Protective Life Insurance Review 2022

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Protective Life Insurance
NerdWallet rating 

Bottom line: Protective Life offers a wide range of insurance policies, including universal life. But below-average customer satisfaction ratings may be a drawback.

Policies offered: Term & permanent.

Financial strength: Exceptional.

Complaints: Close to the expected number.

Buy online? No.

In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Policies offered. There are many types of life insurance on the market, and they fall into three key categories:

  • Term life insurance offers temporary coverage and a guaranteed payout if the policyholder dies during the term.

  • Permanent life insurance typically lasts a lifetime and builds cash value that can be borrowed against in the future.

  • No-exam life insurance issues coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. For life insurance, NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Exceptional: A+, A++

  • Strong: A, A-

  • Moderate: B+, B

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best life insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Buy online. This indicates whether an insurer allows you to apply for and buy a policy completely online.

Protective Life Insurance Company offers term and whole life, plus various types of universal life insurance, including a low-cost policy with similar benefits to term.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair, so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.
TAKE CARE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST
Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Protective life insurance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Protective Life earned 4 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Protective life insurance pros and cons

Pros

Cons

Offers a range of term, whole and universal life insurance, including term life policies extending as long as 40 years.

Scored below the industry average in J.D. Power’s U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction.

The Custom Choice universal life policy is priced to rival term life policies.

Protective life insurance policies

Term life. Protective offers 10- to 40-year term life insurance policies with coverage of $100,000 to $50 million, with the option to convert to a permanent policy without a medical exam. Depending on your state, the policy could include a terminal illness rider, which pays out early death benefits if you become terminally sick.

Whole life. Protective offers whole life insurance policies with level premium payments and a cash value that grows at a fixed interest rate.

Universal life. This type of policy provides permanent coverage but offers the flexibility to raise or lower the premiums and death benefit. The accompanying cash value account grows tax-deferred. Protective’s Custom Choice universal life insurance policy, marketed as an alternative to term life, is priced lower than other permanent policies. You pay a level premium for coverage for a certain period, from 10 to 30 years. However, at the end of this period, the price stays the same, but you begin receiving less coverage. When the death benefit reaches $10,000, premiums begin to increase.

Other types of universal life insurance from Protective:

  • Variable universal life lets you tie the growth of the cash value account to underlying stock investments.

  • Indexed universal life policies offer lifetime coverage with flexible death benefits and premiums, plus a cash value that grows based on a fixed interest rate or stock market indexes.

Protective customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, Protective life insurance has had close to the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Protective fell below the industry average for overall customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The insurer ranked No. 16 overall out of 21 companies included in the survey

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More about Protective life insurance

Protective’s website features an array of educational content, plus a life insurance coverage calculator and policy finder. The online portal allows policyholders to sign up for electronic billing, change their address, update beneficiaries and review account information.

In addition to life insurance, Protective offers fixed, immediate, variable and indexed annuities.

TAKE CARE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST
Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Life insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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