Life subsidiaries of a Southern company are offering an equity-indexed crediting option that comes with a minimum return guarantee.

Protective Life Corp., Birmingham, Ala., says its Protective Life Insurance Company unit will be building the new Fixed Rate Plus account into its Protective ProSaver Index Choice II annuity and its ProSaver Index Plus annuity.

Protective Life Insurance sells the Index Choice II annuity mainly through independent agents and broker-dealers. It sells the Index Plus II annuity through financial institutions, according to Protective Life.

Another Protective Life unit, West Coast Life Insurance Company, will include the new account in the Index Advantage II indexed annuity, which is sold mainly through brokerage general agencies.

The Protective Life Insurance and West Coast Life annuities already have offered holders a choice of fixed accounts and traditional indexed accounts.

The new Fixed Rate Plus account pays a fixed rate of interest that is compounded daily throughout the year, Protective Life says.

The holder also can receive “indexed interest crediting that is based on a specified percentage of any increase in the S&P 500 Index,” Protective Life says. “If the S&P 500 Index decreases, the purchaser is still credited with a fixed rate of interest each year.”

The interest guarantees are backed by the Protective Life units that issue the annuities.