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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.
How we review life insurance companies
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.
Protective life insurance
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.
» MORE: Best life insurance companies
Protective life insurance pros and 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.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
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:
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.
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.
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.