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AIG provides a wide range of life insurance products nationwide, many of which include living benefits for terminal, chronic, and critical illnesses. The company also offers same-day decision policies and up to $2 million in coverage without a medical exam to healthy applicants. Plus, it’s one of a handful of companies to offer term coverage longer than 30 years. But AIG has received a very high number of customer complaints and, unsurprisingly, ranks poorly for customer satisfaction.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Same-day decision available
Up to $2M in coverage without an exam
Term policies available for up to 35 years
Living benefits included in coverage
Online quotes unavailable
High incidence of complaints
Low customer satisfaction ranking
Founded in 1919, American International Group, Inc. (AIG) began as American Asiatic Underwriters in Shanghai, China. Today AIG has headquarters in New York and London and sells life insurance nationwide. Policies are issued by American General Life Insurance Company in 49 states and by The United States Life Insurance Company in New York. Both are members of AIG.
- Same-day decision available: Some no-exam policies are issued the same day, for those who qualify.
- Up to $2M in coverage without an exam: With AIG’s agile underwriting process, healthy applicants are eligible for coverage up to $2 million without a medical exam. Applicants must be 59 or younger to qualify and policies are usually approved within five days.
- Term policies available for up to 30 years: AIG offers a wide range of term lengths for its term policies, including a longer-than-average period of 30 years. Instead of just making terms available in five-year increments, the company offers 18 term lengths to choose from.
- Living benefits included in coverage: AIG’s quality of life policies offer benefits that let you access the death benefit if you are diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
- Online quotes unavailable: In order to receive a quote through the website, you’ll need to enter your personal information and wait to be contacted by an agent.
- High incidence of complaints: According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), AIG received more than three times the number of complaints expected for a company of its size over the past three years. AIG’s complaint index put it in the lowest quartile, meaning that at least 75% of the other companies we reviewed received fewer complaints.
- Low customer satisfaction ranking: AIG ranked 19th out of 21 companies for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.
Over the past three years, AIG has received more than three times the number of complaints expected for a company of its size. The NAIC calculates a complaint index to help consumers compare insurance company complaints. The index takes the size of the insurer into account and the annual number of complaints it received. An index of 1.00, means the company received an expected number of complaints, while an index greater than 1.00 means it received more complaints than expected. An index below 1.00 means fewer complaints than expected were received.
AIG has a complaint index of 3.13, averaged over the last three years, which indicates the company received three times as many complaints as expected. Most of the best life insurance companies have a complaint index well under 1.00.
Independent rating services offer consumers insight into life insurance companies' financial strength. You wouldn't deposit your paycheck with a bank that has questionable financial stability, nor is it wise to pay premiums to a life insurance company that may be facing bankruptcy or other financial challenges.
AM Best was founded in 1899 and is a well-respected credit-rating agency that grades life insurance companies based on their financial strength. This in turn indicates the company's ability to pay claims and honor its ongoing insurance obligations. Grades range from A++ to D. AIG has an A (Excellent) grade, which indicates that the company has an excellent ability to pay claims.
J.D. Power is an agency that ranks life insurance companies based on customer satisfaction on a 1,000 point scale. AIG’s ranking in J.D Power's 2021 U.S Individual Life Insurance Study is well below average at 744. This puts AIG at number 19th on the list out of 21 life insurance companies reviewed.
AIG offers a wide range of life insurance policies; some are available to applicants up to 80 years old. But to qualify for a no-medical exam life insurance policy, you’ll need to be 59 or younger. AIG offers term, universal life (UL), and indexed universal life (IUL) plans that include three living benefits for critical, chronic and terminal illnesses—if the policyholder develops an eligible condition, they can access the death benefit early.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is a type of coverage that lasts the length of a term, such as 5, 10, or 15 years. It’s more affordable than permanent life insurance, and you are usually given the option to renew the policy at the end of the term or to convert it to permanent coverage before the term expires.
AIG's term life insurance policies are convertible and renewable and offer term lengths for 10 years, or for any term between 15 and 30 years. They also offer a term policy with 35 years of coverage.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life (UL) insurance is a flexible type of permanent coverage because you may be able to reduce or pause premium payments as long as there’s sufficient cash value to cover the policy’s expenses. The cash value grows on a tax-deferred basis and helps support the policy, especially during its later years. AIG offers a universal life policy that may work more like a term policy, where you select the number of years you want coverage. However, unlike a term policy, you may be eligible to receive some or all of the premiums you paid back—or to continue permanent coverage for a reduced death benefit.
Indexed Universal Life
An indexed universal life (IUL) policy is a type of UL policy in which the cash value is tied to an equity index, such as the S&P 500. The cash value is credited interest according to the index’s performance, but won’t lose value even if the index performs poorly. This makes these types of policies attractive for those who’d like to participate in market gains but not market losses. However, market gains are likewise limited.
Variable Universal Life
Variable universal life (VUL) insurance is permanent coverage in which the cash value is invested in stock market securities via subaccounts. Variable life insurance subaccount’s work like mutual funds, and the cash value can gain and lose value according to their performance. This is considered the riskiest type of life insurance coverage.
Final Expense or Burial Insurance
Final expense policies are small whole life insurance policies designed to last a lifetime. AIG provides guaranteed whole life insurance to applicants ages 50 to 80 for coverage between $5,000 and $25,000. These policies have a two year graded death benefit period; if you die during this period, your beneficiaries will receive 110% of the total premiums you paid instead of the full death benefit. A medical exam is not required, and acceptance is guaranteed as long as you meet the age requirement.
Riders can be purchased to provide extra protection and some may be included at no upfront cost, such as accelerated death benefit riders. Here are a few of the riders that AIG offers.
A children's term rider supplies a small death benefit for a similarly small extra premium. Once the child becomes an adult, they may have the option to convert coverage to their own permanent policy.
Waiver of Premium
A waiver of premium rider is a common rider that waives your premium payments in the event you become totally disabled. This rider typically has a waiting period before benefits take effect.
Accidental Death Benefit Rider
AIG offers an accidental death benefit rider that pays an additional death benefit on top of the face value if the insured person dies as the result of an accident.
ADB: Chronic Illness Rider
This is a type of accelerated death benefit (ADB) rider which pays out a portion of the death benefit if you are diagnosed with a qualifying chronic illness. The amount paid out reduces the death benefit your beneficiaries will receive by a similar amount.
ADB: Terminal Illness Rider
This is another type of ADB, or living benefit, that advances the death benefit if you develop a terminal illness with 24 or fewer months left to live.
ADB: Critical Illness Rider
This living benefit advances a portion of the death benefit if you experience a critical illness, such as a severe heart attack or certain types of cancer.
Accelerated death benefit riders, also known as living benefits, reduce the death benefit your beneficiaries will receive.
AIG offers online chat and you can start your life insurance claim online. If you’re a life insurance customer in need of customer service, you can call (800) 888-2452 or you can reach American General, which underwrites policies through AIG, at (844) 452-3832. If you’re looking for coverage, you can fill out the form to request a quote and will be contacted by an agent.
Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers
We designed a comprehensive ranking methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.
Corebridge Financial. "Are You Paying for More Protection Than You Need?"
J.D. Power. "Both Life Insurance and Annuity Customer Satisfaction Decline as Pandemic Fears Wane, J.D. Power Finds."
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of American International Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries."
AIG Direct. "Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance."
AIG Direct. "No-Medical Exam Life Insurance."
AIG Direct. "Explaining the Different Life Insurance Products."
AIG Direct. "Term Life Insurance."
AIG Direct. "Universal Life Insurance."
AIG Direct. "What Are Life Insurance Riders?"
AIG. "About Us: Contact Us."
AIG Direct. "Contact Us."