Replacing Employer Based Life Insurance With American National

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By James Tobin, CFP

Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

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American National Insurance Company offers term, whole, universal, and universal index life insurance policies, and it provides multiple riders to tailor your coverage. Most plans are fully underwritten, but some companies require a medical exam before issuing a policy.

To help you decide whether American National is the best upgrade for you for your Employer Based Life Insurance plan, we reviewed their policies, riders, pricing, industry ratings, and customer service.

Company Overview

American National is headquartered near Houston, Texas, and sells life insurance under American National but also subsidiaries like American National Mutual Insurance Company, Standard Life Insurance Company, and Accident Insurance Company.

According to the company's annual report, in 2019, the company had $129.4 billion in total insurance in force and earned $470.8 million in net income. Policy is sold over the phone, and the company is rated AA+ by AM Best for financial stability.

It is licensed in all 50 states, including Washington D.C., American Samoa, and Puerto Rico. However, not all policies are available in every state.

Available Plans 

American National offers universal index, term, and whole life insurance policies.

Term Life Insurance

American National offers fixed premiums and level payouts for life insurance with renewable terms and term lengths of 5 years, ten years, 15 years, 20 years, and 30 years. You can convert to permanent policies if you decide you want a policy that will not expire.

If you want to pay out your death benefits early, you can add a terminal illness clause to your term life insurance policy.

Whole Life Insurance

American National offers whole-life insurance coverage with a guaranteed benefit. Its whole life policies are priced at a fixed premium that remains the same throughout the life of your policy, regardless of how long you own it. You can choose a participating whole life policy, and if you do so, you can also choose to receive regular dividends from the company. These dividends allow you to build up cash value in your policy and access income in retirement or over the life span of your policy.

Universal Life Insurance

American National's s universal life coverage is a type of permanent life insurance policy that gives you more flexibility than their whole life coverage. You can choose flexible premium rates and payouts for your procedure, allowing you to adjust the amount you pay into the policy depending on whether you want a cash value or death benefit.

You can also use your universal life insurance policy to borrow against it and customize your plan by including riders in your coverage.

Universal life policies are Indexed to interest rates and provide detailed information on the terms of each policy at the time of issue.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

American National Life Insurance Company's indexed universal life insurance is different from its universal life insurance policy because its growth is tied to an index like the S&P 500 rather than to a specific asset class. Indexed universal life insurance policies allow you to choose flexible premiums and death pay­outs depending on your desire to grow your policy's cash value and ability to pay.

You can also use your insurance to help you pay for an unexpected expense, and American Nat'l offers riders to customize your cover­age.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

American National offers a guaranteed plan that they call a "guaranteed" plan but is not an ordinary guaranteed-issue life insurance policy requiring no medical exam. Instead, this policy offers a guaranteed death benefit for your entire life or until you can choose from a specified age. You can purchase a "cash-out" rider that lets you cash out your full policy if you no longer need it and want access to your money.

Available Riders

Several policy riders are offered by American National life insurance, including: 

  • Child Life Insurance Rider: This rider provides the option to purchase additional coverage for your children to your policy.
  • Cash-out rider (or CORS): This rider allows you to cash out your policy if you no longer need it.
  • Early Access to Death Benefit Rider: This rider allows you to get early access to your death benefit if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Additional coverage options: These riders can offer you other coverage options.
  •  Accidental Death Benefit Rider (ADB).
  •  This rider will double your benefit in case of accidental death.
  • Rider waiver of premium: This rider ensures that your premiums will be covered if you become disabled.

Some riders may not be eligible for some policies, and they are not guaranteed issues and may require a medical exam.

Riders are a cost-effective way to increase your life insurance coverage.

Customer Service: Options for Phone, Email, and Online 

American National has customer support lines for its policy service and claims service. You can call 800-899-6860 to pay your bills Monday through Friday, 7 am to 6 pm CT, or find out about its policies. Call 800-615-7372 for assistance with a claim Monday through Friday between 8:00 a. m. and 5:00 p. m. CT.

You can also access the online portal, online forms, and the option to email claims and ask policy questions through a mobile app.

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints Than Average

The NAIC rates insurance companies so consumers can compare them. A company with an average number of complaints has a rating of 1. A company that receives less than one has fewer complaints, and a score more excellent than one has more complaints.

American National Insurance Company has an NAIC complaint rate of 0.49, meaning it receives fewer complaints than most insurance companies. They have a 0.04% market share of the national complaint market share. Financial Strength: A (Excellent).

AM Best offers its customers ratings of companies to help consumers determine which companies are financially strong relative to others. It analyzes factors including a company's revenue, sales, forecast, past performance, and financial health to determine how financially healthy they are and how likely they are to meet their future financial obligations.

American National is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best rating service. 

Cancellation Policy

You are given at least ten days to cancel your life insurance policy by law. You can get a full refund of the premium you paid for the policy. And if you decide to keep the policy after ten days, you won't have to pay any cancellation fee.

Before buying an American Insurance policy, check out its cancellation policies and fees involved.

When you purchase permanent life insurance, you may need to fill out a surrender (cancellation) form when canceling. If you surrender your policy, American National will calculate how much the surrender value of your policy is and pay you that amount when you cancel.

Price Of American National Life Insurance Term Life Insurance

Depending on the type and level of cover­age you buy, what riders (additional benefits) you choose, your age and gender, smoking history, general health, and other factors, the cost of a life insurance policy through Ameri­can National Life Insurance Company may vary significantly.

 Final Verdict

American National Insurance Company is one of the few significant property and casualty insurers that also offers a wide range of life insurance products that it underwrites. The company provides a variety of policies, coverage amounts, and rider options to ensure that you can find the perfect policy for you. You can work with a broker to get coverage for your car, your home, and your family's future, making it easy to get all your significant policies.

American National also offers various customer service options and claims submission options to make submitting a complaint easier. The company has an AA+ rating from Moody's Investors Service, and its National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index is much lower than the national average. American National Life Insurance Company is an excellent place when deciding on an upgrade for your Employer Sponsored life insurance coverage.

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