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Protective life insurance review 2019

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

  • Get a quote if you have a pre-existing condition and can’t get insurance elsewhere.
  • Choose a different provider if you are a smoker or have only quit in the past five years.

18 to 75

Issue Age

$100,000 to $10,000,000

Coverage Amount


Medical Exam Required


Free QuoteOnline form.
Insurance ProductsTerm, Whole, Universal, Variable
Issue Age18 to 75
Coverage Amount$100,000 to $10,000,000
Term Lengths10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
CostAs low as $13.94 per month
Medical Exam RequiredYes
Ways To File A ClaimPhone, Online.
State AvailabilityNot available in New York.
Customer Service OptionsPhone, Email, Online
Policy Riders OfferedYes

Expert review

Jing Jun Ma

Review by

Jing Jun Ma is an innovations expert at Finder. With a decade of experience in digital marketing and programming, Jing is a tech and data guy. He wrangles data to make it useful for consumers facing a decision.

Expert review

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.

However, there is a somewhat lengthy approval process. 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?

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.

  • Term life insurance
    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
    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
    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 Universal Life
      A universal policy that offers cash value with fixed interest rates, flexible premiums and lifetime coverage.
    • Custom Choice Universal Life
      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 Universal Life
      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.
        • Variable life insurance
          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.

        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.

    What riders can I add riders to my insurance policy?

    All plans with Protective allow you to extend your protection through riders that vary by your needs, age and 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 much does Protective cost?

    Protective’s monthly premiums tend to be on the lower side compared to other providers. To get an idea of its cost structure, here are some sample quotes based on a $500,000, 20-year term policy for a healthy, non-smoking individual:

    Age Male Female
    20 $19.78 $17.2
    25 $19.78 $17.2
    30 $20.21 $17.63
    35 $21.07 $18.49
    40 $28.38 $24.94
    45 $49.45 $38.7
    50 $75.68 $55.47
    55 $120.83 $89.44
    60 $205.97 $139.32
    65 $402.91 $254.13

    How can I get the lowest rate?

    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.

    Pros and cons of Protective


    • 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.


    • 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.

    Compare similar life insurance companies

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    Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
    20 to 60 years old
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    18 - 64 years old
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    Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam for certain applicants.
    25 - 60 years old
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Protective reviews and complaints

    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 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.

    How do I get a quote and sign up?

    You can only get a quote for term life insurance online. To get a quote for whole, permanent or universal coverage, call Protective at 844-733-5433 to speak with an agent. If you’re interested in term life insurance, go to Protective’s homepage, where you can enter some basic personal information to begin the process.

  1. Provide your state, birthdate, gender, tobacco use, height and weight, as well as the amount of coverage you want and the length of the term. Then click Get Quote.
  2. You’ll then be provided with a quote. If you’re happy with the quote, click Apply Now, or you can change your requested coverage to get a second quote.
  3. To apply, fill out the required information and click Continue to designate your beneficiary and contingent beneficiary.
  4. After providing your beneficiaries’ info, you’ll be asked to give Protective a call to continue the application process. Note your reference number when calling and have the following information available:
    • Social Security and driver’s license number
    • Other existing/pending life insurance policies
    • Name, address and phone number of your doctor(s) and hospital(s)
    • Current, past and planned treatments, including medications
  5. The next steps involve scheduling a free medical exam — a medical professional will come to you — and awaiting approval, which can take 3-6 weeks.

I’ve been approved. What happens next?

It can take 3 to 6 weeks for your application to be fully reviewed. Once approved, register your account online so you can easily manage your policy. There you can enroll in e-delivery and schedule reminders when your payment is due.

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. Best Standard & Poor’s Fitch Moody’s
Protective Life Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ A
Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ N/A

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.


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


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.

More about Protective.

Founded in 1907, Protective has been providing life insurance since Theodore Roosevelt was president. In addition to life insurance, Protective offers annuities, survivorship plans and retirement plans. The company prides itself on serving the people and always doing the right thing. Protective was recently in the news for reaching an agreement to acquire Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. for its $1.2 billion.

Before committing yourself to a company, make sure to compare multiple life insurance providers.

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