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Protective Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: Protective Life offers a wide range of insurance policies, including universal life. But below-average customer satisfaction ratings may be a drawback.
May 26, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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  • Rated 3.5 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Offers term and whole life insurance, plus four types of universal life policies.
  • Fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

Protective Life Insurance Company offers term and whole life, plus four types of universal life insurance, including a low-priced policy to rival term life insurance.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Take care of what matters most

Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Protective life insurance

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Protective Life earned 3.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

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.

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. Online quotes are available for policies up to $10 million.

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 insurance designed for affordability. The Custom Choice policy, marketed as an alternative to term life insurance, is priced lower than other permanent policies. You pay a level premium for coverage for a certain period, from 10 to 30 years. At the end of this 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 isn’t designed to build substantial cash value.

Other types of universal life insurance from Protective:

  • Universal life provides permanent coverage but offers 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.
  • 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.

» MORE: Best life insurance companies for 2021

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 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study. The insurer ranked No. 12 overall out of 23 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.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.