Protective Life Insurance

time icon 8 min read update icon Sept. 20, 2019
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Protective Life Insurance Company is a financially sound insurer that is over 100 years old and beats most of its competitors in the price of its term life insurance policies. 

Founded in 1907, Protective Life Insurance Company is one of the more interesting term life insurance companies in the U.S. It offers among the best rates available on term life insurance. Protective Life has a unique term life policy that allows you to keep your policy after the term is over at the same price, just the face amount decreases. This is the opposite of traditional term life and is one of the reasons they are growing so quickly. Although not a household name, it owns a respectable share of the market thanks to some creativity in the alternatives it offers to an aging population. Protective Life also offers some flexibility in its underwriting for middle-age clients and older, particularly for non-smokers.

Grandfolk Scoring
Coverage 8/10
Waiting period 8/10
Customer support 9/10
Medical exam required 7/10
Maximum coverage 10/10
Coverage age limit 9/10
Living benefits 9/10
Exclusions 9/10
Rate increases 9/10
Ease of enrollment 9/10
Cost 10/10
What services are covered?
Death Benefits, plus Terminal Illness and Accidental Death riders
Waiting period
How soon can services be used?
As soon as the policy is approved, if you qualify
Customer support
Ease of access
Phone or online ‘click to talk’ access
Medical exam required
s a medical exam required?
Maximum coverage
What is the maximum coverage available?
$50 million
Coverage age limit
To what age is coverage available?
Expiry age is 90
Living benefits
Can benefits be accessed while living?
Terminal illness rider available
What isn’t covered?
Suicide, if it occurs during the first two years of the policy
Rate increases
Will the rates increase each year?
Not during the initial term of policy, then annually
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll
Phone to talk with a Protective Life Agent, or get a free online quote
Monthly premium
Varies based on age, health and other factors
Age Score:
50-64 Years
65-74 Years
75-84 Years

Premiums for term life insurance tend to increase significantly after about age 50, so Protective’s particularly low premiums make insurance affordable for many who choose to buy it later in life. Coverage is available to age 90, which is older than many insurers. It can go even higher if you look at Protective’s hybrid policy called a Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) plan; it can go to age 121. However, Protective’s enrollment process is slow: first, you get a quote online, then you fill out an online application and have a phone call about lifestyle and health history. Then you wait to get a free 30-minute health exam and wait again for approval. This may seem cumbersome once you get up in years.

Health Score:
Great Health
Good Health
Fair Health
Poor Health

Enrollment in Protective term life policies requires a medical exam, which can be detrimental if you wait to be ill before purchasing one. However, this requirement can be beneficial to some, since medical exams mean insurers know exactly what they are insuring, so they do not need to ‘pad’ premiums to cover the unknown risk. Also, another medical exam is not required if you choose to convert the policy from term to permanent later on, so regardless of your health at that time you can get coverage after your term policy has run out. In day-to-day transactions, Protective will enroll you, if you wish, in eDelivery which is a free service to handle everything online. As your health declines, if you prefer to get off the computer, the company will take you back to paper documents delivered by the U.S. mail at any time.


  • Premiums will never increase, and coverage will never decrease for the term of the policy. 
  • According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Protective draws fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators.
  • Offers extremely competitive rates: Protective’s Classic Choice Term life insurance policy has rates up to 49 percent less expensive than the competition.
  • Its online Learning Center has a large selection of educational articles that explain the various types of insurance available. 
  • Its website allows you to track the status of applications, view policy and contract information, initiate policy changes, set up payment alerts and execute financial transactions.
  • Enrollment is optional in eDelivery, a free service to handle all transactions online. (You may revert to paper documents delivered by the U.S. mail at any time.)
  • Policies are mostly offered through independent life insurance agents throughout the U.S. but are also available directly from the company.


  • The enrollment process is slow: get a quote, fill out an application, have a phone call about lifestyle and health history, get a free 30-minute health exam and wait for approval.
  • A limited amount of information is available online on benefits, riders, limitations and exclusions on policy options without calling the company.
  • The company has a 2-year period to contest a policy for inaccuracies or fraud; also, two years before suicide is covered.  
  • Premiums increase annually after the initial guaranteed premium period unless it is converted to another policy.
  • Protective Life’s Classic Choice Term policy is not available in New York.
  • The most recent website reviews are dated October 2015.

Bottom Line:

Protective Life is perceived as very stable, with a rich tradition based on its more than 100 years of existence. It has some of the best prices available for term life insurance. Because it requires medical exams for all applications, it knows the risk it is covering, instead of having to raise premiums to cover the unknown (as happens in the case of no-medical-exam life insurance options). On term life insurance, it offers a generous range of coverage from $100,000 to $50 million. 

If you are a senior over the age of 65 looking for coverage, Protective Life can be an excellent choice because, besides its renewable and convertible term plans, it also offers a form of Guaranteed Universal Life policy with pricing that is comparable to term insurance because it accrues no cash value. However, it offers ‘lifetime’ coverage like permanent insurance: to age 90 or even 120. So, if you are over age 65 and in good health, its Custom Choice UL policy could be a better option than 15-year term insurance where you might ‘age out’ of the policy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does your term coverage include an ‘accelerated death benefit?’ Yes, funds can be made available in cases of terminal illness.

How do I get started? After calculating your needs, you get a quote, fill out an application, have a phone call about your lifestyle and health history, get a free 30-minute health exam and wait for approval. However, because of this more thorough process, the company is able to offer lower premiums by not having to bump up premiums to cover unknown risks.

What security measures do you provide for my personal information if I contact your company online? The company maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with Federal and State laws to protect all the information it has obtained about you.

More Information:


Overview:  Protective Life offers Term Life, Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable Universal Life, Survivorship Life, Single Premium Variable Life and Retirement Annuities. Only term life insurance is being reviewed here. 

Package Details:

Protective’s Classic Choice Term life policy offers you 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year term life policies, with coverage to age 90. Coverage ranges from $100,000 to $50 million and level premiums are guaranteed during the initial term. The death benefit is income tax-free to your beneficiaries. A no-cost terminal illness rider can be activated if death is expected within six months. It allows an advance of up to 60 percent of the death benefit, or $1 million, whichever is less (if your state allows this). Options exist for plans to be renewable or to convert to a permanent policy at certain points without a medical exam if your needs change, based on term length and product availability. Pricing for your new policy is subject to change, although you will retain your original risk class. You may be able to convert all or a portion of your policy into a permanent policy without having to prove your insurability. 

Protective Life also offers the option of combining policy types. If owning permanent life insurance with cash value is too costly, consider combining term and permanent life, say 50% term, 50% permanent. This way, you have your needs covered at the end of your term policy while securing a permanent policy.

Protective’s Custom Choice UL offers benefits similar to term but offers the flexibility of a universal life policy at rates that are typically less than other types of permanent life insurance on the market. You select the amount of coverage you need, along with the initial level-benefit period of 10, 20 and 30 years, like term life insurance. Premiums are low. But unlike term life insurance, you have the unique option to exchange your policy for permanent coverage within the first 20 years, or up to age 70, whichever comes first, without going through another medical exam. You might also adjust the amount of coverage. This is a form of Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) plan which is growing in popularity with seniors who realize they may ‘age out’ of their term policies. Maximum coverage is to age 120, and it can be issued to ages 18-85. Face value goes from $100,000 to $10+ million. Costs are kept down because it has no cash value accumulation. It is like “a guaranteed level term for life” which offers a guaranteed, tax-free death benefit to loved ones.

Needless to say, the fine print of all policies must be read before signing, to be certain no hidden terms or conditions would affect the viability of the policy for you.

Optional Accessories or Add-on Services

Accidental Death Benefit Rider provides coverage that pays an extra death benefit if the death results from an accident. It can range from $1,000 to $250,000 and expires at age 65. Available at an additional cost.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: N/A

Warranty: N/A 

Accreditations: Protective Life Insurance Company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but it does have a rating of A+ on BBB’s website. It ranked ‘average’ in J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction survey, within the top 20 insurance companies in the U.S., rating 774 out of 1,000 (where top-ranked State Farm rated 853). It ranked about average in all five categories: overall satisfaction, billing and payment, price, policy offerings and interaction with the company. Financial strength is A+ (Superior) according to A.M. Best ratings. Its Comdex Ranking is 91 out of 100.

Company Details:  While not a household name, Protective Life Insurance Company has been providing life insurance coverage for over 100 years: it was founded in 1907 and paid its first claim in 1909. Over the years, it acquired several major insurance companies such as West Coast Life, Mutual of New York (MONY) and Chase Insurance Group, making Protective Life one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. today. Although once publicly traded, in 2015 Protective Life Corporation was acquired by The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, as a wholly owned subsidiary, and Protective’s common stock has ceased trading. 

It offers a diverse portfolio of personalized products and services to meet the life insurance, asset protection and retirement income needs of individuals. As of September 2017, the company has assets of approximately $79 billion. It claims to have core values of “Do the Right Thing, Serve People, Build Trust and Simplify Everything.” 


Protective Life Insurance Company
2801 Highway 280 South
Birmingham AL  35223-2407

Phone: 800-866-9933


Sharon O'Day - Senior Advisor

Sharon O’Day fixes financial lives. She is a tell-it-like-it-is money expert with a successful career in global finance, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in getting entrepreneurial women over 50 back on their game so they can have more money, less stress and more joy. With her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” strategies, they take actions that lead to their ultimate goal: financial peace of mind.