Protective Life insurance review 2021

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Protective Life Insurance has a long, successful track record. The life insurance and retirement benefits company was founded and started offering life insurance in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1907. Protective now provides coverage throughout the country with a robust portfolio of flexible life insurance products that can be customized to meet various individual needs and goals. The company also offers specialized retirement plans.

  • Date established: 1907
  • Insurance products offered:
    • Individual life insurance (term, whole life, and universal life)
    • Annuities (fixed, intermediate, indexed and variable)
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior) with a stable outlook
  • J.D. Power 2021 individual life insurance customer satisfaction rating: 752, which is below the industry average of 776.
  • Availability: Nationwide
Pros Cons
A wide variety of term, whole, and universal life insurance policies are offered, including a 40-year term life policy, which many other carriers do not offer.
It is relatively easy to submit and process claims online.
Generally user-friendly process for obtaining online quotes.
Some policy types are not offered, including guaranteed insurability coverage or policies requiring no medical exam.
Expensive premiums for smokers.
Well below the industry average in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction.
Online quotes are not available for certain coverage lines, including whole life or universal life policies.

Protective life insurance coverage types

Protective offers term, whole and universal life insurance policies. In addition, Protective provides retirement plans in the form of annuities designed to grow funds and protect those assets for retirement. These annuities can be balanced to meet individual growth goals and risk thresholds, providing greater growth with more risk or reduced risk by trimming growth guarantees.

While many life insurance companies have significant limitations on their coverage limits, Protective trends in the other direction and its life insurance policies can be written with limits up to $50 million. The company’s unique Custom Choice Universal Life policy offers benefits similar to straight term life policies but incorporates a fixed level premium arrangement that can be locked in for periods as long as 30 years.

Here are the types of life insurance coverage Protective offers:

  • Term: These policies, as the name implies, offer straightforward fixed amount death benefits for loved ones for a specific period of years — 10, 15, 30, etc. If the policyholder dies during the term, the full amount is paid to the designated beneficiaries. Because term life insurance is generally much less expensive than investment-based whole life coverage, term insurance products are often the policy of choice for young heads of households who want to assure that family members are protected in the event of an unexpected tragic event but desire to keep premiums low.
  • Permanent: Permanent, often referred to as whole life insurance, combines the traditional death benefit with an investment vehicle to allow a portion of the regular premium to grow over time and establish a permanent cash value. Although whole life policies typically cost a lot more than term life insurance, whole life provides coverage for the policyholder’s entire lifetime, provided that premiums are consistently paid on time. At the same time, whole life insurance will earn cash value at a fixed rate. This cash accumulation can be accessed in different ways during the course of the policy, including with loans for immediate needs or through a retirement benefits plan.
  • Universal – Protective’s Custom Choice Universal Life policy combines some characteristics of both term and permanent insurance. Custom Choice is like universal coverage because it offers flexible premiums but differs from standard universal coverage in that there is no cash value component. The policyholder can choose a fixed premium during the course of the policy or can increase or decrease the premiums throughout the policy’s lifetime. With options to customize, there are several ways to change to a whole life policy, typically within the first 20 years. This plan may be well suited for someone who has near-term needs for coverage but wants the option of investing later.
  • Child Life Insurance – Protective’s Protect My Child insurance is a whole life insurance policy for children offering fixed level premiums and lifetime protections. In addition, the policy includes a cash value that is available for expenses your child may have in the future. In most instances, a children’s life insurance policy will be less expensive than regular whole life insurance, but life insurance may not be an ideal way to save for the future.

Protective life insurance customer and claims satisfaction

Protective has mixed customer service reviews. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Protective has slightly fewer than average complaints than other life insurance companies. When it comes to overall customer satisfaction, Protective falls below average. The company ranks 17 out of 22 in the industry for overall satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power life insurance study.

On the positive side, A.M. Best gives Protective a grade of A+ Superior. This rating should give policyholders confidence that Protective will be there when benefits are due based on their history of financial stability.

Other insurance products offered by Protective

Protective does not offer other types of insurance but does provide a handful of retirement products in the form of annuities. With an annuity, the customer pays a fixed premium, and then the insurance company guarantees them a lump sum or series of payments to provide an income later in life. Protective offers the following types of annuities:

  • Fixed annuities: Protective’s fixed annuities come with a fixed premium throughout the policy’s life, followed by a guaranteed income stream during retirement.
  • Immediate annuities: In the case of an immediate annuity, customers begin receiving their payments shortly after purchasing the plan.
  • Indexed annuities: This type of annuity tracks a specific market index but limits your risk by guaranteeing a minimum interest rate return.
  • Variable annuities: Unlike indexed annuities, variable annuities come with a wide variety of investment options. They come with a higher risk in exchange for the chance of a higher return.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

The best life insurance companies offer comprehensive policy options and excellent customer experiences at an affordable rate. There is not necessarily one right company for everyone. You probably want to shop around and compare several quotes to find the company whose policy options best suit your needs.

How do I choose the right life insurance policy for me?

When choosing the right policy for you, the biggest question to ask yourself is whether you just want the death benefit or whether you’re interested in a more comprehensive plan that includes the cash value growth. In large measure, making the right choice will vary depending upon your age and present family and financial circumstances. If you’re unsure where to start, speak with a licensed insurance agent.

How much does life insurance cost?

Life insurance costs vary depending on the company and the type of policy you choose. The best rates are usually reserved for young, healthy policyholders. Older individuals or those with preexisting conditions should probably expect to pay more.

How do you buy life insurance with Protective?

Protective allows for online quotes for its term life policies. But regardless of which type of life insurance you choose, you’ll have to speak directly with a Protective Life Agent to sign up. The sign-up process typically involves an application and a medical exam.

Written by
Rick Hoel
Insurance Contributor
Rick Hoel is an international business attorney and legal and insurance writer for Bankrate.com, Reviews.com and Accessibility.com. Over the last several years, he has covered topics dealing with personal and commercial insurance and technology and the law. Rick is General Counsel and Director of Risk Management and sits on the Board of Power Stow Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Power Stow A/S in Denmark, the world leader in the supply of tracked conveyor systems to the airline industry.
Edited by
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