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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


  • 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, Phone
Policy options Term, Whole, Universal, Variable
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years
Monthly cost $7.30/month
Claim methods Phone, Online
Available states Not available in New York
Customer support Phone, Email, Online
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Disability income benefit rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Term insurance rider, Waiver-of-premium rider

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by

Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics 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 and coverage amounts ranging from $100,000 to $5 million. The policy also comes with level premiums and the option to convert to a permanent plan without a medical exam.

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 benefit, and borrow against your policy once you’ve accumulated enough cash value.

Universal life insurance

Protective has a few universal policies, all of which have a cash value 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’s cash 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. Offers an early payout if you’re diagnosed with a chronic, critical or terminal illness.
  • Waiver of premium rider. Pauses your premiums if you become disabled or unable to work for a specified period of time.
  • Disability income benefit rider. Pays out a percentage of your policy as a monthly benefit if you become fully disabled and can’t work.
  • Guaranteed insurability rider. Allows you to purchase additional life insurance without any medical questions.
  • Term insurance rider. Adds fixed term insurance on top of your current coverage for a specified period.
  • Child 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 as of July 2020

What affects my rate with Protective?

Along with your age, your health status will be factored into determining your rates. Protective’s best rates are reserved for people who meet strict 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 foreseeable 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 five years.

    Compare life insurance companies like Protective

    Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Medical Exam Required
    18 - 100 years old
    This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
    18 - 85 years old
    Depends on provider and policy
    Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
    21 - 54 years old
    Affordable 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with instant quotes and no medical exams.
    Everyday Life
    20 - 75 years old
    Build a customized laddering strategy to target specific financial responsibilities and save on term life.
    25 - 60 years old
    Depends on policy
    Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    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 91 complaints over the past three years, many of which had to do with billing and communication issues. The insurer has addressed all complaints, but customers still award it less than 1.5 out of 5 stars.

    In JD Power’s latest life insurance study, Protective ranked 11 of 25 insurers surveyed, and earned 3 out of 5 circles for customer satisfaction.

    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. Hover over Life Insurance located on the top ribbon of the page, click Term Life. From the term life page, click Get a term life quote.
    2. Enter your state, DOB, gender, coverage amount, plan, height, weight, health and whether you use tobacco. Click, Get quote.
    3. You’ll be shown several options, click Apply Now below the plan that interest you.
    4. 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 three to six weeks for your application to be fully reviewed. Once approved, your coverage will go into effect and you can register for an online account.

    Frequently asked questions about Protective

    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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