American Income Life Insurance Company: Are They Legitimate?
Disclaimer: Policy Architects has no affiliation with American Income Life Insurance Company (AIL) nor do we sell any of their products. This brief and detailed article is intended to provide you with information to help guide your purchasing decision.
Priding itself as a company protecting working families, American Income Life Insurance is a legitimate "A" rated carrier. AIL's main focus is selling insurance to associations, unions and groups. If you are looking for term or final expense coverage, you may be able to find a more affordable option elsewhere.
James Heidebrecht - Founder of Policy Architects
Have you ever heard of the American Income Life Insurance Company? I hadn’t until I recently came in contact with a client who just purchased a funeral insurance policy through them.
She reached out to me to review her coverage and provide her with other quotes because she wasn’t sure she could afford the monthly premium moving forward.
This experience inspired me to find out more about this U.S. carrier operating in Canada. So, is American Income Life Canada the right company for you?
Let’s find out!
A Few Words About American Income Life Insurance Company
American Income Life’s main office is in the US. Headquartered in Waco, Texas, AIL operates in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. According to legend, American Income Life was founded in Minneapolis in 1951 by Bernard Rapoport with $25,000 of borrowed money.
In a relatively short period of time, American Income Life generated $1 million in hospital insurance premiums and expanded operations across the U.S.
By 1961, AIL focused the core of its business on selling life insurance products to labour unions, credit unions and large scale associations. This is where the focus of their business still remains today.
American Income Life does a fantastic job of connecting to these groups and has been doing so for decades.
Some of their strategies for building relationships include:
- Sponsoring union and association events like “family fun days”, etc.
- Picket line visits and donations
- Waiving policy premiums during lawful strikes
- Scholarship programs for families of union members
- Offering groups no-cost Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage
- Monetary contributions
- Gift of a free child safety kit
Due to the continued support of union and association members, AIL received an official ‘Union Label’ from the American Federation of Labor in 1973.
American Income Life Canada is owned by Touchmark Corporation. Touchmark is a publicly-traded company which owns a number of small insurance companies that have amalgamated over the years…but are still operate under their original names.
Some of these include Globe Life Insurance, Liberty National and National Income Life in New York. American Income Life operates regionally through agencies that rely heavily on recruiting people to sell their products.
American Income Life Insurance: Financial Ratings
American Income Life has total assets in excess of $4.5 Billion and has more than $65 billion of life insurance in force. As of 2019, they highly-rated by three well known independent rating agencies:
- A.M. Best: A+ (Excellent)
- Standard & Poor’s: AA- (Good)
- Fitch: A+ (Excellent)
Suffices to say, consumers should feel safe paying their premiums to AIL as they are financially secure and they will be around for decades to come.
American Income Life Reviews - What Do Customers Think?
American Income Life has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1952. Based on 299 reviews, their average rating is 2 stars out of 5.
The majority of negative reviews seem to come from consumers complaining agents are too aggressive…
…or from recruited AIL agents who feel like they are exploited.
On Yelp, American Income Life doesn’t’ fair much better. Out of 224 reviews divided between San Diego, Waco and Honolulu, American Income Life averages 1.5 stars out of 5.
“Zero stars! I plan to cancel my policy with them [AIL] asap because they continue to HARASS me with phone calls – supposedly to ‘update me about my policy’, but their true intent is to try to get me to buy MORE insurance”
It should be noted, American Income Life is far from being the only company with negative reviews and consumers complaining about pushy agents. There are criticisms across the board in the life insurance industry when it comes to this type of behaviour.
And frankly, any sales position requires a level of assertiveness that some consumers just don’t like at all.
Buyer Beware Reviews Are Unpredictable
It should be noted that only 2% of consumers leave online reviews for goods or services they purchase. The more unhappy you are, the more likely you are to spend the energy to leave a bad review.
Negative online reviews are synonymous with Insurance Companies…
….and they shouldn’t be the only thing you look at when deciding whether American Income Life is the right company for you.
Is American Income Life A Legitimate Company?
American Income Life is 100% legitimate. AIL is a financially solid ‘A’ rated company that sells life insurance products. I can find NO evidence that their coverage is a scam.
Unfortunately, they do seem to leave many unhappy consumers and insurance agents in their wake. But that’s not unusual when it comes to life insurance companies in general.
Like insurance agents everywhere, AIL representatives rely 100% on commission. In fact, most American Income Life agents quit within six months and leave the business having spent more money on licensing and training than they have earned. This is pretty standard in the life insurance business so nothing to see here.
American Income Life Insurance Products
AIL seems to have a wide and convoluted selection of insurance products. There is a lot of overlap and frankly, a serious lack of information on their web site.
So let’s take a gander at what I found thus far.
Term Life Insurance
Term insurance is the most popular type of life insurance and offers protection for a temporary period of time. The most common periods are term 10, term 20 and term 30.
AIL’s term coverage has the following features:
- Guaranteed rates for the length of the term
- Renewable and convertible to permanent insurance within prescribed limits
- Terminal Illness Rider – if the doctor says you only have 12 months left to live, AIL pays out 50% of the death benefit
American Income’s term coverage also underpins their Family Protection insurance suite:
- Education Protection – term insurance to cover kids college bills if you die
- Head Start Program – life insurance for kids age 0-17
- Mortgage Protection Insurance – term insurance to cover your mortgage
- Protect Your Children – Term or whole life for kids over the age of 17
- Monthly Income Protection – term insurance to replace your income
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life is a type of permanent life insurance which has a cash value component. That means the investment account inside your policy grows in value over time.
Whole life by American Income Life is designed to provide coverage until the day you die. Most importantly, the monthly cost is guaranteed to never increase over the life of the policy and the coverage cannot be cancelled due to any change in your age or health.
Permanent life insurance products are more expensive because there is a guaranteed payout.
Final Expense Insurance
AIL’s final expense coverage is a small whole life insurance policy designed to take care of funeral costs when you pass away. The death benefit is paid out directly to your family and they have the freedom to choose the funeral provider and the specific services they want.
American Income Life’s Freedom of Choice Certificate allows your beneficiary to have policy proceeds paid directly to the funeral home. This removes a substantial burden on your family, allowing them to grieve without the stress of making preparations.
Looking For Final Expense Quotes?
Accidental Death Insurance
AIL accidental death insurance pays out a benefit for accidental death and dismemberment. It also helps with the cost of hospital stays as a result of said accident.
Please note that the odds of you having an accidental death after the age of 30 are infinitesimally small. I would only recommend one of these plans to someone with a hazardous occupation.
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness insurance (CI) is designed to pay a one-time, lump-sum benefit when you develop a serious condition as laid out in your policy. There are no restrictions on how you spend the money whether it be to cover lost income or supplement the health care you’re receiving.
In reality, it may be difficult to qualify for this benefit based on the insurance companies’ narrow definitions of what constitutes a critical illness.
AIL’s critical illness plan covers the following situations:
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Major organ transplant of heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, or bone marrow
- Total loss of eyesight and/or hearing
American Income Life’s cancer insurance is a form of critical illness coverage which pays out a one-time, lump-sum benefit when the insured is diagnosed with life-threatening cancer.
50% of North Americans develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. The majority of them survive but how will their finances fair? AIL’s cancer insurance benefit allows you to focus on getting better rather than on financial stress.
No-Cost Child Safe Kit
Endorsed by the International Union of Police Associations, American Income’s No-Cost Child Safe Kit is a tool designed with your child’s safety in mind. It helps document your child’s fingerprints, a recent photo, and a simple description to aid authorities.
The best part? American Income Life Insurance provides these kits for free!
It should be noted that these free child safety kits are key to AIL’s marketing strategy. If you’re in a union or association that has any affiliation with American Income Life, you may receive a letter saying that you can sign up for AIL’s no-cost accidental death coverage and child safety kits.
REQUEST YOUR NO-COST CHILD SAFE KIT TODAY!
This is a tactic that American Income Life uses to come to your home and sell life insurance products. There’s nothing illegal about this practice, many companies do it, but as a consumer you should be aware.
“They offered a free child safety kit. I gave them our address. Instead of mailing it, they send a rep out to do a sales pitch for life insurance” Yelp Reviewer
Rates & Application Process
There is very little information on their site aillife.com OR on the internet in general about their application process. It likely involves sitting through a presentation in your home, although that may have changed recently as a result of COVID-19.
Why is there so little information available to consumers about American Income Life’s application process and the specific rates you can expect to pay?
Looking For Term Life Insurance Quotes?
American Income Life Insurance - Pros
Great Financial Rating
American Income Life Insurance is 'A' rated by three major rating agencies: A.M. Best, Standard & Poors and Fitch. This solid financial rating is a good indication that AIL is very solvent and will weather any economic storm. If you’re an American Income Life policyholder, sleep well knowing that if God forbid, something happens to you, AIL will pay out your family’s claim guaranteed.
A Long History
American Income Life has been in for almost 70 years. If you have a policy with AIL, rest assured your family is safe and your claim will be paid out.
American Income Life Insurance - Cons
Captive Sales Representatives
American Income Life agents ONLY sell American Income Life products. Does this mean they won't provide you with good service or help? No, but if you're interested in comparing AIL with other companies and products, you won't get any assistance there.
AIL's Structure Resembles an MLM
Many legitimate companies that sell great products use or have structures that resemble multi-level marketing. Personally, I don’t feel this structure puts the needs of clients first.
Poor Customer & Agent Reviews
The internet is littered with bad and questionable AIL reviews written by unhappy clients and disgruntled agents. As I mentioned earlier in this post, online reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt and put in context.
A minority of consumers make the effort to leave a review (something like 15 in 1000), reviews are difficult to verify and anyone - whether they’ve used a product or not - can leave a review.
That being said, the sheer volume of negative online reviews directed towards American Income Life has to be acknowledged.
Lack of Online Information
There is a severe lack of information about American Income Life Insurance products online. For example, there’s no specific description about what term lengths they offer or the specific features of their whole life insurance.
Does AIL’s term insurance come with standard renewal and conversion options? Likely, but their website doesn’t provide any details whatsoever.
It’s 2020 and never in the history of the world has there been so much technology to spread and communicate information. It’s estimated roughly 1.7 billion people use Google everyday to search for expertise and product info.
Corporations like American Income Life have a unique opportunity to provide information and shape the message they want consumers to see.
Is American Income Life Insurance Company Right For YOU?
Hopefully, our American Income Life Insurance review has given you some helpful information about a carrier that is little known in Canada.
AIL is NOT a scam, they are a legitimate life insurance company with a long history. To be quite honest though, American Income Life offers coverage similar to other carriers but at a higher cost.
So are they the right company for your insurance needs?
Get Quotes From American Income Life And Other Life Insurance Companies Before You Decide
All life insurance companies are not created equal. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses including AIL.
That’s why these reviews are always a mixed bag. In my humble opinion, there is no such thing as a BAD review unless you are dealing with a fly by night company and I am not going to even waste my time with those.
So while American Income Life may be a company to consider, make sure you do your due diligence and get quotes from other carriers to compare.
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