Pan-American Life Insurance Review

Term and whole life coverage options

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Pan-American Life Insurance

Pan-American Life Insurance

Our Take

If you’re looking for a basic whole or term life policy, the Pan-American Life Insurance Group has multiple options to choose from. You can purchase over $500,000 in coverage and add several riders to your policy—some at no additional cost—to customize your insurance plan.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple whole and term life options

  • Accelerated benefit riders included on some policies

  • Several optional riders available

Cons
  • No online quotes available

  • There are no policies with investment options

  • Not available to residents of New York

Key Takeaways
  • The Pan-American Life Insurance Group was founded in 1911
  • The company acquired Mutual Trust in 2015
  • Individual life policies are issued through Mutual Trust
  • Pan-American Life sells individual term and whole life policies
  • Products are not available in New York
Company Overview

Founded in 1911, the Pan-American Life Insurance Group is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. The company sells individual life insurance, group life policies, and annuities. 

Pan-American issues individual term and whole life policies through Mutual Trust, a life insurance company it acquired in 2015. Through Mutual Trust, Pan-American sells a wide range of policy options and has many different riders customers can add to their coverage to get additional benefits. 

Pan-American sells policies in 49 states, but residents of New York are not eligible for individual life insurance coverage.

  • Year Founded 1911
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole
  • Number of Plans 5
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, annually
  • Customer Service Insurance agent
  • Phone 800-323-7320
  • Official Website www.palig.com

Pan-American Life Insurance Group 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

  • Multiple whole and term life options: Pan-American has several different whole and term life policies, allowing you to choose the plan that fits your unique needs and financial goals. 
  • Accelerated benefit riders included on some policies: Terminal illness and chronic illness accelerated benefit riders are included on some policies. If you are diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, you can access a portion of your policy’s benefit while you’re living. 
  • Several optional riders available: Pan-American has a lengthy list of optional riders you can add to your policy. Riders include waiver of premium, accidental death, children’s insurance, and guaranteed purchase benefits. 

Cons Explained

  • No online quotes available: Unlike some other insurers, Pan-American doesn’t allow customers to get quotes online. Instead, you have to contact an insurance agent. 
  • There are no policies with investment options: Many life insurance companies offer universal or variable universal life insurance policies that have an investment element. These plans can be attractive for those who want the potential for more cash value growth. However, Pan-American doesn’t sell universal or variable universal policies. 
  • Not available to residents of New York: Pan-American policies are available in 49 states, but it does not sell insurance in the state of New York. 
Note

While the Pan-American Life Insurance Group doesn’t sell life insurance in New York, it does issue policies in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Available Plans

Through Mutual Trust, Pan-American sells term and whole life insurance policies. Most of its policies are fully underwritten, meaning you’ll have to answer questions about your health and get a medical exam. To purchase any of its policies, you must contact an insurance agent. 

Mutual Trust and Pan-American have five individual life options: 

Term Life

With term life insurance, you can get coverage that is relatively affordable. Term life policies cover you for a specified period, and your beneficiaries receive a benefit only if you die during that time. 

With the Pan-American SelecTerm plan, you can choose a term of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. After the level premium period ends, you can opt to renew your coverage until you reach the age of 98, but your premiums will increase annually. 

The minimum coverage amount for SelecTerm is $100,000. Accelerated underwriting is available—meaning you can skip the medical exam—on policies with face amounts up to $500,000. 

Whole Life

Unlike term life insurance, whole life policies offer permanent coverage that lasts for the entirety of your life. Whole life can also accumulate cash value, which you can use later on in life. 

There are four whole life plans available from Pan-American Life and Mutual trust: 

  • Horizon Guarantee: With the Horizon Guarantee, you get a guaranteed death benefit and a guaranteed level premium that might be lower than the premiums for other whole life policies. 
  • Horizon Value: The Horizon Value plan provides guaranteed cash value growth. It also includes accelerated benefits for chronic and terminal illnesses. 
  • Horizon Legacy One: The Horizon Legacy One plan is a single-premium whole life option. After making a single premium, your plan will last for your lifetime, and you can access cash through loans or withdrawals. 
  • Horizon Blend: The Horizon Blend policy combines term and whole life insurance into one. You get permanent protection and can grow cash value, but you also have a guaranteed benefit for 20 years. 

Available Riders

Insurance riders allow you to customize your coverage. By adding riders to your policy, you can get insurance for your loved ones or access some of your benefits early. 

Pan-American Life has several riders available, including: 

Accelerated Benefit

Included in some policies, the accelerated benefit rider allows you to use some of the death benefit while you’re still living if you are diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness. 

Accidental Death 

If you have the accidental death rider on your policy, your beneficiaries will receive a larger death benefit if you die due to an accident. 

Children’s Insurance

You can get term or whole life coverage for children under the age of 20. 

Guaranteed Purchase Option

With the guaranteed purchase option, you can purchase additional coverage without evidence of insurability when you reach certain ages or after qualifying life events, such as getting married or having a child. 

Waiver of Premium

The waiver of premium rider will suspend your premiums but keep your policy in force if you become permanently disabled. 

Customer Service

Pan-American doesn’t offer online quotes, so you have to contact an insurance agent for information on its policies. 

The website’s functionality is limited for policyholders, but Pan-American and Mutual Trust do allow customers to download policy forms and make online payments. 

If you need to reach customer service, you can call 800-323-7320 or send a secure message through Mutual Trust’s website

Complaint Index

When comparing life insurance companies, looking at their complaint ratios can be useful. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issues complaint ratios that reflect the number of complaints customers submitted relative to a company’s size. The industry standard is 1.0. Companies that received fewer complaints than expected have ratios below 1.0. 

Mutual Trust was not issued a complaint ratio in 2020. In 2019, its complaint ratio was 0.49 for its individual life insurance segment, better than the industry standard. 

Third-Party Ratings

Pan-American has an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best, the credit rating agency that evaluates insurance companies. A high rating from AM Best indicates that the company is financially sound. 

Neither the Pan-American Life Insurance Group nor Mutual Trust was included in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. In the study, researchers compared 23 top life insurance companies and ranked them based on their life insurance options, prices, and customer service. 

Cancellation Policy

With Pan-American Life and Mutual Trust, you have a 10-day "free look" period where you can decide to cancel your policy without a penalty. 

After the free look period, you can cancel term life insurance at any time. However, you won’t receive a refund of any premiums you paid to date. 

If you have whole life coverage, you may be entitled to your policy’s cash value, but there may be a surrender charge. Talk to your insurance agent to discuss how to cancel your policy and what fees may be charged. 

Price

You cannot get quotes for Pan-American policies online. Instead, you have to contact an insurance agent to get information on rates. 

Like other insurance companies, Pan-American requires you to select either “male” or “female” when getting a quote or applying for coverage. Being nonbinary doesn’t disqualify you from getting life insurance. However, you should be aware that most insurance companies haven’t updated their underwriting processes to reflect a current awareness of gender issues. 

Competition

Pan-American offers multiple term and whole life policies with several optional riders. However, it doesn’t sell policies with investment elements, and you must work with an insurance agent to purchase coverage. 

With these limitations in mind, we compared Pan-American to Prudential, a top-rated company for life insurance. Prudential stands out because of its coverage options. It sells 11 different life insurance policies, including term, whole, universal, indexed universal, and variable universal life policies. With its universal policies, you can invest your money and potentially grow your cash value more than you could with a whole life policy. 

With term life coverage from Prudential, you can get quotes and even complete your policy purchase online, making it a useful option if you need coverage quickly.

  Pan-American Life Prudential
Market Share N/A Fifth-largest in the U.S., 4.6%
Number of Plans  11 
Dividends for 2020  N/A  N/A 
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives  N/A  N/A 
Service Method  Agent  Financial professional, web 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent)  A+ (Superior) 
Complaints Trend  0.49  2.51 
Final Verdict

For some people, Pan-American offers adequate coverage. You can choose from multiple term and whole life policies and add riders to your plan to customize your coverage or to insure family members. 

However, Pan-American policies aren’t available to residents of all states, and the requirement to work with an insurance agent may be burdensome to some. If you’d prefer a company that offers online quotes and instant decisions, you’ll need to work with another life insurer.

Methodology

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative methodology 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.

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. "Complaint Index - Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company." Accessed May 26, 2021. 

  2. AM Best. "Pan-American Life Insurance Company." Accessed May 26, 2021. 

  3. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed May 26, 2021.