Founded in 1886, North American is part of Sammons Financial Group. It sells both life insurance and annuity products, helping people plan for their futures. It has approximately 395,000 life insurance policies in force, making it a much smaller company compared to insurers with millions of policies in force. Offering term, universal, and indexed universal life policies, North American provides high coverage maximums and insurance riders to customize your plan.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Quotes for term life insurance online available
Term policies can be converted to permanent coverage
High coverage amounts available
Insurance can only be purchased through agents
Financial professionals earn commissions on sales
Not licensed in all states
- North America is part of Sammons Financial
- The company was founded in 1886 and is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- It serves 395,000 policyholders
- North American sells annuities and term, universal, and indexed life insurance policies
- North American’s insurance plans are not available in New York
The life insurance division of North American is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While some life insurance companies sell direct-to-consumer, North American is agent-based, meaning you can only purchase insurance through an appointed insurance agent.
North American is available in all states except for New York. The company also sells annuity products for customers who want to supplement their retirement income.
- Year Founded 1886
- Kinds of Plans Term, Universal, Indexed Universal
- Kinds of Plans 8
- Payment Plan Options Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-annually, Annually
- Customer Service Agent, Phone
- Phone 877-872-0757
- Official Website www.northamericancompany.com
North American 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.
- Quotes for term life insurance online available: Some life insurance companies require you to contact an agent to get a quote for any of their policies, which makes comparison shopping a hassle. With North American, you can get a quote for term life insurance online.
- Term policies can be converted to permanent coverage: With term life coverage, you are no longer covered once the term expires. However, North American allows you to convert term policies into permanent coverage, protecting you for your lifetime.
- High coverage amounts available: North American policies have high coverage limits. While some companies cap your coverage at $1 million (some at $500,000), North American offers coverage amounts as high as $5 million.
- Insurance can only be purchased through agents: Some life insurance carriers allow you to apply for insurance online. However, North American doesn’t have that feature. To apply, you’ll have to work with a North American agent.
- Financial professionals earn commissions on sales: While North American encourages you to contact its financial professionals, you should be aware that its financial professionals earn commissions on insurance sales, so they have a financial incentive to sell you certain products.
- Not licensed in all states: North American sells life insurance in most states. However, it is not licensed in New York. If you are a New York resident, you’ll have to get insurance from another company.
In 2019, North American paid over $593 million in death benefit claims.
North American has eight different life insurance plans available, including term life, universal life, and indexed universal life policies. All of its policies require medical exams, and you must contact a North American insurance agent to get a finalized rate quote and apply for coverage.
With term life coverage, you get coverage for a predetermined period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If you pass away during the covered term, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit as a lump sum. They can use the death benefit to cover your final expenses, pay off the mortgage, finance college, or other expenses they may have. However, they receive nothing if you die after the term expires. Because term life coverage is temporary, it’s cheaper than some other options.
North American’s term life option is called ADDvantage. You can choose a term of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years, and coverage starts at $100,000. The ADDvantage policy includes an accelerated death benefit endorsement for terminal illnesses.
Universal life insurance is a form of permanent coverage that lasts for your entire lifetime. It has both a death benefit and a savings option. Universal life policies offer more flexibility than whole life insurance, allowing you to adjust your premium payments and death benefits to meet your changing needs.
North American has three different universal life policies:
- Custom Growth CV: With this option, you get a death benefit and the ability to build long-term cash value accumulation.
- Custom Guarantee: Custom Guarantee plans are a lower-cost option, and offer guaranteed death benefit coverage.
- Custom TermGUL: This plan has a low minimum coverage amount—just $25,000—and includes benefits like a chronic illness accelerated benefit rider.
Indexed Universal Life
Like universal life policies, indexed universal life insurance is permanent coverage that allows you to build cash value. However, indexed universal policies lets you invest in stock market indices. Your cash value can potentially grow based on the performance of major indices, such as the S&P 500. There is a higher level of growth potential, but also higher levels of risk.
North American has four indexed universal life plans:
- Builder IUL: Designed to give you long-term cash value accumulation, Builder IUL plans include an accelerated benefit rider and caps on variable interest rate loans.
- Guarantee Builder IUL: This option has a guaranteed death benefit up to age 120, and includes perks like an accelerated death benefit rider and premium guarantee rider. It also has caps on variable interest rate loans.
- Rapid Builder IUL: If you want early access to cash value, this option might be for you. Designed to build early cash value accumulation, it includes an accelerated death benefit rider and an interest bonus on fixed and index accounts.
- Survivorship GIUL: If you want to leave your family a legacy, the Survivorship GIUL insures two people and pays a death benefit upon the death of the second insured person. It has strong potential for cash value accumulation, and includes an accelerated death benefit rider.
With insurance endorsements, more commonly known as riders, you can customize and adjust your insurance coverage, or even get coverage for additional family members. North American has a wide range of riders that you can add to your policy:
Accelerated Death Benefit
By adding an accelerated death benefit to your policy, you can access a portion of your benefits early if you are diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness.
Children’s Term Insurance
With this rider, you can add term life coverage for your children. Coverage is available for children at least 15 days old and less than 20 years old.
Available on survivorship policies, this rider provides an additional benefit of 125%, up to a maximum of $10 million, if both insured persons die within four years of the issue date.
The guaranteed insurability rider is available on universal life and indexed universal life policies and allows you to purchase additional insurance without undergoing additional medical exams.
Waiver of Premium
For those with term life insurance, the waiver of premium rider will waive the premium payments if the insured person becomes disabled.
If you plan on purchasing life insurance through North American, you have to contact a company insurance agent or financial professional to get finalized rates and to apply for coverage. You can use the company’s agent locator tool to find an agent near you.
You can reach customer service by calling 877-872-3656. Its hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. CST. On Fridays, its hours are 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
On North American’s website, you can download life insurance claim forms, with detailed instructions on how to submit a claim.
When looking at insurance companies, you should look up their complaint ratios to help inform your decision. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases companies’ complaint ratios each year, reflecting the number of complaints a company received relative to its share of the insurance market.
The standard complaint ratio is 1.0. If a company has a ratio above 1.0, it received more complaints than expected for its market share. If a company’s ratio is below 1.0, it received fewer complaints than expected.
In 2019, North American’s complaint ratio for individual life insurance was 0.74, better than the national complaint index.
Over the past three years, North American’s complaint ratios have been consistently lower than the national complaint index.
North American has a good reputation within the insurance industry.
AM Best, a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry, issued an “A+” (Superior) rating, recognizing the strength of its balance sheet. A company with a high rating from AM Best is financially sound, and is likely able to meet its policy and contractual obligations.
As a smaller insurance company, North American was not included in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The study evaluated 23 life insurance companies based on price, communication, and product offerings.
Like other insurance companies, North American has a 10-day free look period, though it can be longer in some states. During the free look period, policyholders can review the plan documents and decide whether to keep the plan or cancel it. If you cancel before the free look period ends, you’re entitled to a full refund of all premiums paid.
After the free look period expires, the cancellation policy is dependent on your plan type. For example, with term life insurance, your coverage will end, but you won’t get a refund of any premiums paid. With universal and indexed universal policies, you may be entitled to a surrender cash value.
To cancel your policy, contact your agent or call 877-872-3656.
North American allows you to get quotes for term life coverage. We got quotes for a 30-year-old woman and man in excellent health, and found their rates to be within the industry average. For these quotes, we assumed a 20-year term.
|Coverage Amount||30-Year-Old Female||30-Year-Old Male|
As with most life insurance companies, North American requires you to choose either “male” or “female” when getting a quote and applying for an insurance policy. Being nonbinary won’t prohibit you from qualifying for life insurance. However, you should be aware that most insurers haven’t yet updated their underwriting processes to reflect an awareness of gender issues, and their application processes may be outdated and restrictive.
While North American offers multiple insurance plans, it has some limitations. It doesn’t offer guaranteed acceptance policies or standalone accidental death coverage. If you’re looking for those insurance options, Mutual of Omaha might be a better choice for you.
Mutual of Omaha offers guaranteed acceptance whole life policies, giving you up to $25,000 in coverage without a medical exam or having to answer health questions. Its accidental death policies don’t require a medical exam either, and you can get up to $1 million in coverage.
Mutual of Omaha has the edge over North American due to its wider range of coverage options and its high rankings for customer service and price.
|North American||Mutual of Omaha|
|Market Share||Not applicable||17th in the U.S., 1.4%|
|Number of Plans||8||11|
|Dividends for 2020||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Service Method||Agent||Direct, through agents, or employer-based (group)|
|AM Best Rating||A+ (Superior)||A+ (Superior)|
If you’re looking for a life insurance company with high insurance coverage amounts available, North American can be a good choice. With coverage up to $5 million, you can get a significant amount of protection for your family or leave a lasting legacy.
However, it only offers term, universal, and indexed universal life policies. It doesn’t offer whole life insurance, final expense policies, or guaranteed acceptance policies. If you’re looking for a basic plan—or want to skip medical exams—you’ll have to work with another insurance company.
How We Review Life Insurance Companies
Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative approach that analyzes each insurer on their stability and 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 those 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.
NAIC. "Licensing Report - North American Company Life & Health Insurance." Accessed January 20, 2021.
NAIC. "Complaint Index - North American Company Life & Health Insurance." Accessed January 20, 2021.