Fitch Rates Protective Life Corp.'s Junior Subordinated Debt 'BBB+'

Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BBB+' rating to Protective Life Corporation's (PLC) issuance of $200 million in junior subordinated debt. At the same time, Fitch has affirmed PLC's 'A' Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and 'A-' senior debt rating. The Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) and medium-term note ratings and the ratings on existing trust preferreds are not affected. The Rating Outlook for all ratings is Stable. (See below for a complete listing of ratings.)

Proceeds from the issuance will be used to help finance PLC's acquisition of the Chase Insurance Group, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2006 pending regulatory approvals. Fitch affirmed all PLC ratings following the acquisition announcement in February 2006.

Fitch expects PLC's pro forma equity-adjusted leverage following the issuance to be about 20% and cash coverage about 4 times. Consolidated risk-based capital is expected to remain above 300%.

PLC is a Delaware holding company with total assets and stockholders' equity of $29 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, at March 31, 2006.

Fitch assigns the following rating, with a Stable Outlook:

Protective Life Corporation

-- $200 million in floating-rate junior subordinated debt due 2066 'BBB+'.

Fitch affirms the following ratings:

Protective Life Corporation

-- Issuer default rating (IDR) 'A';

-- Senior debt 'A-'.

The following ratings are not affected:

PLC Capital Trust III, IV, V

-- Trust preferred 'BBB+'.

Protective Life Insurance Company

-- Insurance financial strength (IFS) at 'AA-';

Protective Life Secured Trust (P.L.S.T.)

-- Funding-agreement-backed notes 'AA-';

Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company

West Coast Life Insurance Company

Empire General Life Assurance Corporation

-- IFS at 'AA-'.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.

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