American United Life Insurance Company Review

Retirement- and asset-based life insurance coverage through a local network

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OneAmerica

OneAmerica

Our Take

Term and whole life coverage options are available through American United Life Insurance Company, which is a founding member of OneAmerica mutual group. This carrier sells policies through a network of local agents, offering coverage in all states except New York.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dividends offered on whole life policies

  • Buy insurance, long-term care coverage, annuities, and retirement services from just one company

  • Convertible coverage available

Cons
  • No online quotes

  • Not available in New York

  • Limited policy options

  • Limited online information

Key Takeaways
  • American United Life (AUL) is the founding member of the OneAmerica life insurance group.
  • AUL, a mutual company, underwrites term and whole life insurance policies in every state but New York.
  • This carrier specializes in retirement- and asset-protection products and services.
  • AUL regularly receives high financial stability and consumer satisfaction ratings.
  • You’ll need to work with a local financial professional in their national network in order to get a quote for coverage or purchase a policy; no online pricing or buying options are available.
Company Overview

American United Life is the founding member of OneAmerica, a family of life and retirement financial services that sells to individuals, employees, and businesses throughout the United States. The company’s roots reach back to 1877, when the Knights of Pythias created an insurance program, which, in 1899, became the American Central Life Insurance Company.

American Central and United Mutual, a subsidiary company, merged in 1936 to form the American United Life Insurance Company. The company formed an alliance with The State Life Insurance Company in 1994, reorganizing in 2000 to become OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. 

Through OneAmerica, American United Life now offers both term and whole life insurance coverage through a national network of partner professionals. They also help consumers prepare for retirement with annuities as well as an extensive menu of 401(k), 403(b), and 457-based products and services.

Geographical Restrictions

American United Life insurance policies are available throughout most of the U.S., but cannot be purchased in New York.

  • Year Founded 1877
  • Kinds of Plans Whole life, term life
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually
  • Customer Service Phone (800-537-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST) or through your local representative
  • Official Website www.oneamerica.com

American United Life Insurance 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

  • Dividends offered on whole life policies: American United Life is a mutual company, which prioritizes customers. While dividends are not guaranteed, they are generally offered to whole life policyholders.
  • Buy insurance, long-term care coverage, annuities, and retirement services from just one company: AUL and the OneAmerica group offer a variety of life insurance policy options in addition to selling annuities, providing long-term care coverage, and offering a range of retirement-focused products and services. This could be convenient for consumers wanting to manage all of their asset protection efforts in one place.
  • Convertible coverage available: Some term life policies can be converted to whole life coverage, allowing you to protect your family for longer.

Cons Explained

  • No online quotes: In order to get a price quote or buy coverage, you’ll need to be connected with a local financial representative within American United Life’s national network. Online quotes and policy purchase options are not available.
  • Not available in New York: AUL does not offer life insurance coverage in the state of New York.
  • Limited policy options: If you prefer to purchase life insurance through AUL, you’ll be limited to just a handful of term and whole life policy options. However, other carriers within the OneAmerica group may be able to offer you different coverage.
  • Limited online information: The information provided on OneAmerica’s website is limited and not very clear as to which policies are underwritten by AUL and which are offered by other carriers within the group. If you want to know exactly which policies and coverage options are available to you, you’ll need to speak with a local agent within the network.

Available Plans

There are only a few life insurance plans to choose from at American United Life, so your coverage options are a bit more limited than with some other carriers.

OneAmerica Term Life

This term policy offers level life insurance protection for either 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Level death benefits are available from $100,000 to $1 million, but coverage cannot be converted into a whole life policy. 

OneAmerica Premier Term

As with the term policy above, this coverage is offered as either a 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year term. Coverage can also be purchased for anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million, though the Premier Term policy can be converted into permanent coverage with either a standalone whole life policy or a whole life policy with long-term care (LTC) coverage.

American Protector Plus Level Term

This is the third term life policy option available, which is underwritten by American United Life. The American Protector Plus Level Term policy offers coverage to applicants between the ages of 18 and 80 with either 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year level benefits. Coverage is guaranteed renewable through age 95, with the option of full conversion into a permanent policy. 

Buying convertible term life insurance can be a good way to purchase the coverage you can afford now, while still allowing yourself to convert to lifelong, permanent coverage down the line.

Whole Life

Through its whole life insurance coverage options, American United Life offers customers a way to securely protect loved ones for life. The policy includes level premiums and a level death benefit, with guaranteed issue coverage also available. Some whole life policy options through AUL and OneAmerica also include a built-in long-term care benefit, allowing you to access a variety of living benefits.

Available Riders

Life insurance policy riders provide you with additional coverage and benefits, on top of your life insurance policy’s death benefit. These riders may come at an additional cost or be included with your policy at no charge. Not all riders will be available in all states.

Child Benefit

This optional rider allows policyholders to add a small amount of coverage for minor children to their policy without needing to purchase separate coverage. Generally, one child rider will protect all minor children in the family, with either $5,000, $15,000, or $25,000 in coverage per child.

Waiver of Premium

If you were to become fully disabled, a waiver of premium rider would allow you to keep your life insurance coverage active and intact without needing to continue making premium payments on the policy.

Chronic Illness Rider

If you were to be diagnosed with a chronic illness, this rider would allow you to access a portion of your life insurance policy’s death benefit while you’re still alive. Funds pulled from your policy through a chronic illness rider will be deducted from the total death benefit, meaning that your loved ones will receive a smaller payout when you pass away.

Terminal Illness Rider

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, this rider would also allow you to withdraw a portion of your policy’s benefit while you’re still alive. Terminal illness riders are generally helpful if you’ve been given 12 (or sometimes up to 24) months to live. Any funds pulled from your policy with this rider will be subtracted from the overall death benefit.

What You Need to Know

Mutual companies are concerned with the satisfaction of their policyholders and tend to spread the wealth in profitable years. Though dividends are never guaranteed, they are common on whole life policies offered by mutual life insurance carriers such as AUL.

Customer Service

If you want to speak with an American United Life customer service representative, you can do so by phone. Their toll-free number is (800) 537-6442 and they are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. 

You may also submit an email via an online contact form or reach out to a network agent or financial professional in your area. There is no live chat option on the company’s website.

Complaint Index

Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issues a complaint index to insurance carriers, which helps identify consumer satisfaction trends from one year to the next. This index, which is adjusted for each company’s size and market share, has a baseline of 1.00; if a company earns a 1.00 complaint index, this means that the company received just as many consumer complaints in a year as was expected for their size.

In 2020, American United Life received an overall NAIC complaint index of 0.06, which represents only six total complaints for the year. The company’s complaint index in 2019 was 0.03 and in 2018, it was just 0.02. 

Third-Party Ratings

American United Life and OneAmerica both currently hold an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best. This rating means that the company has a strong financial outlook and is likely to be around and solvent if and when you or your loved ones ever need to file a policy claim.

Another trusted third-party review comes from J.D. Power, through the annual Life Insurance Study. This study takes into account a variety of factors such as pricing, product availability, customer service, and consumer satisfaction, ranking many of the industry’s top carriers based on their score.

American United Life was not included in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, which named the top 23 carriers in the United States.  

Cancellation Policy

If you decide that you no longer want your American United Life insurance policy, you are able to cancel it at any time.

With term life coverage, your policy will automatically lapse if you stop making scheduled premium payments. You can also contact the carrier directly or reach out to your local agent if you want to discontinue your coverage. Since term life policies do not accrue a cash value, you will not get anything back when you cancel your policy, nor will there be a penalty.

Whole life coverage, on the other hand, does accrue a cash value. Depending on how long you’ve had your policy and how much your cash value has grown, you may receive funds back after canceling your policy. It’s important to note that whole life policies will generally have a surrender fee, so you will lose a portion of your canceled policy’s cash value to that penalty.

You’ll need to reach out to your local agent or contact Policy Services at (800) 537-6442 if you’re ready to cancel.

Price

Neither American United Life nor OneAmerica offers online life insurance policy quotes, so you’ll need to speak with an agent in order to see how much you can expect your coverage to cost. 

Life insurance premiums depend on a number of factors and will vary from one person to the next. For example, term life coverage is generally more affordable than whole life, and the more coverage you buy, the more you can expect to spend.

Other factors that affect price include your age, location, health and medical history, tobacco use, driving record, credit score, and, of course, gender. If you are nonbinary or transgender and are trying to buy a policy, you will not be denied based on gender alone. However, you should note that every insurance company has its own policies, and you will likely be asked to choose your assigned birth gender rather than your stated gender for underwriting purposes.

Competition

Sometimes, the best way to decide whether a company is right for you is to pit it against a close competitor. 

To help you gauge American United Life, we’ve compared it with MassMutual. Both are mutual companies that offer dividends to policyholders and both require you to work with a financial professional to price out and buy a policy (rather than being able to buy online). Both carriers also have exceptional complaint index scores through NAIC as well as strong AM Best financial strength ratings.

MassMutual does have more policy options to choose from, though you can also shop around for coverage from AUL’s partner carriers in OneAmerica, and MassMutual is a much larger carrier. MassMutual also boasts a slightly higher AM Best rating and has pledged greater dividends to policyholders.

  American United Life (AUL) MassMutual 
Market Share #24 in U.S., 1.35% market share #13 in U.S., 2.81% market share
Number of Plans  4
Dividends for 2021  $31 million  $1.7 billion 
Service Method  Financial professionals  Financial professionals 
AM Best Rating  A+  A++ 
Price Rank  Not available  About Average 
Complaints Trend  0.06 Exceptional  0.08 Exceptional 
Final Verdict

Though American United Life probably isn’t a household name for many folks, they are the founding member of a group that was started in 1877. This mutual company offers term and whole life insurance coverage with a focus on retirement and asset protection. AUL operates in every state except New York and boasts consistently high financial stability and consumer ratings.

Methodology

In order to provide readers with the most trusted and comprehensive life insurance carrier reviews, we compare and analyze a number of important factors in a full methodology. We look at factors such as policy and coverage options, product availability, pricing, policy personalization, and access to customer service when it’s needed. We also compare each carrier's consumer and third-party ratings, looking at how well they perform in terms of financial stability, consumer complaints, claim payouts, and their overall financial outlook.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. NAIC. "American United Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed May 8, 2021.

  2. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study." Accessed May 24, 2021.