2017 Review of Protective Life Insurance Company


Like their names suggests, Protective Life Insurance Company has been providing quality life insurance products for over a century.

Protective is widely used by many independent life insurance agents throughout the U.S. and around the globe for a multitude of reasons. Want to learn more about our review of Protective Life Insurance Company?

Find out why we consider this company to be one of our top 50 life insurance companies.

Also learn reasons you might NOT want to apply with Protective.


Quick Article Guide

Who Is Protective Life Insurance?

Protective Life is a financial service holding company based in Birmingham, Alabama. Protective Life operates in all 50 states and also owns the following subsidies;

  • Protective Life & Annuity Insurance Company
  • West Coast Life Insurance Company
  • Lyndon Insurance Group, Inc.

As of 2012, Protective is featured in the Fortune 1000 and the Forbes Global 2000 lists. Protective was founded in 1907 by the former governor of Alabama, William Jelks.

How Do Protective’s Prices Compare?

Our review of Protective Life Insurance company reveals that it is an extremely competitive life insurance company. In fact, they are usually one of the least expensive options available for clients, especially after the age of 50.

Protective also offers arguably the most competitively priced Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance options with level coverage to the age of 90 or later, especially if you are a male in “Fair” or better health.

How does Protective stay so competitive? Protective is by far the best company for life insurance known as Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance. Protective primarily offers two variations of this type of insurance known as a Custom Choice plan for $100,000 or more of coverage and an Advantage Choice plan for coverage amounts of $50,000 or more. Most life insurance companies shy away from term policies that offer coverage amounts of less than $100,000.

These policies are available for someone over the age of 18 and can extend coverage to the age of 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, or even 121. Because of the ability to lock in these level rates until the age of 90 or later, these policies are the perfect policy to handle burial expenses, leave an inheritance, or protect your estate from taxes.


How Does Protective Compare with Underwriting?

Our review of Protective Life Insurance Company show that it is extremely lenient with some health conditions, making them the number one choice for most clients who have a history of heart disease. Protective’s rates are usually 25-40% less than most competitors for someone who has ever had:

In addition, Protective is very lenient with overall cholesterol values and focuses on the ratio of your good cholesterol to your bad cholesterol, even if your total cholesterol number is as high as 275. Protective may also allow you credits for a better rate class. If you are disqualified from a preferred rate solely because of your height/weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, or family history, you may be able to receive extra consideration to improve your rates. In addition Protective allows an occasional cigar, without penalizing the applicant or charging tobacco rates.

Protective is also a very competitive company for anyone who has ever been diagnosed with diabetes or any form of elevated blood sugar. Protective is not a good choice if you have a history of traffic tickets or moving violations in the last 3 years. Most companies will allow a client 2-3 moving violations before prohibiting you from applying with their top rate class. With Protective, however, if you have had more than 2 moving violations in the last 3 years, you may not be eligible for preferred rates and we may recommend applying with another company.

If you are a stay-at home spouse, Protective may not be the best company for you either depending on the amount of insurance you need. Protective will only allow a stay-at-home spouse half of the amount of coverage of the income earning spouse while other companies may allow a stay-at-home spouse the same amount of coverage as the income earning spouse.

Are They Good for Seniors?

Yes, our review of Protective Life Insurance Company illustrates that it is an excellent choice for seniors, especially if they are looking to purchase a policy that will extend coverage to the age of 90 or later.

Protective offers a Guaranteed Universal Life policy with level rates that are comparable to a term policy, but usually offer a longer period of coverage. In fact, if you are shopping for a 20-year term life insurance policy after the age of 65, you may be able to lock in coverage until the age of 90 for less money.

An example of this is our client Henry. Henry is in good health, takes a medication that controls his blood pressure and cholesterol and he is about 20 pounds overweight. Henry is 67 years old and is getting ready to retire, so he decided to start shopping for life insurance. Henry’s goal was to see if he could save money, over the pension option his company was offering him, by buying life insurance. When we spoke, Henry had just been approved for a 20-year term at preferred rates but worried that if he outlived his term of 20 years, his wife Brenda, who is 6 years younger, would have no means to support herself or pay the bills. For Henry, the choice was obvious, term insurance was not going to provide his wife with the benefit she needed, and whole life insurance was too expensive for the amount of coverage Henry needed.

I showed Henry the rates for a $200,000 Protective Guaranteed Universal Life policy that would extend his coverage to the age of 95 or 100, and the rates were only a few dollars more. Henry was approved at a rate of $362.12 per month for his 20-year level term, for $200,000 of coverage. When Henry applied with Protective, he and his wife decided that they wanted to extend his coverage to 95. Henry’s justification was that most of the men in his family had lived into their mid to late 80’s and even if he outlived this policy, it would protect his wife until she was about 90. Henry said, “If I make it to 95, she’ll be fine, we’ll have enough saved up at that time or the kids can help out if they want to keep the house.” Henry was also approved at a preferred rate with Protective, his policy was approved to age 95 at a rate of $391.99 per month – only $29 dollars more per month for an additional 8 years of coverage! By buying this policy, Henry was able to save over $400 a month versus taking a pension reduction to provide the coverage his wife needs.

Financial Stability and Ratings

The life insurance industry is arguably the most heavily regulated industry in the United States. Each state appoints its own insurance commissioner to oversee the insurance companies that sell life insurance within their state. In addition, each life insurance company is also periodically reviewed by third party assessors to determine the insurance company’s liquidity and overall financial strength and stability.

The company that is primarily used and trusted within the insurance industry to assess each company’s strength is a company known as AM Best. AM Best has assigned Protective Life an A+ Superior Rating due to their solid financial strength and over 100 years of proven history. Protective has acquired 47 companies in their history and continue to expand their reach.

In 2013, Protective acquired MONY Life Insurance for $1.06 billion and Chase Insurance Group in 2006. As of 2014, Protective currently holds over $70 billion in assets and has over $357 billion of life insurance in force. Protective celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2007 and continues to differentiate themselves from the majority of other carriers. Protective is highly renowned in the insurance industry and is considered to be one of the best companies in the industry. With over 100 years behind them and an A+ rating, Protective is in the top 1% of all insurance carriers in the United States.

How Is Protective’s Service and How Quickly Do They Approve a Policy?

Protective has excellent reviews based on their customer service. As of 2014, Protective employed over 2,400 people and also have policy holder services located in Birmingham, Alabama. Protective’s policy holder services are in place to service their existing clients’ needs including updating any payment information, addresses, and beneficiaries on your policy. In addition, you can also send any changes you need to have made to your policy to your agent and they will relay this information to Protective on your behalf. Protective also has offices in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

From our experience with Protective, they seem to be one of the fastest companies for underwriting and approving a policy. Most companies will take 4-8 weeks after you complete your free medical exam to approve your policy.

We have found that Protective typically approves its applicants within 3-6 weeks. In some situations however, underwriting can be delayed if you have extensive medicals records from numerous doctors, or if your doctor’s office is slow in releasing your medical records to the insurance company.

Quotes for protective life insurance

What Kind of Products Does Protective Life insurance Offer?

Protective life specializes in Guaranteed Universal life insurance. They offer life insurance policies for 10, 15, 20, or 30 year increments where the rates are level and guaranteed not to change. If you purchase a Term Universal Life policy that provides protection for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, Protective has a unique option that will allow you to continue your coverage at the same monthly cost but slowly decrease the amount of coverage you have.

For most people after the age of 60, this is a great fit because their need for coverage decreases at retirement age. If you need more than $50,000 of coverage for more than 30 years, or past the age of 85, Protective also specializes in level policies that can provide guaranteed rates until the age of 90, 95, 100, or 121. These policies secure coverage for your family when you pass away, but they also offer an accelerated death benefit that may allow you to collect benefits while you are still alive, if you become terminally ill. In addition to these insurance options, Protective Life Insurance Company also offers:

Protective’s History

Protective was started by the former Governor of Alabama, William Jelks, in 1907. In 1927, Protective merged with the Alabama National Insurance Company. The President of Alabama National, Samuel Clabaugh, became the president of newly formed Protective Life which discontinued using the name Alabama National Insurance Company. Clabaugh later named Col. Rushton as the President of Protective and his son who preceded him, William Rushton, expanded Protective’s reach to include all 50 states. Protective has since acquired dozens of companies including West Coast Life, Chase Life Insurance, MONY Life Insurance, West Coast Life Insurance, and Lyndon Property. Protective Life is currently traded on the NYSE under the symbol PL. Protective recently joined forced with Japan’s 2nd largest life insurance company, Dai-ichi Life.

Does Protective Life Pay Their Claims?

Yes, Protective has never failed to pay a valid claim. In fact, Protective actually paid out their first death claim in 1909, just two years after the company started.

Any time a life insurance company fails to pay a valid claim, the insurance commissioner will prevent that insurance company from selling another policy until the claim is paid or proven to be invalid. According to the president and CEO of Protective, in 2013 alone, Protective paid out more than $2 billion in claims.

What Makes a Claim Valid or Invalid?

A valid claim is a claim where there is no fraud suspected. What is life insurance fraud? Life insurance fraud may include an instance when someone else pretends to be you and essentially “stands-in” for your medical exam. Fraud may be also suspected if foul-play is involved. If a criminal investigation was conducted surrounding the circumstances of a death, and you are not found to be guilty of ending that person’s life, the life insurance company will pay out. Fraud may also be suspected if the insurance company finds out that you were diagnosed with a terminal illness prior to your application and you did not disclose it. An example of a terminal illness is advanced stage cancer, HIV, or heart disease.

Reasons You Might Avoid Protective

PROTECTIVE DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE THE LOWEST RATES. While Protective is our go-to company for many health conditions and client situations, here are a few cases where Protective is usually NOT the best company:

How shopping can save you money… In life insurance, the name of the game is applying to the company who will give you the best rating. So let’s say you’re over the age of 65 and are a bit overweight.

You might get Protective’s preferred rating (a very good rating), but could probably save 15% to 25% by applying with one of our specialty companies where you could qualify for their BEST rating, since they have more lenient build charts for individuals over age 65.

… It’s always best to get a second opinion for an independent agent who knows which company is right for you. Get a free quote below from over 40 of our top carriers:


At JRC we offer insurance from over 40 top-rated companies and we provide a free service of shopping the market to find the lowest priced policy available to you no matter what your age is or your health. Call us today at 855-247-9555 and we will provide you with unbiased quotes from the top 10 companies available to you.

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3 comments… add one
  • Charles E. Slay April 17, 2017, 7:46 am

    Just looking for ratings, reviews, comments and or commentaries or otherwise on protective life variable annuity investor series. Hard to find even honorable mention other than their on websites.

  • Stephen KIng January 11, 2018, 1:02 am

    I paid premiums to this company for seven years, never missing or being late the entire time. My wife passed away on 12-15-2017. I contacted them that same day. Because I could not produce a copy of the policy, I was told I could not submit the claim on line and had to do so via mail. I mailed the complete application, including all requested documents on 12-21-2017. I was told that if the documents were in order, and the payment was approved, it would be paid in 7 – 10 business days. I heard nothing by Jan. 2, 2018 so I called. I was told the documents were received and everything seemed in order, and that if approved I could expect payment by 1-10-18 (20 calendar days after mailing).
    On 1-8-18 I receive an email that the W9 I completed did not contain my social security number so the claim cannot be processed, even though my correct social security number was included on the application. I completed another W9 and sent it in that evening. I have communicated with three representatives of Protective Life Insurance (including a supervisor) who all say the same thing. Your claim will be paid 7 – 10 working days from approval of documents, and because the social security number was not repeated on the W9 that the 7 -10 business day delay starts over. Unbelievable that it took 18 days for this company to “notice” that the social security number was only listed once instead of twice, and that the only recourse is for a new form to be submitted and their “7 – 10 business days” counter to be started over. It appears that delaying payment, and quoting “standard” delays, is a common tactic used by this company to hold onto the money as long as possible.
    The only reason to purchase Life Insurance is to be paid in the event of death. This company appears to not be happy with the profit they make by collecting more in premiums than paying in benefits, but rather wants to hold your money as long as possible to earn interest on money that is no longer theirs. Stick with a reputable life insurance company. Don’t buy from these people, or their affiliates, unless you don’t care if your claim is paid in a timely manner. Shame on you, Protective Life Insurance Company. You should be aware that these policies are purchased to cover costs such as end of life medical, loss of income, and viewing, funeral, and burial expenses. These expenses are incurred prior to, and immediately following, death. Holding on to beneficiaries money for over a month when all information was provided in 6 days is not honoring your obligations in good faith. In 7 years, you never once failed to take the monthly payments from my bank account on time, but when it is your turn to pay, you need over a month. Increasing your profit margin by delaying the only benefit you provide is simply wrong.

    • Randy McClintick January 15, 2018, 10:52 am

      Mr. King,

      Thank you for your comments and visiting our JRC Life Insurance website. We understand your frustration. Hopefully funds have now been paid out. 3-4 weeks after providing claim form with death certificate copy seems to be the norm. Life insurance is generally paid in timely manner since bills and expenses can quickly mount after a breadwinner’s death. All the best to you and your family.

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