American General life insurance company review 2019 |

American General life insurance review

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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.

While it’s not an easy discussion, choosing a life insurance policy to protect you and your loved ones is an important one. We know that finding a policy and term that fits both your family and lifestyle to ensure comprehensive protection takes time and careful consideration. Here, we explore one of your life insurance options with American General to help ease the decision-making process.

Minimum coverage$50,000
Terms available10, 15–30 or 35 years for term life insurance
Payment methodsCredit or debit card
Medical exam requiredNo medical exam required for guaranteed life insurance
Temporary underwriting coverageN/A


  • 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.
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.
A.M. BestA

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What is American General known for?

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.

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.

What 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’s not covered in my 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 can I get the best 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

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.

What other services does American General offer?

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

  • Annuities
  • Mutual funds

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.

Find a life insurance policy today

Use our magical comparison tool to find the best rates in your area.

Your information is secure.

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