Americo Life Insurance Review

Robust final expense insurance, but basic traditional coverage options

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Americo

Americo

Our Take

We recommend Americo Life Insurance if you’re in the market for final expense coverage. However, if you’re shopping for a traditional whole or term life policy, Americo falls short, particularly in terms of the types of coverage available, along with its lack of riders and online resources.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good financial strength ratings

  • No medical exam policy offering

  • Coverage is available in most states

Cons
  • Website has limited information

  • Quotes not available for most policies

  • Few riders for customization

Key Takeaways
  • Americo offers good final expense insurance through Americo Senior Life.
  • Americo’s traditional life insurance offerings are basic, with a few optional riders.
  • Coverage is available in every state except New York.
  • Americo’s website lacks important information about policies and coverage limits.
Company Overview

Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Its parent company, Americo Life, is one of the largest private life insurance companies in the United States and has been in business for over 100 years. To purchase life insurance from Americo, you need to contact an agent via phone or email.

Geographical Restrictions

Americo sells life insurance in 49 states and Washington D.C. Coverage is not available in New York.

  • Year Founded 1946
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, annually
  • Customer Service Phone: 888-220-7074; online form
  • Official Website www.americo.com

Americo 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

  • Good financial strength ratings: Americo Life Insurance has an A rating from AM Best, which indicates strong financial stability. 
  • No medical exam policy offering: You can get final expense life insurance through Americo, which doesn’t require a medical exam and has guaranteed acceptance.
  • Coverage is available in most states: Americo Life Insurance policies are sold throughout the country, with the exception of New York. 

Cons Explained

  • Website has limited information: Americo’s website lacks important information about policy details, like coverage limits and term periods, which are helpful to know when comparing providers.
  • Quotes not available for most policies: Although Americo has online quotes for final expense coverage, you can’t get an instant quote for term or universal coverage.
  • Few riders for customization: Americo only offers five riders that can be used to personalize your policy, which is fewer than many other companies offer.

Available Plans

Americo sells three types of life insurance policies, none of which are eligible for dividends. One of the biggest downsides of Americo is that the website lacks information about what its policies cover, with the exception of final expense insurance. If you have specific questions, like how much universal life insurance coverage is available, you’ll need to contact the company directly.

Here’s a brief overview of the policies available from Americo, and what they typically cover.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance offers coverage for a certain number of years, which is called a "term." Coverage is usually available in a period of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. This type of policy has level premiums and a guaranteed death benefit that gets paid to your beneficiaries if you pass away during the term.

Americo’s website mentions that you can add a rider to your policy that allows you to recoup some of the money you paid in premiums if you outlive the term period. Additionally, Americo’s term life insurance is convertible, which means at the end of the term, you have the option to convert your coverage into a permanent policy without retaking a medical exam.  

Term life insurance is usually the best option for healthy individuals and young families who are looking for affordable coverage.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Americo’s most transparent policy is its final expense life insurance option. Coverage is available between $2,000 and $30,000, and acceptance is guaranteed for every applicant, with no medical exam required. Plus, your premium will never increase over the lifetime of the policy. You can get a quote online and apply for coverage through the Americo Senior Life website in just a few minutes.

Universal Life Insurance

The other type of permanent coverage available from Americo is universal life insurance. Not only does universal life offer lifelong protection, but it also has an adjustable death benefit, flexible premiums, and cash value, which acts like a savings account.

When your cash value balance reaches a certain amount, you have the option to use the funds to change the frequency or amount of your premiums. You can also withdraw some of the cash value and use it like a personal loan. However, keep in mind that outstanding loans on the cash value will lower the death benefit that your beneficiaries receive after you pass away.

Available Riders

Life insurance riders are optional coverages that you can add to your policy for more tailored protection. Americo offers five riders, which is fewer than you might get with a larger life insurance company. 

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

An accelerated death benefit rider allows you to access money from your death benefit while you’re still alive if you get diagnosed with a qualifying terminal or chronic illness.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

If you add an accidental death benefit rider to your policy, it will pay an additional death benefit to your beneficiary if your death is deemed accidental, and is caused by a qualifying event.

Disability Income Rider

A disability income rider will provide income replacement in the form of monthly payments if you become sick or disabled and are kept from working.

Return of Premium Rider

The return of premium rider can only be added to a term life insurance policy. It allows you to recoup a portion of the premiums paid if you outlive the term period and never use your coverage. 

Waiver of Premium Rider

With a waiver of premium rider, you are allowed to temporarily stop paying your life insurance premium if you become disabled or sick. 

In order to use living benefits riders, your life insurance company will ask to see official medical documentation that certifies your diagnosis, disability, or illness before you are allowed to access the funds.

Customer Service

Americo’s customer service is average. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. If you’re a prospective customer, you can get in touch with the company by calling 888-220-7074. For current customers, the direct phone number is 800-231-0801. You also have the option to fill out the online form to get in touch with Americo.

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Company Complaint Index scores insurance companies based on policyholder feedback. It accounts for things like claim payout satisfaction, policy premiums, agent interactions, and more. The more complaints a company has, the higher its complaint index score is.

In 2020, Americo had 12 company complaints, and a score of 0.72, which is below the industry average rating of 1.0. Americo had slightly higher than average complaints in 2019, with a score of 1.03 and 23 complaints.

Third-Party Ratings

Americo only has a few third-party ratings. The company has an A rating from AM Best, which indicates excellent financial strength. It means that Americo is not likely to go out of business, and it shows that the company has enough money to repay policyholders after a claim without any issues.

Americo was not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, which ranks the largest life insurance companies based on overall customer satisfaction, using criteria like product offerings, price, and customer service.

Cancellation Policy

If you have a life insurance policy from Americo, you can cancel at any time. There is also a free-look period, which allows you to purchase a policy and cancel it within a certain timeframe. If you cancel within the allotted period, you’ll get back the money you paid in premiums. Americo doesn’t specify how long its free-look period is, but for most companies, the period is between 10 and 30 days.

When you cancel a term life policy, you can formally cancel with an agent, or you can simply stop paying the premiums. Your coverage will end once you make the last payment, and you won’t receive any compensation from Americo.

However, canceling a whole or universal life insurance policy is different. Most insurance companies charge a surrender fee if you cancel a permanent policy, depending on how long the policy was in force. When you cancel a permanent policy, you will receive a check for the unused cash value, minus any surrender charges or cancellation fees. 

Price

Life insurance prices vary based on individual circumstances, like age, overall health, family history of illness, the amount of coverage you need, and the type of policy you buy. Term life insurance is usually the cheapest coverage you can get, whereas permanent coverage is more expensive because it offers more coverage for a longer period of time.

Americo doesn’t offer online quotes for term or universal coverage, but you can get a quote online for final expense insurance. To give you an idea of what you might pay, we got a sample quote for a 60-year-old female living in Rhode Island who doesn’t smoke and doesn’t have any major health issues. We received these quotes for the three tiers of coverage available:

  • Basic: $20.79 per month for $5,000 in coverage
  • Gold: $38.08 per month for $10,000 in coverage
  • Platinum: $55.37 per month for $15,000 in coverage

When you apply for Americo life insurance, you will be asked to mark “male” or “female” as your gender. Being non-binary won't affect your ability to get life insurance, but we suggest contacting Americo to learn more about their underwriting practices for trans and non-binary individuals, as there is no industry standard and each company has different policies.

Competition

When shopping for life insurance, it’s important to compare providers to find the best one for your needs. Another life insurance company that we recommend is Transamerica, which is a better insurance provider than Americo for a few reasons.

First, Transamerica offers eight different policies, compared to Americo’s three policies. Through Transamerica, you can choose from several term life policies, as well as traditional whole life, indexed universal life, and final expense life insurance. We also like that Transamerica offers six riders, including a few that Americo doesn’t offer, like a child’s benefit rider.

Transamerica also stands out for its online tools and resources. Unlike Americo, Transamerica includes important policy details online, as well as answers to frequently asked questions. You can use Transamerica’s Plan Explorer tool to compare different policies side-by-side, which makes it a good option for first-time life insurance buyers.

  Americo Life Insurance Transamerica 
Market Share N/A 8th in the U.S., 2.8% of the market share
Number of Plans 3
Dividends for 2020  N/A N/A 
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives  N/A N/A
Service Method  Agents Agents 
AM Best Rating  A
Price Rank  About average About average 
Complaints Trend  0.72 (below average) 1.31 (above average) 
Final Verdict

If you’re shopping for final expense insurance, Americo is a pretty good option. But if you’re looking for traditional coverage, Americo isn’t high on our list. Although it has good third-party ratings and fewer than average complaints, the policy options are limited, there are only a few riders available, and the online experience is poor compared to larger providers.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative methodology that analyzes each insurer's stability, reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with that of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation.

Article Sources

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  1. NAIC. "Americo Fin Life & Ann Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed June 1, 2021.