Protective Life Insurance Company Review
B.A. Risk Management
Life Insurance Agent
Are you thinking of buying a life insurance policy for yourself or your family members? Odds are if you are comparing term life insurance rates online, you have come across the name Protective. This is because they are one of the most competitively priced options on the market today. Life insurance companies adjust their policy pricing frequently. Protective's pricing continues to trend in the right direction - down. Rate decreases are a sign of a company having a proficient underwriting process and a direct blueprint to a company's overall financial strength and longevity.
This review poses a detailed look at Protective Life Insurance, including its strengths and weaknesses, as well as presents an in-depth look at the policies offered by the company.
There are few life insurance companies as well-known, reliable, and financially stable as Protective. Protective's accelerated underwriting process is a breeze for healthy applicants; however, underwriting can prove more tedious for those with health impairments.
About Protective Life Insurance
Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company was established in 1907 by William Dorsey Jelks, former governor of Alabama. The company expanded rapidly in the following years and had insurance policies worth over $65 million in force by 1932. By 1957, the company had policies worth over $1 billion in force.
Over the years, Protective Life Insurance has acquired several companies including West Coast Life Insurance Company, Chase Insurance Group, and MONY Life Insurance Company. Currently, the company has a solid presence in all 50 states and has over $75 billion in assets. The company is still located in Birmingham, Alabama, and it is frequently cited as one of the best life insurance companies in the US.
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Financial stability is the most important factor shoppers of life insurance should consider when choosing an insurance provider. A company's ratings are one of the best ways to determine an insurer's financial strength. Below are the current ratings for Protective Life Insurance Company in terms of financial security.
- AM Best: A+
- Standard & Poor's: AA-
- Moody's: A1
- Fitch: A+
- Comdex Score: 92
- Source of Ratings
Protective has received an 'A' rating or above from all four agencies over the years, which is a claim very few companies in the country can make. The verdict is Protective is a very financially secure company.
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Protective's Life Insurance Products
AM Best Rating
Term Life Insurance
Protective offers a term life insurance policy called Classic Choice, which is affordably priced and is designed to provide coverage for a specific time period. Some key features of the policy are highlighted below.
- Insured individuals can choose a term length based on their needs from 10 to 30 years.
- The death benefit starts at $100,000 and can be set as high as $5,000,000.
- This is a level-premium product, which means the premium stays the same from the first month to the last month of the policy's term.
- If at any point during the policy's term, the policyholder decides he or she needs lifelong coverage, the insured can convert the term policy into a permanent policy. Conversion warrants no additional medical testing and the insured retains the risk class originally assigned by the company.
One of the biggest advantages of Protective's Classic Choice policy is it is extremely affordable. A 30-year old non-smoking male in good health can purchase a 10-year policy worth $100,000 for around $7 a month. This is significantly cheaper than the same policy offered by most other companies.
Protective also offers a terminal illness rider for its term life policyholders. This rider basically converts the death benefit into a living benefit in the event of a terminal illness diagnosis. This pays a portion of the policy's death benefit to the policyholder in the form of monthly payments that can be used to pay for treatment.
Permanent Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance
Protective offers a traditional whole life insurance policy whose key features include:
- Lifetime coverage as long as the premium payments are made regularly.
- Level premium payments - no increase or decrease throughout the policy's duration.
- A cash value account that earns interest at a fixed rate throughout the policy's duration.
- The option to borrow against the policy's cash value portion.
Child Whole Life Insurance
Protective also offers a whole life policy which is designed for young children. The key features of the Protect My Child whole life plan include:
- Coverage ranging from $10,000 to $100,000
- Extremely simple application process with no medical test requirements
- Coverage amount set to double on the 18th birthday of the insured child or grandchild at no additional cost
- Ownership of the policy automatically transfers from the guardian to the child or grandchild, when he or she reaches the age of 21
- Cash value account of the policy keeps growing in value throughout the coverage period.; this money can be used by the insured child or grandchild for a variety of purposes including college tuition, down payment for a house, capital for a small business, and more; cash can even be used as collateral for a business or personal loan
- Extremely low locked-in rates (in terms of premium) right from the start of coverage period; rates do not increase as the child or grandchild grows up
Protective's child whole life policy offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of premium payments. The policyholder/guardian can choose level pay (pay the same amount on a monthly or yearly basis throughout the coverage period) or single pay (pay the entire premium amount in a lump sum).
Universal Life Insurance
Protective offers four different types of universal life policies, each of which offers a unique set of benefits. These policies are explained in more detail below.
Custom Choice Universal Life
This is a uniquely structured and affordably priced universal life policy offered by Protective. The policy's key features include:
- Coverage period can range from 10 to 30 years
- Premium payments are considerably lower than typical payments for a universal life policy and remain unchanged during the coverage period
- Policy stays in effect after the initial coverage period ends; premiums remain the same, but death benefit amount reduces steadily
- Conversion to permanent coverage without undergoing a medical examination is offered once term period ends
Variable Universal Life
Protective's variable universal life policy offers the following benefits:
- A minimum guaranteed death benefit, which does not decrease in value throughout the policy's duration, as long as the premium payments are made in a timely manner.
- Premium payments are not fixed - the policyholder can choose to reduce or increase the premium from time to time, depending on income level and financial obligations.
- Money in the cash value account can be used to pay premiums.
- Money in the cash value account is available via a loan for financial needs.
- Money in the cash value account can be invested in the stock market which means higher returns when the market is on an upward trajectory and lower returns when it is not.
- Several investment options are available, each with their own benefits and risks allowing the policyholder to decide where his or her money goes.
Indexed Universal Life
Protective's indexed universal life policy offers the following benefits:
- Lifelong coverage and death benefit
- Two cash value accounts - one which earns a fixed rate of interest and another one that grows based on the performance of a market index
- There is no fixed premium - the insured can choose to pay more or less depending on income level and financial obligations.
- Guaranteed downside protection - the money in the cash value account continues to earn interest at a fixed rate regardless of market conditions.
The biggest advantage of Protective's indexed universal life policy is the cash value account has the potential to grow at a much faster rate compared to the cash value component of a regular universal life policy.
Unlike a variable universal life policy, there is no risk of a negative return on investment in the event of a market crash. Thanks to the downside protection feature, the account continues to accrue interest even during a downturn or crash.
Survivorship Universal Life
Protective's survivorship universal life policy offers the following benefits:
- A single policy is designed to cover two individuals (typically a married couple). It is far more affordable than buying two separate policies.
- This policy offers lifetime coverage for both policyholders.
- If either the insured or his or her spouse/partner finds it hard to qualify for a life insurance policy individually, they can obtain a survivorship policy together, being that it is a lot easier to qualify for.
- The death benefit is paid out on the death of the second policyholder. It can be used for a wide range of purposes like funeral expenses, estate taxes, outstanding bills, and several other needs.
- If the couple who buys the policy together decides to separate, the existing policy can be converted into two separate policies with a reduced death benefit.
- The cash value component grows in value throughout the policy's term. The insurance provider determines the interest rate. The policyholder can access the accumulated cash in the account for any purpose, at any time by making a withdrawal or taking out a loan.
Riders Offered by Protective
The company offers several riders to enhance the protection offered by their life insurance policies. They include critical or terminal illness rider,waiver of premium rider, and many more.
Pros and Cons of Protective Life Insurance
Pros of Protective
Reliability and Stability
Protective has been in the insurance business for over a century now and is well known for having great financial strength. The company pays out millions in claims every year in a timely manner. It is undoubtedly one of the most financially stable and reliable insurance providers in the United States.
Affordable Term Life Insurance
Protective's life insurance policies are competitively priced. The company's term life policies, in particular, are cheaper than the policies offered by most other companies, including Banner.
Wide Variety of Permanent Life Policies
Protective offers two different types of whole life policies - one for adults and one for young children.
The company also offers four different types of universal life policies - a unique, affordably priced universal life policy, a variable universal life policy, an indexed universal life policy, and a survivorship universal life policy.
Flexible Underwriting for Preferred Groups
Protective's underwriting guidelines are lenient toward people with certain pre existing conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Cons of Protective
Low Tolerance for Smokers
Unlike Prudential, Protective's underwriting policies are quite strict when it comes to smokers. Applicants will qualify for preferred rates only if they are a non-smoker or if they have quit the habit and not smoked in the last five years. Casual smokers will not qualify for preferred rates at all.
The company is slightly more lenient towards cigar smokers. Applicants can smoke up to six cigars a year for celebratory purposes. They must admit to cigar use during the application process, though. Also, urine samples should not contain any traces of nicotine.
Is Protective the right insurance company for you?
Protective is well-known, reliable, and financially stable. Its term life policies are extremely affordable, and it offers a wide range of choices in terms of permanent life policies. When it comes to permanent life policies, however, there are many other companies whose products are just as good as, if not better than, Protective's products. Protective is an excellent choice for non-smokers since they can qualify for the lowest rates possible. Smokers should consider buying life insurance from companies more lenient toward smokers.