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Protective Life insurance review 2024

Updated Jun 06, 2024
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At a glance

Bankrate's take

Protective Life may be the company of choice for policyholders seeking life insurance policies with relatively high coverage limits.

Who Protective Life may be good for: Protective Life may be a good option for policyholders needing longer-than-average term life policies or who have financial obligations requiring high coverage limits.


Who Protective Life may not be good for: Every life insurance policy from Protective Life requires a medical exam, so it may not be a good choice for policyholders with challenging health concerns or medical history.


What’s new with Protective Life?

On December 13, 2023 Protective Life Corporation announced it had joined the American Heart Association’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign as a local sponsor of CPR training kits. Protective Life sent more than 30 CPR training kits to local fire stations in Birmingham, Alabama. Over the next three years, community training programs will be held in order to help educate the average bystander on how to properly do CPR.

In July 2022, Protective Life introduced a new product, Protective Aspirations Variable Annuity. The new product features tax-deferred earnings, along with enhanced death and living benefits. The annuity also features optional benefits that enable you to maximize investment growth or retirement income, while allowing you to defer part of your annual withdrawal to use later in life.

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Protective Life life insurance

Protective Life offers multiple policies with varying coverage limits and helpful online resources, like coverage calculators and informational articles. Protective Life could be an option worth considering for those looking for coverage from a longstanding company focusing specifically on life insurance.

This company offers three types of life insurance — term life, whole life and universal life, but there are no guaranteed issue policies available. One of the standout features of Protective Life is that the company offers potentially high coverage limits, which some other providers don’t offer.

However, all Protective Life’s policies require a medical exam, and online quotes are only available for term life policies. If you are looking to avoid a medical exam due to pre-existing conditions, there are many other providers that use simplified underwriting and health questionnaires in place of a traditional exam.

Before making a final decision on whether this insurance is right for you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of Protective Life life insurance. Here is a closer look at the types of life insurance available through Protective Life:

  • Term life: Term life insurance from Protective Life is available in term lengths of 10 to 40 years. Coverage is available between $100,000 – $50 million, and you have the option to convert your term policy into permanent coverage without taking another medical exam. In addition, every term life policy includes a free terminal illness rider.
  • Whole life: Protective Life’s permanent life insurance offerings include whole life, which offers lifetime protection as long as your premium is paid (in most cases) and builds cash value. Whole life insurance has level premiums and a guaranteed death benefit (with rare exceptions).
  • Universal life: Universal life insurance is a different type of permanent insurance policy. Like the whole-life policy, a universal policy builds cash value over time. Universal policies have flexible premiums with interest rates that fluctuate over time. Protective offers three universal life insurance options: Protective Custom Choice UL, Variable Universal Life and Indexed Universal Life. 
    • Protective Custom Choice UL: This type of coverage starts with a 10- to 30- year coverage period, with the option to convert the policy into a traditional permanent policy. There is a charge to extend the policy, but you can change the benefits and don't need another medical exam.
    • Variable Universal Life: This is similar to traditional permanent life insurance. However, the policyholder controls where a portion of the premium is invested. This is a potential option for people more comfortable with high-risk/high-reward types of investing. 
    • Indexed Universal Life: For policyholders who prefer to play it safe, this option still allows you to build cash value, but it is subject to caps and floors. 

Pros and cons of Protective Life life insurance

  • Several types of life insurance available

  • Potential coverage limits up to $50 million

  • Numerous riders

  • Medical exams are required

  • Below-average J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating

  • Online quotes for term life only

Protective Life life insurance endorsements

Protective Life offers a selection of optional life insurance riders, which can be used to enhance your policy while providing additional protections, including:

This rider enables you to use all or part of your death benefit if you are diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness.
If a policyholder dies due to an accident, the accidental death benefit rider will pay their beneficiary an additional death benefit, in addition to the life insurance policy’s face value.
If you plan to get married or have a child in the future, this rider enables you to buy more insurance later, without having to take another medical examination.
If you need family life insurance, this rider enables you to add term life coverage on your children, from age 15 days up to 18 or 25, depending on the carrier that writes the policy.
If you sustain a total disability, the disability income rider provides you with a monthly payment, typically based on a percentage of your policy’s face value.
With this rider, universal and whole life policyholders who need more coverage for a specific period can get the additional protection of a term life policy.
If a policyholder sustains a total disability and can no longer work, this rider enables them to retain their life insurance coverage until they can return to full-time employment.

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Compare Protective Life with other insurers

If you are comparing life insurance companies, Protective Life Insurance reviews may leave you curious about your other coverage options. Bankrate's insurance editorial team identified a few similar companies that may be a better fit:

Protective Life vs. Guardian Life

Guardian Life offers term, whole and universal life insurance, with more than a dozen riders for added protection. Like Protective, Guardian Life sells annuities, and Guardian Life’s portfolio includes more insurance products than Protective’s, including accident, critical illness, dental, disability, hospital indemnity and vision insurance.

Learn more: Guardian life insurance review

Protective Life vs. Pacific Life

Pacific Life sells robust life insurance policies, including a policy that combines life insurance and long-term care insurance. Pacific Life also offers more retirement solutions than Protective.

Learn more: Pacific Life insurance review

Protective Life vs. Globe Life

Globe Life offers more life insurance products than Protective, including accidental death coverage, children’s life insurance, final expense insurance, mortgage protection coverage and term and whole life insurance.

Learn more: Globe Life insurance review

Is Protective Life a good insurance company?

Protective Life offers multiple life insurance policies and helpful online resources, like coverage calculators and varying amounts of coverage. As such, the company may be worth considering if you’re looking for coverage from a company that has spent over 100 years focused on life insurance products.

It’s important to note, though, that all Protective Life’s policies require a medical exam, and online quotes are only available for term life policies. If you want to avoid a life insurance medical exam due to pre-existing conditions, Protective Life may not be the right option for you. However, there are other providers that may be a better fit, as they use simplified underwriting and health questionnaires in place of a traditional exam. Using Bankrate's life insurance guide and the life insurance calculator can also help you discover what you need from a life insurance company which can aid in the decision-making process.

Protective Life customer satisfaction

Finding the cheapest life insurance isn't always the most important factor. Reviewing customer satisfaction ratings from multiple insurance companies can help you understand the type of service current policyholders are receiving. Protective received a rather low score from J.D.Power, which grades insurance companies on a 1,000-point scale. AM Best grades insurance providers based on financial stability on a traditional letter scale, A through D. While customers may be underwhelmed with Protective’s customer service, according to AM Best, the company is financially sound, meaning it is credit worthy and should be able to meet claims obligations.

Study or Rating Agency Protective Life Industry average
2023 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study 768/1,000 790/1,000
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study Not rated 797/1,000
AM Best rating A N/A

Protective Life complaints

The amount of customer complaints a company receives is also a good indicator of the kind of service you may receive. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) produces an annual complaint index report to track just this. The index uses a baseline of 1.0. Scores below 1.0 indicate that a provider had fewer complaints than expected for a company its size and vice versa. Protective Life has fewer complaints than average and its score has improved steadily over the past three years.

Other Protective Life tools and benefits  accordion 

Protective Life does not offer other types of insurance, but it does provide a handful of retirement products in the form of annuities as well as products for distribution partners and businesses. With an annuity, the customer pays a fixed premium, and the insurance company guarantees them a lump sum or series of payments to provide an income later in life.

Protective Life offers the following types of annuities:

  • Fixed annuities: Protective Life’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.
  • Asset Protection: Protective offers additional products for auto, boat, RV and powersports owners. These products include coverage, mechanical breakdown insurance service contracts, ancillary products and more. 

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Written by
Shannon Martin
Writer, Insurance
Shannon Martin is a licensed insurance agent and Bankrate analyst with over 15 years of experience in the industry. She enjoys helping others navigate the insurance world by cutting through complex jargon and empowering readers to make strong financial decisions independently.
Edited by Editor, Insurance