Prudential Life Insurance vs. Protective Life Insurance

In this article...
  • Compare Prudential life insurance vs. Protective life insurance and find the policy that offers the right protection for your family at the best price.

Prudential and Protective are both prestigious life insurance companies that receive the highest rating from A.M. Best for financial stability. Both companies offer competitive rates and a diverse array of policy configurations. No matter which company you choose, you can be confident that they will pay all legitimate claims in a timely manner.

Depending on your needs and budget, however, one of these companies might be a better fit than the other. This guide looks at the similarities and differences found when we compare Prudential life insurance vs. Protective life insurance, and it offers tips on ensuring you get the best policy at the best price.

Compare Prudential Life Insurance vs. Protective Life Insurance: Policy Offerings

Prudential and Protective offer term and permanent life insurance, but the specific configurations on offer differ substantially between the two companies. The list below describes the life insurance products offered by Prudential and Protective.

Life Insurance Products Offered by Both Companies

  • Term life insurance: Term life insurance covers you for a defined term rather than for the rest of your life. It offers the most coverage at the lowest price, but when the term ends, your coverage goes away. It is ideal for people with young families who need a lot of coverage while their kids are growing up but don't expect to need it forever.
  • Universal life insurance: Universal life insurance provides permanent coverage with a high degree of flexibility. You can adjust the death benefit up or down by paying higher or lower premiums. It also doubles as an investment product by accruing cash value.
  • Indexed universal life insurance: Indexed universal life insurance is a specific type of universal life in which the cash value is pegged to a market index such as the S&P rather than growing at a fixed rate. While this is riskier, it also offers more growth potential over the long term. All other features of indexed universal life are the same as traditional universal life.

Life Insurance Products Offered by Prudential Only

  • Variable universal life insurance: Variable universal life insurance is another variation of universal life, one in which the cash value is invested directly into the equity markets, typically stocks and money markets. Like indexed universal life, it offers tremendous upside but exposes your policy's cash value to market risks.
  • Final expense insurance: Final expense insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that has a small death benefit and lenient underwriting terms, making it ideal for older people who only need enough coverage to pay for their funeral and burial costs.

Life Insurance Products Offered by Protective Only

  • Whole life insurance: Whole life refers to permanent insurance that has fixed monthly premiums and a fixed death benefit and accrues cash value at a fixed rate of interest. It is the most straightforward and the safest type of permanent insurance, but it does not offer the flexibility of universal life or the growth potential of a variable or indexed policy.
  • Variable life insurance: Variable life is a type of whole life insurance in which the cash value is invested in stocks, money markets and other equities. All of its other features, such as its fixed premiums and death benefit, are the same as whole life insurance.

How Do Premium Rates Compare Between Prudential and Protective?

Prudential and Protective both offer competitive premium rates, but the rates at Protective tend to be lower across the board for healthy, nonsmoking applicants. When health conditions and tobacco use are brought into the mix, however, the comparison gets a little murkier. No matter your age, gender or health status, you should always compare quotes from every company you're considering before you make a decision. Don't rely solely on broad price comparisons that might not take your unique needs and circumstances into account.

The table below shows the average monthly premiums charged by each company for a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy taken out by a healthy nonsmoker.

Applicant's age

Protective monthly premium (female)

Prudential monthly premium (female)

Protective monthly premium (male)

Prudential monthly premium (male)


























Source: Finder

Which Company Offers Better Rates for People With Health Conditions?

Life insurance underwriters take into account more than just your age and gender when calculating your premiums. Your lifestyle habits and preexisting health conditions influence the level of risk you present to the insurance company, which impacts the amount they charge you.

Charging a policyholder higher premiums because of a lifestyle factor or preexisting condition is known in life insurance parlance as "rating up." The table below shows which of these two companies tends to have lower rate-ups for various conditions.

Health condition

Company with lower rate-ups



Recent weight loss


Heart attack




Sleep apnea


Tobacco use (current or former)


Hypertension (high blood pressure)


High cholesterol


Which Policy Riders Are Available?

Policy riders let you customize your life insurance by adding more coverage in specific areas where you need it. Each rider adds a little bit of cost to your monthly premiums. Prudential and Protective both offer a number of policy rider options at similar costs, causing them to grade out equally in this category. The list below describes some of the most popular policy riders offered by both companies:

  • Child protection rider: This rider gives you additional coverage in a worst-case-scenario event in which you lose a child under the age of 18. It typically pays enough to cover funeral and burial costs.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider: This rider lets you receive your death benefit ahead of time if you are diagnosed with a terminal or critical illness.
  • Accidental death benefit rider: This rider pays an additional benefit on top of your normal death benefit if your death is the result of a qualifying accident.
  • Disability waiver of premium rider: This rider waives your premiums while preserving your death benefit if you become totally disabled on a long-term basis and can no longer work.

Choosing a Life Insurance Policy From Prudential or Protective

If you are in the market for a life insurance policy to protect your family from a worst-case-scenario event, Prudential and Protective are two great places to start looking. Both companies offer a diverse line of reputable products and have the financial stability to pay benefits. However, the two companies differ in their specific offerings and pricing structures, so you should research carefully and compare quotes before making a final decision. A financial advisor can guide you in your decision-making process.

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