American Income Life Review: Company History, Policies, Pros and Cons

Clifford PendellWritten by Clifford Pendell
If you have a friend or family member in the life or health insurance industry, you've probably heard of American Income Life.

American Income Life is a multi-level marketing company and insurance provider that employs thousands of agents across the United States.

In addition to whole and term life insurance, they also offer supplemental health insurance products to labor and credit union members.

In this insider's guide to the American Income Life Insurance Company we've included a brief background of the company's history and an overview of the products they offer. Additionally, we've provided a summary of some common issues raised by former employees and policyholders.

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Who Is American Income Life?

The American Income Life Insurance Company was founded by Bernard Rapoport in 1951. By 1956, AIL was operating in 13 states with over 300 agents and 96 agencies. Today, the company is licensed in 49 states and has more than 4 million policies in force. They specialize in supplemental insurance plans for credit and labor union members as well as term and whole life insurance for the general public.

The company is owned by Globe Life Insurance, a publicly-traded (NYSE: GL) whole life insurance provider that offers up to $100,000 of coverage without a waiting period. These policies are typically marketed through television commericials or direct mail. In addition to their life insurance offerings, the Globe Life Insurance Company is also known for Globe Life Field which is home to the Texas Rangers. 

American Income Life is rated "A" Excellent by AM Best for financial stability which is the second highest rating available. While this shows that the company has the reserves it needs to stay in business and pay claims, they also have an alarming 1.73 star average rating (out of 5 stars) with the Better Business Bureau, which means poor customer satisfaction.

Is American Income Life Trustworthy?

The American Income Life Insurance Company has a proven track record of paying their claims and they are "A" Excellent rated for financial stability. In fact, AIL's insurance policies are just as trustworthy as any other "A" rated provider in the United States. The reason they have a less than favorable reputation isn't because of the policies they sell, its because of their sales tactics and customer service.

In 2021, American Income Life settled a $5.75 million dollar class action lawsuit in California courts for failing to pay their employees fairly. The company is also infamous for their "multilevel marketing" which has caused former employees to speak out about their experiences on workplace review websites like Indeed and GlassDoor.

On the Better Business Bureau's website, American Income Life has responded to 525 complaints over the last 3 years. 201 of these complaints were in the last 12 months. The most common complaints are from customers getting billed after cancelling their policy, being harrassed by pushy salespeople, or former employees sharing their negative experiences with the company's practices. 

Thankfully, it appears as though the American Income Life Company does its best to address each complaint, and the company has an A+ rating with the BBB. On GlassDoor, AIL has a 3.6-star average (out of 5 stars) from former/current employees and 62% of these reviewers say they would recommend the company to a friend. On Indeed, they have more than 4,300 reviews with a 3-star average. 

Policies Offered By American Income Life

American Income Life offers level term, final expense, and whole life insurance. Term life insurance provides a predetermined amount of coverage for a fixed number of years. These policies are sold in 5-year increments, usually for 10 to 30 years. Term insurance is ideal for most family breadwinners as their coverage needs tend to decrease as they approach retirement age. 

AIL's policies also include an accelerated death benefit rider for 50% of policy's death benefit if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness. This free benefit is automatically included with most term policies sold today, but the qualifying conditions and the amount of coverage accessible varies from provider to provider. 

Whole life insurance provides up to $50,000 of coverage to individuals in average or better health without a medical exam. These policies are usually purchased to leave an inheritance or help with future burial costs. While these policies are not ideal for most situations, they do build a small cash value overtime that can be borrowed from. 

Final expense insurance is a form of whole life insurance for people that are otherwise uninsurable due to health issues or lifestyle concerns. These policies offer up to $25,000 of coverage without a medical exam, but for the first two year the policyholder's coverage is limited. Most providers also have a minimum age requirement of 45 or 50.

American Income Life Insurance Pros

American Income Life is rated "A" excellent by AM Best, the most recognized credit rating agency in the life insurance industry. Their policies include a free terminal illness rider which allows the insured to access up to 50% of their policy's death benefit if they are diagnosed with a qualifying health condition. 

The company also offers a free Legacy Will kit with each of their policies that allows the policyholder to outline their final wishes. While these kits are not meant to serve as a substitute for legal advice or an attorney, they do have power of attorney which will prevent your loves ones from fighting over the possessions you leave behind. 

Lastly, American Income Life's policies include a free child rider which allows the policyholder to purchase up to $25,000 of coverage on their child or grandchild. These policies are portable and they can be increased to $150,000 once the child reaches adulthood. Most importantly, the company has been operating for 72 and never failed to pay a valid claim.

American Income Life Insurance Cons

The downside to the American Life Insurance Company is that they do not offer simplified issue policies that can be purchased online. To apply for a policy from AIL, you must meet with a licensed agent to apply, and you will need to complete a physical exam with a medical professional. If you're just inquiring about pricing, this could be a difficult situation, especially with a pushy salesperson.

This process also significantly slows down the time it takes to secure life insurance. Most policies take at least 8 to 10 weeks to get approved, AFTER you've scheduled and completed your medical exam. If you need life insurance in a hurry, there are faster and less-invasive options available. In fact, some policies can get approved in as little as 15 minutes.

Some of the clients we've spoken with also felt like their process lacked transparency because AIL does not offer policy information or life insurance quotes online. This means you have to meet with someone before you can even get an estimate to determine how much coverage you can afford. It's also hard to overlook the massive amount of complaints and negative reviews online.

Its also important to note that American Income Life's agents get compensated for recruiting new employees. And, like most multilevel marketing companies, they get paid for whatever business these employees bring to the company. So don't be surprised if your agent is more interested in giving you a job then getting you insured.

American Income Life keeps their life insurance rates closely-guarded for a reason. They are not competitive with "A+" rated providers like Prudential, Transamerica, or Pacific Life. Click on the form below to instantly compare life insurance quotes from 63 top-rated companies. 

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The Bottom Line:

American Income Life is a financially stable life insurance provider that has a solid track record of paying its claims. If you currently have a policy with them, rest assured, you can expect the company to be in business and pay your family if you pass away. However, AIL does not have a good reputation for customer service and they have been sued for employment law violations. 

In addition, some complain that company's sales process lacks transparancy, and previous employees mention a high-churn rate which means your agent might lack the experience a more seasoned agent can provide. American Income Life's agents are captive which means they are limited to the products are services their company offers. Your agent also might try to offer you a job while you're meeting with them.

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Written by:

Clifford Pendell

Clifford Pendell

Managing Partner and Co-founder

Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.

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