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Protective life insurance review 2020

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This insurer offers term life policies lasting up to 40 years — which is incredibly rare.’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0


  • Get a quote if you’re on a budget or have a preexisting condition working against you.
  • Choose something else if if you don’t want to wait weeks for policy approval.

18 to 75

Issue Age

$100,000 to $10,000,000



Medical Exam Required


Free quote Online form
Policy options Term, Whole, Universal, Variable
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years
Monthly cost As low as $13.94 per month
Claim methods Phone, Online
Ratings BBB: A+
Available states Not available in New York
Customer support Phone, Email, Online
Riders Accidental death benefit, Accelerated death benefit, Waiver of premium, Disability income, Guaranteed insurability, Term insurance, Children’s term

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by

Katia Iervasi is a writer from sunny Sydney, Australia. Her writing — and curiosity — has taken her around the world, and she now calls chaotic, creative New York home. With a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance, mortgages and finance for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

Protective offers some of the most competitively priced insurance policies in the country, and has high approval rates — even for people with preexisting conditions. It’s also one of a handful of insurers in the US that offers term life policies lasting 35 and 40 years.

However, it isn’t as lenient toward former smokers, and the application process can be lengthy. If you’re in the market for instant or no-medical exam policies, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

What types of life insurance coverage does Protective offer?

Protective’s life insurance lineup includes both term and permanent policies.

Term life insurance
With Protective Classic Choice, you can choose from flexible terms of 10 to 40 years. The policy also comes with the option to convert to a permanent plan without a medical exam, guaranteed level premiums and coverage of $100,000 to $5 million.

Variable life insurance
Along with offering lifelong protection, this policy has a cash value that’s invested in professionally managed portfolios. You can adjust your premiums and death benefits, and borrow against your policy once you’ve accumulated enough cash value.

Universal life insurance

Protective has a few universal policies, all of which provide cash value growth and adjustable premiums and death benefits.

  • Traditional Universal Life grows at a fixed interest rate.
  • Custom Choice Universal Life offers varying payment structures ranging from 10 to 30 years.
  • Indexed Universal Life’scash value is tied to an index, and can fluctuate according to market conditions.

What riders can I add to my insurance policy?

Like most major insurers, Protective allows policyholders to customize their coverage with riders. These add-ons might be available to you:

  • Accidental death benefit rider. Pays an additional death benefit if you die as a result of an accident.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Provides an early payout if you’re diagnosed with a chronic, critical or terminal illness.
  • Waiver of premium rider. If you become disabled or unable to work, this rider waives your premiums while your policy remains active.
  • Disability income rider. Pays out a percentage of your policy as a monthly benefit if you become fully disabled and can no longer work.
  • Guaranteed insurability rider. Allows you to purchase additional life insurance later without proving your insurability.
  • Term insurance rider. Adds fixed term insurance on top of your current coverage for a specified period.
  • Children’s term rider. Covers a child without taking out a separate policy.

How much does Protective cost?

Protective’s monthly premiums tend to be on the lower side compared to other providers. To get an idea of how much you might pay for coverage, here are some sample quotes based on a $500,000, 20-year term policy for a healthy, nonsmoking individual:


*Sample rates provided by Policygenius

How can I get the lowest rate?

To score the best possible rates, you’ll need to meet Protective’s underwriting standards:

  • History of tobacco or substance use. The best rates go to applicants who haven’t smoked in the past five years and have no history of substance abuse. Protective does allow for six “celebratory cigars” if you admit to them on your application.
  • Your driving record. Your history should be free of DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions in the past five years. If you’ve had more than two moving violations in the past three years, you may not be eligible for preferred rates.
  • Your blood pressure. Preferred rates go to those with blood pressure at or below 135/85 if the applicant is under 60 or 140/85 for ages 61 to 70.
  • Cholesterol. Protective focuses on the ratio of good to bad cholesterol, so you might be eligible for preferred rates even if with cholesterol number as high as 275.
  • Family history. Preferred rates are given if you have no parental history of or death from cancer, heart disease or any cardiac-related condition prior to age 60.

    Pros and cons of Protective


    • Lenient underwriting. The insurer doesn’t penalize people with preexisting health conditions as much as some other major insurers.
    • Rate reconsideration. If your health improves in the first year of taking out a policy, you can request a rate review and potentially score a lower premium. You’ll need to go through the underwriting process again, but Protective will cover the cost.
    • Online policy management. Update your personal details, review your policy documents and set payment reminders via your online account.
    • Financial strength. Protective Life has an A+ (Superior) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash to pay out claims for the forseeable future.


    • Slow approval process. Protective tends to take 30 days or more to approve policies, and the process can draw out if the insurer needs further information from your doctor.
    • Lower tolerance for smoking. While many insurers require you to be tobacco-free for three years to get into the preferred rate class, Protective reserves its best rates for those who haven’t smoked in three years.

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    Customer reviews and complaints

    Protective Life isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it holds an A+ rating for its customer engagement. The BBB has recorded 68 complaints over the last three years, many of which had to do with billing and communication issues. The insurer has addressed all complaints, but customers still award it 1.5 out of 5 stars.

    In JD Power’s latest life insurance study, Protective ranked seventh of 22 insurers surveyed, and earned 4 out of 5 circles for customer satisfaction.

    How does Protective protect my data?

    Protective collects your personal information in order to provide personalized services to you. It will not share this info with anyone else without your permission or unless required by law.

    To protect your data, Protective uses physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to keep it safe within the organization. If Protective makes any changes to its privacy policy, a notification will be posted to its website.

    Is Protective Life the same as West Coast Life Insurance?

    Yes, West Coast Life Insurance has been a subsidiary of Protective Live since 1996. The parent company also owns MONY Life Insurance Company, Protective Property and Casualty Company, and United States Warranty Corporation.

    What’s Costco Life Insurance?

    Costco doesn’t sell insurance directly, but it does partner with certain insurance companies to give its members discounts on coverage. Protective Life Insurance is Costco’s life insurance partner, offering Classic Choice or Member Advantage Life plans with discounted rates, guaranteed rates for the first five years and accelerated underwriting for certain applicants.

    How do I get a quote?

    You can only get a quote for term life insurance online. These are the steps:

    1. Go to the Protective Life homepage. Enter your state, birthdate, gender, tobacco use, height and weight, as well as the amount of coverage you want and the length of the term. Click Get Quote.
    2. The system will generate a quote based on the information you’ve given. You can adjust your coverage amount and length. If you’re happy with the rate, you can move forward by clicking Apply Now.
    3. To get a quote for a whole, permanent or universal policy, call Protective at 844-733-5433 to speak with an agent.

    I’ve been approved. What happens next?

    It can take 3 to 6 weeks for your application to be fully reviewed. Once approved, your coverage will go into effect and you can register for an online account.

    How do I file a life insurance claim with Protective?

    If you’re a beneficiary, you can file a claim online.

    1. Head to Protective’s site. Hover over Claims Center, and click Start a Claim.
    2. Enter personal information for yourself and the policyholder, including the policy number on the account. Then click Submit Your Notification.
    3. At this point, Protective will review your application and request any further documentation, if needed. Once the claim has been approved, Protective will pay out the policy within one business day.

    Life insurance ratings

    ★★★★★ — Excellent

    ★★★★★ — Good

    ★★★★★ — Average

    ★★★★★ — Subpar

    ★★★★★ — Poor

    Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

    Learn more about our methodology here.

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