- NerdWallet rating: No. 12 best life insurance company.
- It ranked about average or below in various categories of a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey.
- The company sells life insurance for children and universal life insurance.
Protective Life Insurance Co. offers four types of universal life insurance, including a low-priced policy to rival term life insurance. The company also markets a whole life policy for children to parents and grandparents.
NerdWallet rank: 12th
Protective Life ranked 12th out of 18 companies in NerdWallet’s scoring of the largest life insurance companies. The score is a composite based on complaints to state regulators against the company, adjusted for market share, A.M. Best financial strength ratings and J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (superior)
Protective’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best.
It’s important to check an insurer’s financial strength rating because it indicates the company’s ability to pay claims. It may be many years before a life insurer pays out on a policy, so you want to choose a strong, stable company that will be around a long time.
Consumer complaints: Better than the median
Compared with other insurers, Protective Life drew fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners calculates a complaint ratio report for insurance companies, based on the number of complaints, adjusted for market share.
Protective Life’s score for individual life insurance policies in 2015 was 0.23, well under the national median score of 1. A score lower than 1 means fewer complaints; a score higher than 1 means more complaints.
J.D. Power ratings: GENERALLY BELOW AVERAGE
Protective Life scored in the bottom tier of companies in J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Life Insurance Study. Protective was rated about average in one category and with “the rest,” the lowest rating, in others. Overall the company scored 16th out of 21 insurers evaluated.
|Protective customer satisfaction scores|
|Overall satisfaction||The rest|
|Billing and payment||The rest|
|Policy offerings||The rest|
|Source: J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Life Insurance Study|
More about Protective Life
|Types of life insurance sold||Other products and services|
Protective Life insurance options
Universal life insurance designed for affordability: The Custom Choice policy is marketed as an alternative to term life insurance, and is priced lower than other permanent policies. You pay a level premium for coverage for a certain period, such as 10 to 30 years. At the end of the period, the price stays the same, but you begin receiving less coverage. The universal policy is designed for people who think their life insurance needs will decrease when they get older but still want some coverage until they die. The policy is not designed to build substantial cash value.
Other types of universal life insurance: Universal life provides permanent coverage but gives you the flexibility to raise or lower premiums and coverage to accommodate your changing needs. The accompanying cash-value account grows tax-deferred. Variable universal life lets you tie the growth of the cash value account to underlying stock investments. Survivor universal life, sometimes called joint survivorship or second-to-die life insurance, covers two people under one policy. It’s designed for couples, typically married couples, and can be used as an estate planning tool. The policy pays out when the surviving partner dies. The coverage is less expensive than buying two separate policies.
Life insurance for children: Protect My Child is a whole life policy. You can buy $10,000 to $100,000 of coverage on a child 14 days to 17 years old. The coverage doubles at age 18. Until 18, no medical exam is required.
Updated Jan. 6, 2017.