Ameriprise life insurance review
Term, universal or variable coverage from a financially strong provider.
finder.com's rating: 2.5 / 5
- Get a quote if … You want to purchase life insurance from a financial advisor who can help find the right plan for you.
- Pick something else if… You’re hoping to buy a low-touch life insurance policy on your own.
18 to 59
$100,000 to $5,000,000
Medical Exam Required
|Free quote||Online, Phone|
|Policy options||Term, Universal, Variable Universal|
|Term lengths||10, 15, 20 and 30|
|Claim methods||Phone, online|
|Available states||RiverSource is available in all states except NY, where it is offered as RiverSource of New York|
|Riders||Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Waiver-of-premium rider|
Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.
Ameriprise — and its RiverSource offshoot — is a stable and reliable provider that offers life insurance through financial advisors. It offers a more personalized buying experience, but its premiums tend to be on the higher side and you can’t apply for coverage online.
What type of life insurance does Ameriprise offer?
Ameriprise sells life insurance through its subsidiary, RiverSource. When you get in touch with a financial advisor that represents Ameriprise, you’ll have access to its full suite of products:
Term plans have a set beginning and end, and the benefit is only paid if you die before the term is up.
- RiverSource Term. Choose between 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms. Premiums stay the same for the length of the policy, and the final benefit is income-tax-free.
Universal life plans offer coverage for life and the ability to earn interest from premium payments. This is sometimes referred to as cash value life insurance.
- RiverSource Foundations Protector. Intended for those at or near retirement, the death benefit is tax-free and coverage is guaranteed for life — as long as you keep up with monthly payments.
- RiverSource Indexed Universal Life Insurance Suite. A wealth management investment option designed to minimize stock market downturns. It can be bought as multi-index, survivorship or indexed life insurance — though these options are more complicated than typical life insurance.
- RiverSource Succession Protector Life Insurance. This policy protects two lives at once and is specifically designed to make estate planning easier for married couples. The death benefit is tax-free after the second person’s death.
Note that there’s no guaranteed minimum cash value on universal life policies, no whole life guaranteed minimum cash value on riders and no guaranteed death benefit levels.
Variable life insurance is a type of permanent insurance that you get to keep as long as premiums are being paid. The cash value of this type of insurance can grow as you pay premiums because funds are simultaneously being invested.
- RiverSource Variable Universal Life 6. Permanent coverage that combines wealth protection with a tax-free death benefit. The plan allows for over 80 asset classes of subaccounts, a fixed account with a guaranteed minimum interest rate and two interest-receiving accounts that are keyed to a “well-known” index.
- RiverSource Succession Select variable life insurance. RiverSource Succession Select is a variable life insurance product for two participants. Largely a wealth transfer device, this plan allows over 70 different investment options and provides an income-tax-free death benefit.
RiverSource operates under a separate license in New York and offers separately branded versions of its national products to residents of the Empire State. Get in touch with an Ameriprise financial advisor to learn more.
What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?
RiverSource life insurance riders can extend coverage to various unplanned scenarios, allowing your life insurance plan to cover more. Options include:
- Accelerated death benefit rider. Receive a portion of the death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than 12 months to live (6 months in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota). You may also have access to benefits if you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness.
- Accidental death benefit rider. The final benefit increases if the cause of death was accidental.
- Automatic increase benefit rider. The final benefit amount increases at a set amount each year, each time the policy’s anniversary goes by.
- Child rider. Eligible children can also be covered if this is added to a term policy.
- Lapse protection rider. This guarantees coverage for 10 years or until the age of 75 — whichever is later — as long as you keep up with monthly payments.
- Waiver-of-premium rider. You won’t have to pay monthly deductibles if you’ve been rendered totally disabled. This rider can also waive deductions if you’re involuntarily unemployed for up to a year
How much does Ameriprise life insurance cost?
In general, life insurance companies consider your age, health and high risk hobbies when underwriting a policy and determining premiums. Being a nonsmoker with a healthy lifestyle can help keep rates lower.
Ameriprise provides quick online estimates for its term life insurance products, so you can get a personalized quote by filling out a brief form.
Here’s an example of what monthly premiums might cost for an individual with very good health, living in New York, who’s purchased a 20-year term policy with a 1,000,000 benefit:
If you’re looking at universal, variable or survivorship life insurance, you’ll need to get in touch with a financial advisor that sells Ameriprise products.
Data collected August 2019 from RiverSource.
Pros and cons of Ameriprise Life Insurance Company
Ameriprise celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019. It’s handled billions of dollars and millions of clients over the years. But should you join the crowd? Weigh the strengths and weaknesses evenly first, which include:
- Strong financial reputation. It’s earned an A+ rating from AM Best, Aa3 from Moody’s and AA from Standard & Poor. These top ratings indicate that Ameriprise is financially stable and can be trusted to pay your final benefit when the time comes.
- Sold through financial planners. Ameriprise’s RiverSource products are only sold by financial advisors. This allows you to have professionals who are considering the big-picture view of your financial health help you choose a more tailored plan instead of a one size fits all policy.
- Variety of products. It offers term, universal and variable products — plus the option to convert a term plan into a permanent one as you please.
- No online quotes for permanent coverage. Some shoppers might find it inconvenient that they can’t receive apples-to-apples comparisons online with other providers.
- Poor crowdsourced reviews. It’s not accredited by the BBB, and 12 customer reviews only average out to one star. Though most of the reviews reference frustrations with their financial planner, not RiverSource or Ameriprise financial.
- Problems with the SEC. In 2018, five Ameriprise representatives stole millions of dollars over a 14 year period, and Ameriprise was found guilty by the SEC of failing to protect clients’ assets. The representatives have since been fired and Ameriprise paid a $4.5 million penalty
Compare other life insurance companies
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Ameriprise reviews and complaints
Ameriprise has a B- rating with the BBB, but has closed or responded to all of the consumer-issued complaints. Most of these complaints concerned customer service issues and the claims settlement process.
On the consumer affairs website, Ameriprise has earned 3.5 out of 5 stars for overall customer satisfaction.
How does Ameriprise protect my data?
Ameriprise’s website uses SSL technology to ensure your connection to its website is private. SSL, which stands for secure sockets layer, encrypts the data you send so it can’t be hacked on it’s way from your computer to the RiverSource database. Its computer systems are protected by a firewall that blocks intruders, and only authorized employees can see your personal information.
It promises not to sell your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes, though it may share your contact info with third party vendors to help carry out a service — such as mailing you a pamphlet about its products.
How do I sign up?
RiverSource does not support online enrollment. To sign up, you’ll need to call or meet with an Ameriprise financial advisor.
Instead of selling you a single product, the financial advisor will likely want to look at your holistic financial picture – life insurance will just be one part of that plan.
To find an advisor, head to ameriprise.com and follow these steps:
- Hover over “What We Do” and select Choosing a financial advisor.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Get Started under “Take the next step now.”
- Fill out the brief form, indicating your name, contact information and areas of interest.
- Pick three times that work with your schedule and click Submit.
An Ameriprise financial advisor will be in touch to talk about life insurance and other financial products.
More about Ameriprise
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Ameriprise is a diversified financial services company that offers a range of investment products, from annuities and college savings accounts to life insurance.
Established 125 years ago as Investors Syndicate, the company was fully acquired by American Express in 1984. In 2005, Ameriprise was spun off as a successor to American Express Financial Advisors.
The company offers asset management through its Columbia Management brand, broker services and financial planning through Ameriprise Financial, and annuities and insurance products via RiverSource.
If you’re looking for cheaper coverage or the ability to apply for a policy online, compare life insurance providers.
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.