America General (AIG) Life Insurance Review: Pros and Cons

In this article...
  • Explore the types of life insurance available from American General. Discover the pros and cons of AIG to determine if one of its policies is right for you.

American General (AIG) is one of the top writers of life insurance and annuity policies in the U.S. in terms of total premium payments accepted, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The size of the company offers key benefits for customers, but life insurance through AIG also carries some potential drawbacks. Weighing the pros and cons of choosing AIG as a carrier can help you make an informed decision about your life insurance coverage.

About American General (AIG)

AIG's history traces back to Shanghai, China, where an entrepreneur named Cornelius Vander Star founded the firm American Asiatic Underwriters (AAU) in 1919. The company opened its first U.S. office in New York City in 1926 and entered numerous international markets over the decades that followed. In the late 1960s, the company changed its name to AIG and went public. Today, AIG operates in more than 80 countries and holds roughly $510 billion in assets.

When developing life insurance policies and other insurance products, AIG seeks to offer solutions to the real problems customers face. To understand a diverse range of perspectives and viewpoints, the company encourages employees to form resource groups related to ability, religion, sexual orientation, gender and ethnic heritage. AIG is home to over 100 of these groups. In addition to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the company, the groups provide guidance regarding customer service and product development, allowing AIG to offer products that fit the needs of many people.

What Life Insurance Products Does American General (AIG) Offer?

General insurance for individuals and businesses is the primary focus of AIG. The company also offers retirement accounts, annuities and financial planning services. Life insurance accounts for 10% of AIG's total business. The company offers a large suite of product types, including:

  • Term life insurance: provides temporary coverage for periods of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Customers can customize coverage with riders, and term policies tend to cost less than other life insurance products provided by AIG.
  • Whole life insurance: provides coverage throughout your life and features fixed premiums. Policies generate a guaranteed cash value that you can borrow against or access during your life. Some also pay annual dividends tied to AIG's financial performance.
  • Quality of life insurance: term or whole life insurance with an accelerated death benefits rider allows you to receive some of the policy's death benefits while you're still alive if you suffer from one or more certain chronic medical conditions or have a terminal illness.
  • Universal life insurance: provides coverage throughout your life and gives you the flexibility to change your premium amounts and death benefit. The policy builds a cash value over time.
  • Guaranteed issue whole life insurance: provides lifelong protection with no medical exam or health questionnaire required. You can choose death benefits from $5,000 to $25,000, and policies include accelerated death benefits at no additional cost.
  • Accidental death insurance: pays a death benefit if you die or suffer dismemberment due to an accident. This low-cost insurance doesn't require a medical exam, and you're guaranteed acceptance, provided you meet eligibility requirements.
  • Final expense insurance: provides a whole life policy with a death benefit of $5,000 to $25,000, available to older adults aged 50 to 80. The primary purpose of the insurance is to handle final expenses, such as funeral or cremation expenses. Coverage includes an accelerated death benefit provision at no additional cost.

The Pros and Cons of American General (AIG)

Some of the benefits of choosing AIG for life insurance include:

  • Ability to buy direct: AIG Direct lets you compare policies and apply online without having to go through an agent. This way, you can shop for insurance from the comfort of home.
  • Large selection of products: AIG offers the most popular types of life insurance as well as some specialty products not available with some competitors, increasing the chances of finding a policy that suits your needs and your budget.
  • Availability: AIG has a license to operate in all 50 states.
  • Flexible underwriting options: AIG's lineup includes insurance products that don't require a medical exam and/or feature expedited underwriting to get you protection sooner.
  • High financial strength rating: FitchRatings gives AIG an A+ for financial strength.

For all the benefits of buying life insurance through AIG, there are some drawbacks that you need to be aware of, such as:

  • Low customer satisfaction rates: AIG has a large number of complaints compared to other life insurance companies of its size, according to information reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The company also ranked close to the bottom of the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, which examines customer satisfaction.
  • No instant quotes: although you can buy insurance online through AIG, you can't obtain a free quote without supplying your phone number and email.
  • Confusing terms: some policies have complex rules that may be difficult for customers to understand.

American General (AIG) Reviews: What People Are Saying

In online American General (AIG) reviews, customers frequently remark about how easy it was to find an insurance policy that works well for them. Some report that they turned to AIG when they couldn't find a product with a large enough death benefit or a certain rider elsewhere. Individuals who purchase through local agents describe representatives of the company as professional, knowledgeable and willing to fully explain their options. Most negative reviews seem to come from people who grew confused about options when trying to buy direct or encountered difficulties obtaining a quote.

Is an American General (AIG) Life Insurance Policy Right for You?

Life insurance through AIG may be a good option for you if any of the following statements are true:

  • You have a thorough understanding of various types of life insurance and want to buy direct
  • You want the protection of an accelerated death benefits rider but have a limited budget
  • You want the freedom to choose from a wide range of policies
  • You have been denied life insurance from another company and want to apply for a guaranteed acceptance policy
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