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American General (AIG direct) life insurance review 2019

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Simplify your search for life insurance with this financially sound provider that offers online policy quotes and flexible term life products.

Get a quote if…

  • You want flexible term lengths.

Pick something else if…

  • You don’t want the hassle of a medical exam, or want a Whole policy.

18 to 75

Issue Age

$100,000 to $2,000,000

Coverage Amount


Medical Exam Required


Free QuoteOnline, Phone
Insurance ProductsTerm life insurance
Issue Age18 to 75
Coverage Amount$100,000 to $2,000,000
Term Lengths10, 12, or 15-35 years
CostAs low as $13.81 per month*
Medical Exam RequiredYes
Ways To File A ClaimPhone, mail
Ratings, Accreditation and MembershipsStandard & Poor’s: A+ (strong), Moody’s: A2 (good), A.M. Best: A (excellent),
Fitch: A+ (strong)
State AvailabilityAll 50 states
Customer Service OptionsOnline, Phone
Policy Riders OfferedYes

What types of life insurance coverage does American General offer?

Term Life Insurance. With 18 terms to choose from ranging from 10 to 35 years, this policy also offers the option to convert to a permanent life insurance policy at the end of the level-premium period.

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life. Guaranteed coverage is provided for applicants between the ages of 50 and 85 with no medical examination. A $24 annual policy fee is required. Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $25,000.

Quality of Life Insurance. With four Quality of Life policies available, select the permanent policy that best fits your needs, from QoL Flex Term coverage that only lasts for a predetermined time, to QoL Max Accumulator that offers supplemental retirement income.

Universal Life Insurance. American General has seven universal life insurance policies to select from. Features include guaranteed death benefit protection, cash benefits, living benefit riders and adjustable premiums.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 80 are guaranteed acceptance, with no medical examination required. Benefits of up to $500,000 are available in the event of accidental death, dismemberment or paralysis.

Variable Universal Life. Permanent coverage with the opportunity to accumulate cash value through multiple investment options. You can adjust premiums and death benefits as your needs change.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

For flexibility and additional coverage, American General offers several add-ons that can be added to standard policies. Their riders vary by policy but include:

  • Living benefits. Also called an accelerated death benefit, living benefits typically offer an early payout of death benefits if the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Waiver of premium rider. This policy add-on allows the policyholder to keep coverage even if they can’t make payments because of extenuating circumstances, like a disability.
  • Children’s insurance rider. Extends your coverage to cover a child in your home. Maximum amount of coverage is $25,000.

How do I get a low rate?

While American General doesn’t explicitly state its premium rate requirements, most providers offer the best rates to those with a clean bill of health. Any of the following factors could reduce your potential of securing a premium rate:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Overweight
  • High cholesterol

Pros and cons of American General


  • Online resources. The “Knowledge and Insights” information hub on its website offers guides and articles on everything you ever wanted to know about life insurance.
  • Flexible term lengths. Term life policies come in 10, 15–30 or 35 year increments so you can pick the right amount of coverage period that suits you.
  • Online quote. Input your name, date of birth and contact information, and you’re able to receive a quote in less than a half hour.


  • Long processing period. Customer reviews have highlighted the sometimes lengthy process of getting coverage.
  • Medical exams. In order to offer the lowest rates possible, American General requires an approved medical exam to determine your coverage.
  • Pricey. Customers complain of high premiums.

Compare Life insurance companies

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
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18 - 75 years old
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Get a term life insurance quote from this A+ rated company, founded in 1875. Customize your policy with additional life and disability riders.
18 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
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Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam required.
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
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Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
25 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
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Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.
20 - 80 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
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Quickly get a quote for coverage with this marketplace, which compares term & whole life insurance policies from 45+ carriers.
20 - 85 years old
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Get a term or whole life insurance quote from Fidelity Life - starting as low as $15/day.
18 - 80 years old
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21 - 54 years old
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Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
25 - 83 years old
$25,000 to $1,000,000
Depends on policy
Get a term life quote from eCoverage - starting at as low as $15 per month.

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American General reviews and complaints

American General doesn’t have many favorable reviews online. Many consumers complain of hiked premiums, callous customer service and slow claims processing. As of this writing, it has not yet received an accredited status from the Better Business Bureau, although it does maintain an A- rating on the platform.

How does American General protect my data?

American General collects your personal information for business purposes, including contacting you about products or services, processing applications and claims, servicing your account, and responding to your questions and concerns. Your information may be shared with others that provide services on American General’s behalf. It may also be shared with other companies that would like to offer you other products and services. However, you can opt out of this sharing.

American General maintains physical and electronic procedures to safeguard your data, in addition to encrypting the transmission of your info using SSL technology.

How do I sign up?

You can begin the process of getting a quote for term life insurance online with American General.

  1. To begin, click Get a Quote on American General’s homepage.
  2. Provide a little info about yourself, including your contact information, gender, weight and height, and nicotine use. Then click Get Your Quote.
  3. An agent will contact you shortly with your quote and help you proceed with applying.
  4. More about American General

    American General is an international insurance corporation that provides insurance coverage not only to the US, but to more than 80 countries around the world. It was founded in 1919 in Shanghai, China, by an American — Cornelius Vander Starr.

    Since then, the company has grown to a staff of over 56,000 employees. Also referred to by its parent company, AIG, it has grown into a global corporation with business operations in the US, Europe and Asia.

    American General is well-known for its comprehensive insurance products that include Quality of Life policies, offering living benefits should the policyholder become terminally ill.

    In addition to its life insurance policies, American General also offers the following financial products:

    American General in the news

    An accounting scandal in 2005 hurt the reputation of American General, costing them $1.6 billion in fines. Then AIG fell into trouble again in 2008 when it relied on a government bailout to save it from failure. With about $1 trillion in assets, AIG lost $99.2 billion in the global financial crisis. The US government had to give $85 billion to keep it from going under.

    Since then, it’s strengthened through shifts in the company and selling off some of its divisions. Today it stands strong with high ratings for financial strength from top ratings companies, staying committed to its policyholders along the way.

    How do I file an insurance claim with American General?

    A claim with American General can only be submitted by contacting its Customer Service Center at 800-231-3655, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT.

    You can also download the Life Claims Kit from the website and mail it in along with the necessary documentation.

    Beneficiaries must complete the claimant statement form and submit it alongside all required documentation, including a death certificate, the life insurance policy and a newspaper account, if available.

    Bottom line

    American General is one of the largest providers of life insurance products in the US, so it’s able to offer a comprehensive selection of policies, terms, riders and flexible premiums.

    But be aware that claims processing could be a time-intensive process and American General’s customer service hasn’t been awarded high marks by online reviewers.

    Picking a life insurance policy is a big step. Make sure you know what your options are with other providers before applying for a policy.

    Frequently asked questions

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