American Heritage Life Insurance Review

Employer-sponsored permanent life policies under the Allstate Benefits name

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Allstate Benefits

Allstate Benefits

Our Take

Operating as Allstate Benefits, American Heritage offers employer-sponsored life insurance plans in the form of universal and whole life policies. Coverage may include a wide variety of riders and features, though policies are not available in New York.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offered everywhere except New York

  • Variety of supplemental coverage options

  • Many riders to choose from

  • Coverage is portable

Cons
  • Only available through an employer

  • No term life options

Key Takeaways
  • American Heritage Life operates as Allstate Benefits, which provides group coverage through participating employers.
  • Allstate Benefits offers life insurance, cancer insurance, accident insurance, critical illness insurance, and hospital indemnity coverage.
  • In regards to life insurance, American Heritage Life writes group whole life and group universal life policies.
  • American Heritage Life operates in 49 states (excluding New York) as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Company Overview

Founded in 1956 in Jacksonville, Florida, American Heritage has been providing life insurance protection for more than 65 years. The company operates as Allstate Benefits, offering a range of workplace life insurance coverage options including whole and universal life, accident insurance, cancer insurance, critical illness policies, hospital indemnity insurance, and more.

Today, American Heritage is a leading insurance provider to more than 50,000 groups and organizations, insuring more than four million individuals across the nation.

Geographical Restrictions

American Heritage is available in 49 states, excluding New York, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

  • Year Founded 1956
  • Kinds of Plans Group whole life, group universal life
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly or biweekly payroll deductions
  • Customer Service MyBenefits portal or by phone (1-800-521-3535, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday)
  • Official Website www.allstatebenefits.com

American Heritage is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • Offered everywhere except New York: American Heritage, through Allstate Benefits, provides group life insurance in 49 states (excluding New York) as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
  • Variety of supplemental coverage options: In addition to group life policies, American Heritage also underwrites supplemental options such as cancer insurance, accident insurance, hospital indemnity coverage, and more.
  • Many riders to choose from: Depending on which group life policy you pick and what your employer offers, there are many different riders to choose from, though most are at an additional cost.
  • Coverage is portable: If you quit your job, get fired, or retire, your American Heritage coverage can come along with you.

Cons Explained

  • Only available through an employer: American Heritage, though part of the Allstate Insurance Group, only offers life insurance coverage through participating employers and organizations. It does not provide individual life insurance.
  • No term life options: Employees of participating organizations can only opt for permanent life policies through American Heritage: universal life or whole life. There are no term life policy options, though spouse term and child term coverage riders are offered.

Available Plans

American Heritage Life underwrites many different employer-sponsored policies under the Allstate Benefits name. As far as life insurance is concerned, though, there are only two types of coverage to choose from.

Group Whole Life

With whole life insurance from American Heritage, employees can purchase coverage that will last them and their loved ones a lifetime. This permanent policy offers level premiums and a level, fully guaranteed death benefit and also builds cash value over time. Issue ages are 18 to 80, with premiums payable to age 95 and coverage lasting all the way to 121 (as long as premiums are paid). Policies are portable, so even if you leave your employer or retire, you can take your coverage with you.

Both spouse and child coverage riders are available on this policy, as well as an accelerated death benefit for terminal illness, waiver of premium for total disability, accidental death benefit, and accelerated death benefit for long-term care. Not all riders or coverage options will be available on all policies or in all states, however.

Group Universal Life

Another permanent life insurance option through American Heritage is the group universal life plan. This policy offers financial protection for your loved ones for life, while also building up a cash value that earns an interest rate of at least 4% annually. If needed, you can borrow from this cash value over the years; the policy also allows you to adjust your premiums as needed.

Allstate Benefits universal life plans allow for a number of riders, including spouse and child term, accelerated death benefit for terminal illness or long-term care, and waiver of premium for total disability, among others.

Unlike individual life insurance policies, employer-sponsored plans do not allow you to lock in premiums over the course of your coverage contract. Instead, your rates may increase each year according to your age and even your organization itself.

Available Riders

American Heritage Life offers a few different riders to choose from when purchasing life insurance coverage. Not all riders will be available to all policyholders or in all states, however. 

Accelerated Death Benefit for Terminal Illness

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a limited life expectancy, you may be able to utilize the accelerated death benefit rider to access funds from your life insurance policy. This rider unlocks up to 75% of the policy’s death benefit while you’re living, which you can use to pay bills, cover household expenses, or just enjoy time with your family. Any withdrawal using this rider will be subtracted from the death benefit that your loved ones will receive after your passing.

Accelerated Death Benefit for Long-Term Care

If you are diagnosed with a certified and eligible chronic illness, this rider can provide you with a monthly advance of up to 4% of the policy’s overall death benefit. This coverage, which kicks in after a 90-day elimination period, can last for up to 25 months or as long as you’re receiving qualified long-term care services, whichever is shorter. 

Accidental Death Benefit

A death that’s caused by an accident is usually unexpected and, as a result, can add to your loved ones’ trauma and financial strain. An accidental death benefit rider provides beneficiaries with an additional payout on top of the policy’s death benefit if your death is the result of an accidental injury, such as a car accident or fall.

Spouse Rider

You can add coverage for your spouse onto your existing American Heritage policy, as a 20-year term rider. This rider may be subject to coverage, issue age, and termination age limits.

Child Term Rider

With the child term rider, you can add life insurance protection for your minor children to your existing coverage without needing to purchase a separate policy. One rider covers all eligible children under the age of 26 and provides them with level protection until they reach the maximum coverage age.

Waiver of Premium

If you are totally disabled for six months or more, the waiver of premium rider will allow you to keep your life insurance policy active while also waiving your monthly premiums. 

Total Disability Payor Waiver of Premium

If you are totally disabled for six months or more and have this rider, the carrier will pay the premiums for your coverage.

Most workplace life insurance policies are limited to a specific amount of coverage, usually as a multiple of your salary. This may not be enough life insurance to adequately protect your loved ones, so an individual policy could also be required.

Customer Service

The servicing of policies is provided by Allstate. Existing Allstate Benefits customers can answer many of their own questions or make changes online, through the MyBenefits portal at the Allstate Benefits website. You can also speak with your employer’s benefits department if you need to enroll in coverage or make changes to your policy. 

To contact Allstate Benefits/American Heritage directly, you can reach customer service by phone at 1-800-521-3535. Representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Complaint Index

Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides insurance carriers with a complaint index. This index, which is adjusted to an average rating of 1.0 for each carrier based on their size and market share, can be useful for gauging consumer complaints and watching trends from year to year.

A complaint index above 1.0 means that the carrier received more consumer complaints than expected for their size. A rating below 1.0 means they received fewer complaints than expected.

In 2020, American Heritage received a complaint index of 2.12, which is higher than expected. However, this only represents one consumer complaint that year among over four million insured clients. In 2019, the company also received just one complaint and earned a complaint index of 1.80; in 2018, two total complaints yielded a complaint index of 3.44.

Third-Party Ratings

When trying to evaluate an insurance carrier, third-party ratings from trusted companies and organizations can be very helpful. 

For instance, AM Best awards a financial strength rating to companies based on their stability and projected solvency. A high rating means a higher likelihood that the company will be around and able to pay out on your contract if and when your loved ones ever need to file a claim.

American Heritage currently holds an AM Best financial strength rating of A+ (Superior). This is the second-highest rating given and indicates superior stability.

Another trusted, third-party platform is J.D. Power, which awards ratings based on factors such as consumer satisfaction, product availability, and price. In the 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, however, American Heritage (Allstate Benefits) was not ranked. This could potentially be due to the company’s small size and market share. 

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your American Heritage whole or universal life policy, you may want to speak with your workplace benefits department in order to get the correct forms and stop payroll deductions for premiums. 

Since both of these policies accumulate a cash value over time, you may be due a payout following cancellation. However, it’s important to note that surrender fees may apply, which can reduce the cash value that’s paid back to you.

Price

Since American Heritage only writes group policies through participating employers, pricing can vary. The price you’ll pay for coverage will generally be impacted by your age, the amount of coverage purchased, the type of policy you get, and any riders you choose to add. Overall rates throughout your workplace will also factor in the average employee age, overall number of tobacco users, etc.

Competition

Though American Heritage is part of the Allstate Insurance Group, it’s a relatively small provider offering only two permanent group life policies to participating organizations. So, how does this carrier measure up to some of the top life insurance carriers?

To help answer that question, we have compared American Heritage to Northwestern Mutual. 

Both carriers offer permanent life insurance coverage, though Northwestern Mutual also sells individual policies and offers group term life; American Heritage only sells group permanent coverage. Both carriers also hold high AM Best financial strength ratings, though Northwestern Mutual also takes the edge here with an A++ rating to American Heritage’s A+. Lastly, while Northwestern Mutual is offered in all 50 states, American Heritage does not operate in New York.

If you’re looking for coverage through the workplace or as an individual—or are interested in term life options—Northwestern Mutual comes out ahead.

  American Heritage/Allstate Benefits Northwestern Mutual
Market Share Unranked, 0.23% of U.S. market share Largest in the U.S., 8.52% market share
Number of Plans  12 
Dividends for 2020  Not applicable  $6.2 billion 
Service Method  Employer  Advisors and Agents 
AM Best Rating  A+  A++
Price Rank  Not applicable  Above Average 
Complaint Index 2.11 Worse than average 0.50 Excellent 
Final Verdict

American Heritage, which operates as Allstate Benefits, provides whole and universal life coverage to participating employers and organizations. There are many riders and coverage options to choose from, though this is a smaller carrier with limited third-party ratings and does not operate in New York.

Methodology

In order to offer readers accurate and helpful life insurance carrier reviews, we employ a comprehensive methodology that assesses each carrier’s history, product availability, coverage options, and pricing. We also analyze third-party ratings, consumer satisfaction reports, financial stability grades, and more, weighing those against other comparable carriers.

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  1. NAIC. "American Heritage Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed May 27, 2021.

  2. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study." Accessed May 27, 2021.