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American Income offers supplemental coverage via final expense, children’s whole life, and term policies, but its many complaints and lack of transparency are cause for concern. Plus, you can’t get an online quote or apply without contacting an agent.
You may want to consider one of our best life insurance companies if you'd prefer an insurer with fewer complaints and a more accessible website.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Terminal illness rider included at no cost
Legacy will kit included at no cost
Guaranteed insurability with children’s whole life plans
No online quotes or claims
Lack of policy information on website
More complaints than expected
American Income was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Waco, Texas. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Life and provides life insurance, accident insurance, and supplemental health insurance in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Its wholly owned subsidiary, National Income Life Insurance Company, sells policies in New York. The two companies together have more than $46.6 billion of life insurance in force across more than two million policyholders.
- Terminal illness rider included at no cost: If you’re diagnosed with fewer than 12 months to live, you can access up to 50% of the death benefit while you’re still alive.
- Legacy will kit included at no cost: You can get a free legacy will kit from American Income, which provides a will and testament, power of attorney, and advance health care directive.
- Guaranteed insurability with children’s whole life plans: Head Start policyholders have the option to purchase additional coverage at later dates, and premium increases are solely based on age, regardless of the child’s health.
- No online quotes or pricing estimates: If you want to find out your individual premium, you’ll need to speak to an American Income agent.
- Lack of policy information on website: American Income’s website doesn’t list details like maximum face amounts, maximum issue ages, or term lengths.
- More complaints than expected: American Income had nearly double the number of complaints expected, given the company’s size, over the last three years.
American Income Life had more consumer complaints than expected over the last few years, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Each year, the NAIC calculates a complaint index for every insurance company based on the complaints the insurer receives and its size.
An index of 1.00 indicates an expected number of complaints given the company’s share of the market. Less than 1.00 means the company received fewer complaints than expected; greater than 1.00 means it received more complaints than expected. Over the last three years, American Income had an average complaint index of 1.706. That indicates that American Income received nearly double the number of complaints that were expected for a company of its size.
American Income received an A+ (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, an independent credit ratings agency. A high AM Best grade indicates that a life insurance company will meet its financial obligations and be able to pay claims to beneficiaries. That’s why we typically don’t recommend companies that score below an A-.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is designed to provide a payout if you die during a specific period, typically corresponding with a time of financial responsibility. For example, you might purchase a term life insurance policy for 10 to 30 years to cover the period when you are paying off your mortgage and saving for your children’s college education. If you die outside of the term and haven’t renewed the policy or converted it to a permanent one, your beneficiaries won’t get the death benefit. A term life insurance policy also does not build cash value.
Child Whole Life Insurance
The Head Start Children’s Life Insurance Program from American Income is a type of whole life insurance policy for children that doesn’t expire as long as premiums are paid. You can purchase up to $25,000 in initial coverage with the option to purchase up to $150,000 later on at standard rates, without your child having to undergo an exam or answer health questions, our research showed. This policy also builds a cash value component that can be borrowed against or withdrawn from.
Final Expense Insurance
Final expense insurance is a type of whole life insurance with a small death benefit, typically less than $50,000. American Income doesn’t provide any details about its final expense policy online, but final expense insurance is typically offered to seniors and is designed to cover burial expenses and other end-of-life needs. Premiums stay level and the death benefit is guaranteed as long as payments are made. Final expense policies do not require a medical exam.
Riders add coverage to your insurance policy to provide things like living benefits and the ability to pause premiums if you become disabled. American Income only advertises a couple of riders, but more customization options may be available if you talk to an insurance agent.
Waiver of Premium
A waiver of premium rider allows you to pause your premium payments in the event that you become totally disabled and unable to work. There’s typically a waiting period, but if you qualify, your coverage will stay the same while your premiums drop to $0.
Terminal Illness Rider
You can add this rider to any American Income policy at no cost, our research showed. This accelerated death benefit provides you with 50% of the death benefit in the event that you are diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 12 months or less (24 months in some states). You can use the money however you see fit, and your beneficiaries will receive the remaining face amount when you die.
American Income only provides customer support during business hours. You can call 1-800-433-3405 on weekdays between the hours 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT. The website warns of long wait times. You can also contact the company through this online form. There’s no live chat or online claims filing, but you can view your policy details through the company’s online portal.
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.