of speedy approvals and settlements. Some policyholders reported it taking up to three weeks for them to receive their policies or death benefits.

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