If you are considering a new life insurance policy, then this American General Life Insuance Company review should be very helpful in understanding this particular company.
American General has a stellar reputation and is a top rated insurer. If you have never heard of them then keep reading as we break down the company and their offerings.
History of American General (AIG) Life Insurance Company
American General Life Insurance Company initially began offering its products more than 160 years ago. Throughout that time period, the company has paid out more than $38 billion in claims, and it has served more than 13 million customers. The firm is headquartered in New York City, NY.
The company has a long and vast history of providing both insurance and investment products across the U.S. – and it has built up a very wide and strong network of distributors. The mission of American General is to be the “premier provider of protection, investment, and income solutions that are needed for both financial and retirement security.” The company is highly committed to providing better and more innovative ways of helping their policyholders and clients protect their savings and financial security. Today, American General Life Insurance is a part of the AIG (American International Group) network.
American General Ratings
When doing an American General (AIG) Life Insurance Company review, it will be important to keep in mind the company’s overall financial strength and stability, as well as its reputation for paying out its claims to its policyholders. It is also important to keep in mind the products and services that are offered, and the ease of customer service for both new and existing policyholders and claimants.
American General Life Insurance Company has very positive and high ratings – which show that the firm is financially strong and that it does have a good reputation for paying out its policyholder claims. It has received the following ratings from the insurer ratings agencies:
- A2 from Moody’s Investors Service
- A+ from Standard & Poor’s
- A+ from Fitch Ratings
- A from A.M. Best
One of the company’s greatest competitive advantages is its broad, diversified distribution network. The products are offered by in excess of 300,000 independent and affiliated financial professionals throughout the United States. The professionals that work in the AIG enterprise are united under the AIG Financial Distributors – which includes one of the largest independent financial planning networks in the U.S.
American General Life Insurance Company is a top U.S. life insurance carrier and financial services entity. The company is considered to be an anchor in terms of the domestic life insurance operations of American International Group (AIG), under the overall AIG life insurance and retirement plan “umbrella.”
The company serves approximately 13 million insurance policyholders in total through its wide array of product offerings. These include life insurance – both individual and business policies – as well as both fixed and deferred annuities. The company also offers accident and supplemental health insurance policies, as well as income protection products, and retirement planning solutions.
Certainly one of the main product category offerings is life insurance – and there are several products that are provided via American General Life Insurance Company. These include the following:
Term Life Insurance
American General Life Insurance Company offers several different term life insurance products to choose from. With term life coverage, the insured is protected with a death benefit only – and there is no cash value component or savings option. Because of this, the premiums for term life insurance are oftentimes less than that of permanent life insurance coverage – however, there is a limit on the length of time that a term life insurance policy will last.
At American General, there are several different term life insurance products to choose from. All have level premiums throughout the entire term. The company also offers a one-year level term option.
In addition, American General offers a Select-a-Term option. Here, a policyholder is allowed to surrender his or her term life policy and obtain their premiums back if they should outlive the entire term of their policy.
Index Universal Life (UL) Insurance
Index universal life (UL) products are also offered via American General Life Insurance Company. Throughout the past several years, these types of products have become extremely popular, as they allow the cash-value component of the policy to grow during market upswings while at the same time protecting principal during times of market downturns. The crediting method that is used is based in part on the performance of an underlying market index – and in some instances, more than just one index – such as the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ.
Universal Life Insurance
There are also traditional universal life (UL) products available through American General. These permanent life insurance policies provide both death benefit protection, as well as a cash value component. However, they also offer a great deal of flexibility – especially in comparison to traditional whole life insurance policies. This is because universal life insurance policies will typically allow the policyholder – within certain guidelines – to choose how much of the premium dollars will go into the policy’s death benefit and how much will go into the cash component of the plan.
As with other types of permanent coverage, the policyholder is allowed to either withdraw or borrow the cash from the cash value component for any reason – including that of paying off debt, or supplementing their retirement income sources.
Whole Life Insurance
There are also whole life insurance products that are offered via American General Life Insurance Company. These are more “traditional” in terms of permanent life insurance in that they provide a death benefit, along with a cash value component. Here, the death benefit and the premium amount are typically locked in and guaranteed. The policy cannot be cancelled due to the insured’s increasing age – or even if he or she contracts an adverse health issue, provided that the premium continues to be paid.
As with other permanent plans, the cash value is allowed to grow on a tax-deferred basis – which means that no tax will be due on the gain in the account until the time it is withdrawn. This can allow the funds to grow and compound exponentially over time. Funds can be either withdrawn or borrowed for any reason. It is important to note that with any permanent policy while the funds from the cash component do not technically have to be repaid, any amount of unpaid balance that remains at the time of the insured’s death will be counted against the death benefit that is paid out to the named beneficiary.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
American General Life Insurance Company also offers variable universal life insurance products in its product line up. These products have both flexible premium payments, as well as death benefits – and the ability to build up cash value savings with the cash value component of the plan. Because these variable policies are linked to the performance of an underlying market performance, the cash component does have the opportunity to grow a great deal. It also, however, could be riskier as well.
Using the Living Benefits from an American General Life Insurance Policy
In addition to the death benefits that can be used for providing loved ones and survivors with the financial support that they need in the case of the unthinkable, there are also many situations in which the funds from a life insurance policy could be used during the insured’s lifetime. This is known as using the living benefits from the policy – and many of the plans that are offered by American General Life Insurance Company allow the accessing of such funds.
By being able to access the living benefits from a policy – or funds from the death benefit prior to one’s death – it can allow for the maximum use of the plan. As an example, if an individual requires skilled nursing home care, he or she may be able to “unlock” some of the death benefit funds and use that money to pay for their monthly care costs. Other uses of living benefits may include high medical bills, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, or even just basic living expenses in the case of a shortened life expectancy after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
How and Where to Get the Best Quotes
When seeking life insurance premium quotes for policies that are offered through American General or any life insurance company – it is typically best to work through a company or an agency that has access to more than just one life insurer.
Purchasing life insurance can involve a great deal of research, but it doesn’t have to be tedious or time-consuming if you work with someone who has already done all the work for you. We’ve got the research that you need, as well as access to quotes on policies that can fit your individual needs.
The purchase of life insurance is a key component of any good, solid overall financial plan. One reason for this is because life insurance can provide protection for one’s savings and retirement funds should the unthinkable occur. This essential product can also help you to keep your promises to loved ones and survivors. For example, funds from this product can help to ensure that a child or grandchild will still have funds for going to college, money to pay for a future wedding, or the down payment necessary to purchase their first home.
Life insurance can also mean that those you care about won’t have to pay off costly debts and that your income will continue to provide for them – even if you can’t be. With all of that in mind, it is important to be sure that you have the proper type and amount of the protection that you need. It is also key to ensure that you are purchasing that protection from an insurer that will be there at the time that your loved ones need them to make good on their claim.
In doing so, prior to making a life insurance purchase, it is essential to do a good, thorough review of an underlying insurer. This should include checking out the company’s ratings, as well as the financial strength and stability, its reputation for paying out claims, and the products and services that it offers. Ease of customer service and history in the industry are also important components.