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American General (AIG direct) life insurance review 2020

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Get life insurance with this financially sound provider offering online policy quotes and flexible term life products.

finder.com's rating: 3 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if… You want flexible term lengths.
  • Pick something else if… You don’t want the hassle of a medical exam.

18 to 85

Issue Age

$5,000 to $2,000,000

Coverage

No

Medical Exam Required

Details

Free quote Online, Phone
Monthly cost $14/month
Policies Term, Whole, Quality, Universal, Permanent, Variable Universal
Coverage maximum $2,000,000
Term lengths 10, 15, 30, 35 years
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Spouse rider, Waiver-of-premium rider
Medical exam required No
Available states All 50 states
Issue age

Expert review

Julia Cameron

Review by


Julia Cameron is a writer and editor who has experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, content marketing and immigration law. She has a passion for interior design and an affinity for Old Florida, where she lives with her family.

Expert review

As one of the largest providers of life insurance products in the US, American General offers a comprehensive selection of policies, terms and riders, as well as flexible premiums.

However, customers complain of a long and frustrating claims process, and the insurer doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service.

What types of life insurance coverage does American General offer?

American General offers a variety of term life and permanent life options that are underwritten by AIG Direct.

  • Term life insurance. This company offers 18 term length options ranging from 10 to 30 years. After your term period is up, you’ll have the option to convert your policy to a permanent insurance policy. You can also opt for a term life policy that includes living benefits, such as an accelerated death benefit.
  • Whole life insurance. This company offers a guaranteed issue whole life policy for applicants between 50 and 85 years old. It’s permanent coverage with options ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, and you won’t have to take a medical exam to qualify. You’ll be able to build cash value, and lock in your premium rate at the age you purchase your policy — so buying it while you’re young and healthy pays off.
  • Universal life insurance. This policy is permanent life insurance that covers you for your entire life, as long as premiums are paid. You’ll have the ability to build cash value, and adjust your premiums and death benefit to meet your life stage.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

To customize your policy, American General offers a variety of add-ons. These add-ons vary by policy, but include:

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Also called living benefits, this add-on offers an early payout of death benefits if the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Accidental death benefit rider. With this add-on, your beneficiaries will receive an additional benefit if you die in an accident, like a car accident.
  • Child rider. This feature allows you to extend up to $25,000 in life insurance coverage to your children.
  • Guaranteed insurability rider. This rider allows you to purchase additional coverage at specified dates without having to take a medical exam.
  • Spouse rider. This add-on allows you to purchase additional coverage for your spouse, without purchasing a separate policy.
  • 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.

What factors affect my rate with American General?

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 these factors could reduce your potential of securing a premium rate:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Unhealthy height to weight ratio
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Driving infractions

Pros and cons of American General

Pros

  • Helpful website. From the life insurance products tab on the homepage, you can find highlights, tips on how to choose your coverage amount or informational videos about each product that you might have to dig for with other companies. But if you’re looking for info on add-ons, you’ll have to speak to a rep.
  • Flexible term lengths. Term life policies come in 5-year increments from 10 to 30 years so you can pick the coverage period that suits you.
  • Online quote. Input your name, date of birth and contact information, and you can get a quote back in less than a half-hour.

Cons

  • Long processing period. Customer reviews have highlighted the sometimes lengthy process of getting coverage.
  • Pricey. Customers complain of high premiums compared to other insurance companies.

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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 accredited with the Better Business Bureau, although it does maintain an A- rating on the platform.

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 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.

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.

Frequently asked questions

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

Learn more about our methodology here.

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