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Protective life insurance review

Known for its lenient application guidelines, this provider offers competitive premiums — even if you have health conditions.

Life insurance is a competitive industry, and it can be hard to determine what company or policy is right for you. It’s even harder when you have existing health conditions — many insurers are picky about who they’ll cover.

Fortunately, Protective claims to offer coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, cholesterol ratios and age. Not only is Protective more lenient in these high-risk areas, but rates are often below the industry’s average.

Pros

  • Financially sound. Protective offers comprehensive policies backed by more than a century of timely death benefit payouts. According to Protective’s president and CEO, the company paid out more than $2 billion in claims in 2013 alone.
  • Competitive, comprehensive rates. Customers claim Protective offers competitive rates on a wide range of policies.
  • Flexible health guidelines. Every year, thousands of applicants are approved for Protective life insurance policies despite pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Cons

  • Approval can take awhile. Customers complain about long approval times that can bleed into a month or so.
  • Low tolerance for smoking. Underwriting guidelines prefer those who haven’t smoked in more than five years, barring casual smokers from the best rates.

Protective gets high marks for flexibility and lenient underwriting, with not much to report by way of drawbacks.

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Protective financial stability and credit ratings

Life insurance plans are an expensive investment, so you want to be sure that your insurer is able to pay out the death benefit when the time comes. An insurance rating is an assessment of an insurance company’s financial capacity to meet the obligations of its insurance policies. This is done by four major agencies: A.M Best, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s. There are six secure ratings, including B+, B++ (Good), A-, A (Excellent), A+, A++ (Superior). Here’s where Protective falls on that scale.

A.M. BestStandard & Poor’sFitchMoody’s
Protective Life Insurance CompanyA+AA-A+A
Protective Life and Annuity Insurance CompanyA+AA-A+N/A

What do customers say say about Protective?

Protective isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it holds an A+ rating based on BBB’s internal criteria.

Recent customers complain of monthly premiums that nearly tripled over the course of 15 years as well as claim processing that extended well beyond Protective’s advertised seven to 10 days. In Reddit’s Insurance forums, you’ll see Protective recommended as a low-cost provider with lenient underwriting.

Talk with a Protective agent about your specific needs to determine if it’s right for you.


How can I get the best life insurance rates at Protective?

Insurers consider many factors in underwriting that influence your rate — which can be hard to estimate. With Protective’s online quote tool, you can get a general idea of how much you can expect to pay.

But for the best rates, you’ll need to meet eligibility across factors that include:

  • 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.

What life insurance coverage does Protective offer?

Like most well-established insurance providers, Protective offers a strong lineup of insurance policies that cater to a variety of demographics. It strives to provide simple, affordable and comprehensive coverage. Its website is easy to navigate and provides information to help you choose a plan that suits your lifestyle. There’s even a learning center tab with additional learning tools to better prepare you to make the right decision.

Term insurance generally offers the most protection at your most affordable rates. With Protective Classic Choice, you choose from flexible terms of 10 to 30 years, the option to convert to a permanent policy without a medical exam, guaranteed level premiums and coverage of $100,000 to $5 million.
Whole life insurance plans offer permanent protection with guaranteed benefits as long as you make on-time payments. Policies are more expensive than term life insurance, but your policy grows in tax-deferred cash value at a fixed interest rate.Protective doesn’t offer a standard whole life insurance policy. Instead, it offers the Traditional UL — a universal policy with flexible payments but a fixed interest rate for guaranteed cash value growth. If you decide to convert your term plan into a permanent policy, this is your default.

Universal life insurance is a flexible life insurance policy that allows for adjustable premiums and varying degrees of growth potential. Protective offers a few universal policies, each offering slightly different benefits.

Traditional UL

A universal policy that offers cash value with fixed interest rates, flexible premiums and lifetime coverage.

Custom Choice UL

Offers low premiums and coverage for life — with steady payments from 10 to 30 years. If your policy needs changing, convert to permanent coverage without another medical exam or change to your death benefits. You’ll even get coverage beyond your initial level benefit as long as your policy is active.

Indexed UL

A permanent policy that offers cash growth potential tied to the performance of an index. With this policy, you can expect adjustable premium payments, flexibility in access to cash value and, ultimately, flexibility accessing your death benefit.

Choose from two options:

  • Fixed Account. Any premium allocated here earns interest at a specific rate.
  • Indexed Account. Credits interest to your policy based on positive performance of a specific index, which means you’re able to build up a higher cash value while keeping in mind market fluctuations.
This option is designed to help you enhance your life through professionally managed investment portfolios while paying flexible premiums. Ideal for those who prefer an increased potential for higher returns, it’s Protective’s most flexible policy, allowing you to distribute your cash value among multiple investment options. A minimum guaranteed death benefit won’t decrease as long as you make required premium payments and repay any outstanding loan balances.

Can I add riders to my policy?

Yes, all plans with Protective allow you to extend your protection through riders that vary by your needs, your age, and your policy.

A few that Protective offers include:

  • 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. Provides a percentage of your face amount as a monthly additional income benefit if you become fully disabled.
  • 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. Adds coverage for a child without taking out a separate policy.

Some of these riders are automatically included in your policy for free, while others require an additional premium. A few riders require that you add them when you sign up for your policy.


How do I file a life insurance claim with Protective?

Protective provides an easy claim filing system — and it all starts on its homepage.

1. Visit Protective’s site. Hover over Claims Center, and click Start a Claim.

Protective-Life-Insurance-step-1

2. Complete personal information for yourself and the policyholder. Then click Submit Your Notification.

Protective-Life-Insurance-step-2

3. At this point, Protective will take over and reach out for the next steps. After you’ve submitted all necessary paperwork, Protective forwards your benefit amount within a business day of claim approval.

What other services does Protective offer?

Protective specializes in life insurance products, so its selection is limited when it comes to other products and services:

  • Annuities
  • Survivorship plans
  • Retirement plans

Bottom line

Protective offers some of the most competitively priced insurance policies in the country, without having to sacrifice your coverage. Their easy application process and high approval rates pave the way for flexible and affordable plans. If you are looking for an affordable provider backed by impeccable financial stability, Protective is a great option.

Compare life insurance policies today

Enter your ZIP code below and click Compare now
to see providers in your area.

Your information is secure.

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