AIG Life Insurance Review

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Let’s be real: Most people don’t want to think about death at all, let alone sit down and make a plan for theirs. However, that’s precisely what shopping for life insurance requires you to do.

While the process may be uncomfortable for some, it’s necessary to ensure the financial security of your loved ones.

Here, you’ll get all the information you need on one of your many options: American International Group or AIG. AIG is one of the nation’s largest insurers and has been providing families with financial peace of mind for the past 100 years.

With this general overview of the company and a preview of their policy options, the goal is to help you decide if AIG is the life insurer for you.

4
Overall Rating

Summary

AIG is one of the largest individual life insurance providers and is among the most financially stable. They have as large of a selection of policy options as most competitors, with term policy prices below the average. While their customer service does show room for improvement, their unique term lengths alone make them worth checking out for those with specific insurance needs.

  • Product selection

    4

  • Competitive pricing

    4

  • Customer service

    4

Pros

  • Multiple policies
  • Competitive prices
  • Unique term lengths

Cons

  • Low customer service
  • No online quotes
  • Limited whole life options

AIG Overview

In 1919, American Cornelius Vander Starr established the general insurance company American Asiatic Underwriters in Shanghai, China. 

Now operating under the name American International Group (AIG), the company has grown to become a multinational finance and insurance corporation operating in over 80 countries and employing nearly 60,000 people. 

AIG currently sells insurance life insurance through two subsidiaries: 

  • American General Life Insurance Company
  • The United States Life Insurance Company

American General Life is licensed to issue policies in all states but New York, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The United States Life Insurance Company, however, only issues policies in New York. 

As of 2018, AIG is the 14th-largest writer of life insurance with a 2.1 percent market share, representing $3,347,570,000 in direct written premiums.

AIG Ratings

The following third-party ratings give insight into AIG’s financial strength, business practices, and quality of customer service.

  • A.M. Best = A
  • Moody’s = A2
  • S&P = A+
  • Fitch = A+
  • NAIC Complaint Index = 3.58 
  • Better Business Bureau = A-
  • J.D. Power = 2 out of 5


A.M. Best, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch all measure an insurer’s credit risk, meaning their financial strength as it relates to their ability to pay all their policy obligations.

The ratings above represent a strong company with low credit risk.

The numbers that immediately stand out are those for the NAIC Complaint Index and J.D. Power.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index compares the number of complaints registered against an insurer each year with that of other companies. 

AIG’s score of 3.58 is significantly higher than the industry average of 1.0. Most complaints were in the area of customer service.

Along those same lines, J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Life Insurance Study measures overall customer satisfaction in four areas: annual statement and billing, customer interaction, policy offerings and price.

AIG scored a below-average 2 out of 5, weighed down by a low customer interaction score.

Coverages Offered

Life insurance policies fall into one of two general categories: term or whole. Term policies provide coverage for a set period while whole policies provide coverage until death at any age. 

Whole life insurance (sometimes referred to as permanent insurance) has multiple variations: traditional whole life, universal life, indexed universal life and variable universal life.

AIG currently offers a full slate of policies in each category.

Term Life Insurance

A term policy is payable only if the insured dies within a specified period, usually between 10 and 30 years. 

Once the term has passed, the insurer cancels the coverage. There are generally no refunds on the premiums paid. Most policies can also convert to a whole policy before they expire.

AIG currently offers two options.

Select-a-Term®

Most insurers sell either 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year term policies. AIG offers 18 different variations that allow you to customize your policy to the exact length you need.

The specifics are as follows:

  • Term: 10 years, any length from 15–30 years, or 35 years
  • Convertibility: Convertible to a universal policy at any point during the term or until age 70 (whichever comes first)
  • Minimum: $50,000
  • Maximum: $1,000,000
  • Issue Age: 20–75

You can customize the Select-a-Term® policy with the following riders: 

  • Accidental Death Benefit: Pays a benefit in addition to the death benefit of the policy if the insured dies as a result of qualifying accidental injuries
  • Child Rider: Pays a death benefit to the insured parent upon the death of an eligible child
  • Terminal Illness Rider: Gives early access to up to 50 percent of the death benefit if a physician diagnoses the insured as having 12 months or fewer to live
  • Waiver of Premium: Waives the policy premiums if the insured becomes totally disabled

QoL Flex Term

The QoL Flex Term plan has all the benefits of the Select-a-Term® plan, with the additional benefit of a no-cost Quality of Life Accelerated Benefits rider.

An Accelerated Benefits rider allows you to take an advance on a portion of your death benefit to pay for costs associated with a qualifying chronic, critical or terminal illness. 

The specifics are as follows:

  • Term: 10 years, any length from 15–30 years, or 35 years
  • Convertibility: Convertible to a universal policy at any point during the term or until age 70 (whichever comes first)
  • Minimum: $100,000
  • Maximum: $2,000,000
  • Issue Age: 20–80

You can customize the QoL Flex Term policy with the following riders:

  • Accidental Death Benefit
  • Child Rider
  • Waiver of Premium

Universal Life Insurance

Universal policies are adjustable and offer the flexibility to set monthly premiums and change coverage amounts. A portion of the premiums is invested at a fixed interest rate so that it can grow to cover the payout. 

That savings element means the policy has the potential to grow a tax-deferred cash value beyond the face value of the policy, payable to the policyholder. 

Universal policies also allow for loans or withdrawals from the cash value that must be paid back with interest. Any portion not repaid will be deducted from the benefit upon the insured’s death.

Secure Lifetime GUL 3

AIG’s Guaranteed Universal Life policy guarantees the amount of the death benefit even if the insured dies before the cash value has grown enough to cover it. It also features a guaranteed return of premium. 

If your insurance needs change, you can cancel your policy in year 20 and receive a refund on 50 percent of your premiums or in year 25 and receive 100 percent (up to 40 percent of the total face value).

The specifics are as follows:

  • Flexibility: Increase available at any time, decrease available after the first year
  • Guaranteed Interest: 2 percent
  • Minimum: $100,000 ($50,000 in NY)
  • Maximum: None (subject to individual consideration and underwriting limits)
  • Issue Age: 18–80

You can customize the Secure Lifetime GUL 3 policy with the following riders:

  • Accidental Death Benefit
  • Child Rider
  • Terminal Illness Rider
  • Waiver of Premium

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Similar to traditional universal life, indexed universal policies allow the owner to allocate the cash value amounts to an account that grows according to an equity index, such as the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq 100, rather than growing at a flat rate set by the insurer.

Value+ Protector:

AIG’s Value+ Protector policy offers all the benefits of the GUL 3 policy, along with the potential for significant cash accumulation. 

Policyholders can invest their cash value at any desired percentage in four different index accounts or a guaranteed 0.75 percent fixed growth account.

The specifics are as follows:

  • Flexibility: Increase available at any time, decrease available after the first year
  • Guaranteed Interest: 2 percent
  • Minimum: $50,000
  • Maximum: None (subject to individual consideration and underwriting limits)
  • Issue Age: 18–80

You can customize the Value+ Protector policy with the following riders:

  • Accidental Death Benefit
  • Child Rider
  • Terminal Illness Rider
  • Waiver of Premium

Max Accumulator+

AIG’s Max Accumulator+ policy offers all the benefits of the Value+ Protector policy, along with more cash access features and a non-medical underwriting option.

Policyholders can access their cash value through one of three loan types, each with different interest rates. They can also purchase an optional rider that converts their cash value into retirement income.

In addition, policies for those aged 50 and under and with face amounts less than $500,000, do not require a medical exam before approval.

The specifics are as follows:

  • Flexibility: Increase available at any time, decrease available after the first year
  • Guaranteed Interest: 2 percent
  • Minimum: $50,000
  • Maximum: None (subject to individual consideration and underwriting limits)
  • Issue Age: 18–80

You can customize the Max Accumulator+ policy with the following riders: 

  • Income for Life Rider: Converts the cash value into a guaranteed income stream
  • Accidental Death Benefit
  • Child Rider
  • Terminal Illness Rider
  • Waiver of Premium

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Rather than being placed in an interest-bearing account with a fixed rate, variable universal policies allow you to invest your cash value in stocks, bonds and money market mutual funds. 

These policies come with the greatest risk but also the most growth potential.

Platinum Choice VUL 2

AIG’s Platinum Choice VUL 2 policy offers over 40 different investment options, including stocks, bonds, specialty funds, real estate investment funds, multiple index funds and even a socially responsible fund. 

The portfolio also rebalances itself automatically by periodically adjusting the policy values among variable investment options to match your original allocation.

The specifics are as follows:

  • Flexibility: Increase available at any time, decrease available after the first year
  • Guaranteed Interest: 2 percent
  • Minimum: $100,000
  • Maximum: None (subject to individual consideration and underwriting limits)
  • Issue Age: 0–80

You can customize the Platinum Choice VUL 2 policy with the following riders: 

  • Lapse Protection Benefit: Guarantees coverage won’t lapse despite the market performance as long as the insured pays the required minimum premiums
  • Spouse Term Rider: Provides term insurance on the insured’s spouse, up to two times the base policy’s death benefit
  • Accidental Death Benefit
  • Child Rider
  • Terminal Illness Rider
  • Waiver of Premium

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life policies are often referred to as burial insurance or final expense insurance.

They are permanent policies with low face values meant only to cover funeral expenses and perhaps some small financial obligations, such as credit card debt.

AIG offers a guaranteed, no-exam policy with face values from $5,000–$25,000 for those ages 50–85. Your payments never go up, and your coverage never goes down as long as you live.

AIG quotes the following monthly premiums for a $10,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life policy.

 Age 50

  • Male: $51.92
  • Female: $35.83

Age 55

  • Male: $56.90
  • Female: $43.23

Age 60

  • Male: $63.17
  • Female: $50.02

Age 65

  • Male: $84.15
  • Female: $61.57

Age 70

  • Male: $98.18
  • Female: $74.52

Age 75

  • Male: $138.55
  • Female: $107.17

Age 80

  • Male: $246.44
  • Female: $175.42

Age 85

  • Male: $315.82
  • Female: $199.06

Since these are guaranteed-acceptance, no-medical-exam policies, these rates apply to both smokers and non-smokers.

Premiums 

One of the most important aspects of shopping for life insurance is finding the right policy at the lowest price.

AIG Average Premiums

Premiums are determined by many factors, including age, demographics and medical history. There’s no way to know exactly how much a policy will cost without obtaining a personal quote or completing an application.

However, to give you a general idea, here’s a list of AIG’s average monthly premiums for a 10-year, $100,000 term policy for non-smokers at key ages.

 Age 25

  • Male: $10.03
  • Female: $9.47

Age 30

  • Male: $10.03
  • Female: $9.47

Age 35

  • Male: $10.64
  • Female: $9.92

Age 40

  • Male: $12.48
  • Female: $11.00

Age 45

  • Male: $14.86
  • Female: $12.52

Age 50

  • Male: $17.01
  • Female: $15.04

Age 55

  • Male: $26.62
  • Female: $20.96

Age 60

  • Male: $38.22
  • Female: $25.58

Age 65

  • Male: $55.07
  • Female: $44.93

To put those numbers into perspective, here’s a look at AIG’s annual rates for a 10-year, $100,000 policy compared to the combined average rate of the top 10 largest insurers.

Age 25

  • Male: $120.36 ($58.18 below average)
  • Female: $113.64 ($46.93 below average)

Age 35

  • Male: $127.68 ($57.36 below average)
  • Female: $119.04 ($46.87 below average)

Age 45

  • Male: $178.32 ($89.57 below average)
  • Female: $150.24 ($90.01 below average)

Age 55

  • Male: $319.44 ($205.51 below average)
  • Female: $251.52 ($155.42 below average)

Age 65:

  • Male: $660.84 ($612.28 below average)
  • Female: $539.16 ($341.50 below average)

For a simple term policy, AIG’s premiums are significantly below average.

How to Get the Lowest Premiums

AIG assigns policyholders to one of several classes based on age, health, and demographic factors, which, in turn, determines their rates. 

The cheapest rates fall under the Preferred Plus class, which has the following requirements.

  • Tobacco Use: Must be tobacco-free for at least five years
  • Driving Record: No DUIs, suspensions, and reckless driving infractions over the past seven years
  • Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: If HDL ratio is 5.0 or below, cholesterol must be under 215; for HDL of 4.5 or below, cholesterol must be under 290
  • Blood Pressure: Must be 140/85 for ages 60 and under, 150/85 for 60+
  • Family Medical History: No history of coronary artery disease or cancer before age 60
  • Personal Medical History: Must be free of cancer or coronary artery disease before age 60

Shopping for a Policy

If you’ve decided that AIG is the insurer for you, here’s how to get started on buying a policy.

Get a Quote

You can get an instant quote for term policies online through AIG Direct. As the name implies, AIG Direct also allows you to purchase the policy online.

All other policies are strictly sold through licensed, third-party insurance agents. 

Find an Agent

You can find an agent by calling AIG at 800-294-4544. 

Their website also includes a convenient agent finder tool on each policy’s page. After submitting some basic information, AIG will return a list of licensed agents in your area.

Pros & Cons

As with any company, there are pros and cons to purchasing life insurance through AIG. Here are some of the biggest we found.

Pros

  • Wide range of policy options
  • Good selection of additional riders
  • Term policies sold directly online
  • Some policies available with no medical exam

Cons

  • High complaint ratio
  • Low customer service scores

Summary

AIG is one of the largest individual life insurance providers and is among the most financially stable.

They have as large of a selection of policy options as most competitors, with term policy prices below the average.

While their customer service does show room for improvement, their unique term lengths alone make them worth checking out for those with specific insurance needs.

For all others, they have multiple policies worth having a conversation with an insurance agent.

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