Americo Financial & Annuity Life Insurance Review (Companies + Rates)
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UPDATED: Oct 31, 2019
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|Key Info||Company Specifics|
|Current Executives||CEO - Gary L. Muller
CFO - Mark Fallon
|Number of Employees||501 to 1,000 employees|
|HQ Address||PO Box 410288
Kansas City, MO 64141-0288
|Best For||Final Expense Insurance|
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How long has shopping for life insurance been on your “to-do” list? Well, if you’ve finally got the momentum to start sifting through information on companies, policy types, and providers, then use this detailed review of Americo Financial Life & Annuity to help you with your research.
Shopping for life insurance can get confusing with such a wide range of providers, products, and policy requirements. In this review, we will highlight some of the specific life insurance products that Americo Financial Life & Annuity offers customers in term, mortgage protection, and final expense.
This simple breakdown for Americo Financial Life & Annuity will help you understand whether Americo products are right for you.
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Americo Financial Life & Annuity Company Ratings
Here’s a look at how Americo Financial Life & Annuity fairs among the top ratings companies.
When it comes to rating insurance companies, you will want to pay attention to a company’s A.M. Best rating. As a rating provider, A.M. Best is the only global rating agency that focuses on the insurance industry. As of September 2019, A.M. Best assigns an “A-Excellent” rating for Americo Financial Life and Annuity.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity received ratings of “A” for financial strength and “a” for long-term issuer credit effective September 2019. The A-rating for financial strength indicates Americo Financial Life & Annuity is a stable place to meet any ongoing insurance obligations.
This is important for consumers because you want to be sure that in the event of a claim, your insurance provider can make good on the payment. The overall “A- Excellent” rating reflects a strong financial foothold for Americo Financial Life & Annuity.
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Americo Financial Life & Annuity does not have a BBB rating of its own, but its parent company, Americo Life, Inc. does carry a B- rating. While the A.M. Best rating focuses on financial health, the BBB rating can provide some insight into how the company handles customer service.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity received a B- rating due to several unresolved disputes for customers that either filed claims or made requests through customer service.
While many of the complaints are not specifically focused on Americo Financial Life & Annuity products, most customer service issues are handled by a common service team under the Americo Life, Inc. umbrella.
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Originally founded in 1946 as the College Life Insurance Company, Americo Financial Life & Annuity changed its name in 1992. The company is a subsidiary member of the Americo Family of companies and is based out of Kansas City, MO.
Americo Life, Inc. is the umbrella holding company that includes the Americo Financial Life & Annuity, the Ohio State Life Insurance Company, and United Fidelity Life Insurance Company.
Although it is not one of the largest insurance companies when it comes to market share, Americo has been growing its total assets consistently since 1988. Data from 2018 shows the company’s total assets totaling $6.5 billion. Americo Financial Life & Annuity currently has 608,000 policies under administration and nearly $28.3 billion of insurance in force.
Insurance in force means Americo Financial Life & Annuity has obligations for $28.3 billion in insurance payouts from all of its policies. To maintain its ability to pay out on claims, Americo Financial Life & Annuity maintains a high-quality liquid investment portfolio made up of 95 percent investment-grade bonds.
Products are offered in select states nationwide through a network of agents but serviced directly by Americo Financial Life & Annuity customer service. Customers can find a local agent or reach out to customer service at americo.com.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Market Shares
Americo Financial Life & Annuity is comparatively a smaller-sized insurance provider. For its feature term life and whole life insurance offerings, it does not register in the top 20 in market share.
According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, Americo Financial Life & Annuity represented 0.15 percent of the overall market share for total life insurance products in 2018. As a comparison, the largest competitor on the list had an 8.31 percent market share.
From the table below, you can see that across the various product lines, Americo Financial Life & Annuity gets the most traction from its Individual Whole Life offering. What is concerning is that from 2017-2018, market share has been decreasing across all the product lines.
Additionally, data compiled from the Missouri Department of Insurance indicates zero direct premiums written in 2017 and 2018.
This could mean that Americo Financial Life & Annuity is earning only off premiums from policies that have been in place for some time and have not sold new policies.
However, you should inquire with your agent in case the company is not reporting Direct Premium Written information to the Missouri Department of Insurance.
The table below also indicates how much Americo Financial Life & Annuity paid in losses across the various product categories. In the categories of Total Life and Individual Whole Life, Direct Losses Paid are close to the total for Direct Premiums Written.
It would be helpful to consult with your agent to understand why payments are so high and how Americo Financial Life & Annuity supports new policies written.
|Year||Product Line||Market Share||Direct Premium Earned||Direct Losses Paid|
|2018||Total Individual Life||0.02%||$6,026,344.00||$5,938,973.00|
|2018||Individual Whole Life||0.10%||$2,370,388.00||$1,165,677.00|
|2018||Individual Term Life||0.07%||$1,460,448.00||$814,031.00|
|2017||Total Individual Life||0.04%||$5,666,802.00||$5,614,616.00|
|2017||Individual Whole Life||0.18%||$2,081,361.00||$1,414,476.00|
|2017||Individual Term Life||0.15%||$1,454,796.00||$432,539.00|
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Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Position for the Future
Americo Financial Life & Annuity has grown its asset base consistently since 1988. However, details for how the company grows its assets are not defined in any public financial statements.
To ensure stability, the company maintains a highly liquid investment portfolio consisting primarily of investment-grade bonds. As a privately held enterprise, details on future growth plans are not available to the public.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Online Presence
The Americo Financial Life & Annuity website provides an overview of the company, limited information on its products, find an agent tool and contact information to its customer service group. The site does not support any customer engagement tools like insurance calculators or interactive tools to digest Americo Financial Life & Annuity product offerings.
Since Americo Financial Life & Annuity products are offered only through its networks of sales agents, it seems most of its investment in technology is intended to support agents. To contact an agent and get more information on Americo Financial Life & Annuity life insurance policies, visit the Americo.com contact page here.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Commercials
Americo Financial Life & Annuity isn’t one of those companies with a catchy theme song or a quick-witted lizard to help spread the word about its policies. Instead, the company works directly through a network of select independent agents to make its products available.
Sales agents can help save customers time by doing the legwork of sifting through different products and options and make a case for why an Americo Life Insurance product might be right for you.
Sales agents do have the benefit of using some of Americo marketing tools that reach out online through Facebook and other mediums to link with customers. You can link up with Americo Financial Life & Annuity on Facebook here.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity in the Community
Americo Financial Life & Annuity employees and associates strongly believe in supporting the community. The company supports many philanthropic partnerships and works regularly to support Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, the Salvation Army Angel Tree, the Kansas City Corporate Challenge, Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Harvester’s, and the American Cancer Society.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Employees
With over 500 employees, Americo Financial Life & Annuity has a respectable 3.4/4-star rating from Glassdoor. Americo Financial Life & Annuity offers its employees benefits and competitive salaries in line with the industry.
The company is not currently ranked in the top 100 Best Places to Work, but the smaller size of the company allows it to focus on personalized customer experience.
Employee reviews of the company are generally good, with positive words for the company’s treatment of employees and benefits. A few of the negative reviews seem to indicate that management can impose a bit of pressure, but with mainly positive reviews, Americo Financial Life & Annuity seems to have a good work environment.
Shopping for Life Insurance
The first question to ask is “Do I really need life insurance?” For older people with loved ones, mortgages, and expenses, the need for life insurance is obvious.
In the event of an unexpected loss or disability, you want your family to be able to manage any financial obligations. The decision for older customers is how much to get and whether to shop for a term or whole life policy.
For younger people, the need for life insurance may not seem so urgent. However, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper it is to lock in a term policy.
For example, if you are 27 and looking to get married and start a family in the next five years, locking in a 30-year term policy today will save you over the longer term. Since you are younger and healthier, your insurance premiums stay consistently low and affordable for the term policy.
Generally speaking, the longer you wait, the more you will pay.
This CNBC video breaks down why shopping for whole or term insurance might be helpful for you.
If you are looking for some additional information on how to prepare as you start to review existing or new policy options, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides this helpful guide to get started.
The guide helps to explain different types of insurance and provides some questions to ask yourself before you speak to an agent.
While most people turn to the internet to shop for the best insurance options, only 29 percent of customers say they would purchase a policy online. If you are concerned about navigating the complexities of shopping for life insurance, Americo Financial Life & Annuity provides an excellent compromise.
Through the Americo Financial Life & Annuity network of independent sales agents, you can use a proprietary e-application tool to speed up the application process and get an almost instant decision.
Now, let’s delve into the types of coverage they offer.
Types of Coverage Offered
Americo Financial Life & Annuity range of life insurance products. To help you decipher which product might be right for you, let’s start by defining the different insurance types:
- Term Insurance – Term insurance provides insurance coverage for a specific period of time. Customers can choose a specific number of years which can vary from 15 – 30 years or longer, based on the policy you choose. This is a great option for younger customers looking to protect against any unforeseen events. The premiums are more affordable, and at the end of the term, you can either cancel the policy or request to issue a new term.
- Whole Life Insurance – Unlike term insurance, whole life insurance is coverage that will extend to the end of life. This option is something to look at if you are older and have debt obligations like a mortgage, loans, or tuition bills that you are covering. Getting a policy might be a bit more expensive than term, but in the event of a death, the policy will cover what you estimate your debts to be so your family can be unburdened.
- Mortgage Protection Insurance – Mortgage protection is insurance that covers only the cost of your mortgage in times of need. Policies typically cover the full amount of the remaining debt on a mortgage and premiums are paid throughout the life of the mortgage. Mortgage protection policies can also help cover costs if you can’t make your payments during periods of unemployment or disability.
- Final Expense Insurance – Final Expense insurance focuses on covering costs at the time of death. These costs can include funeral expenses and medical bills that can add up at difficult times.
Let’s take a look at specific products that Americo offers.
HMS Plus 125 CBO
The HMS Plus 125 CBO product is a term life insurance offering. The terms options are 15, 20, 25, or 30 years with a cashback option at the end of the term.
At the end of the policy period, the accumulated value of the policy will be at least as large as the premiums paid throughout the life of the policy, so if you hold the policy to term, you would receive your premium money back at the policy expiration.
This is a great way to protect your family while building a bit of a nest egg. The HMS Plus 125 is the most robust term product from Americo Financial Life & Annuity and the only product that includes and Accidental Death Benefits Rider.
Additional riders can be added to add additional insured, children, or to protect against unemployment periods, but the additional riders would change the premium and might not be included in the cashback option.
This policy can be written to cover a range from $25,000–$400,000. The age range for issuers can differ at the maximum end, so speak to your agent to understand what is available for you. Policies usually require a minimum age of 20 years to be issued. In addition to your premium, a $90 policy fee is applied.
HMS Plus 100 CBO
The HMS plus 100 CBO product is exactly like the 125 CBO, except it does not include the accidental death benefit rider. The term choices and cashback options, as well as the costs, are assessed in the same way. An agent can help to decipher whether the additional cost for the accidental death benefit might be worthwhile versus this policy option.
HMS Plus ADB with ROP
This product offers only one term option. The term is for 30 years, and at the end of the period, if a benefit is not paid out, the policy will expire and 100 percent of the premium is returned. HMS Plus ADB with ROP includes an accidental death benefit rider, but additional riders to protect additional insured or children are not available. This coverage is offered from ages 20–50.
Mortgage Series Plus
Some customers may be looking to prioritize coverage for their biggest source of debt, a home mortgage.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Mortgage Protection Insurance can help you sleep at night. In the event of a death, Mortgage Protection Insurance will pay off the remainder of the mortgage, alleviating the burden from family and loved ones. Mortgage Protection will also help cover mortgage payments if you become disabled or unwillingly unemployed.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Home Mortgage Series Plus Product features options to help customers cover mortgage payments during a disability or during periods of involuntary unemployment.
Final Expense insurance is an option for customers who want to make sure any costs assumed at the time of death are not a burden on family members.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity offers two products in this space. The featured product is the Eagle Premier. Eagle premier is for both smokers and non-smokers ages 50-80.
The application process can easily be completed online or over the phone and an instant decision process will help you get answers immediately. Coverage amounts can range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $30,000.
Eagle Premier provides full death benefit coverage from day one, and additional riders for accidental death and child and grandchild terms are available. There is an annual policy fee in addition to premium payments.
The second of the two final expense offerings Americo Financial Life & Annuity provides is called Eagle Guaranteed. Similar to Eagle Premier, Eagle Guaranteed is for customers ages 50-80. The same online and telephone application is available for a quick decision.
However, unlike Eagle Premier, Eagle Guaranteed offers coverage only to a maximum of $10,000. Eagle Guaranteed provides graded coverage over three years, meaning if you purchase your policy today, you will receive partial coverage throughout year one.
Coverage will grow on a schedule until year four, at which time you will receive 100 percent coverage.
The actual schedule for the three-year graded-death benefit is:
- Year One: Return of premium plus 5 percent
- Year Two: Return of premium plus 10 percent
- Year Three: Return of premium plus 75 percent
- Year Four and After: 100 percent of the face amount
The Eagle Guaranteed product is for customers who might not get approved for Eagle Premier. Higher risk customers are guaranteed issuance of an Eagle Guaranteed policy, although premiums might be higher, as well. Accidental Death Provision is included for the grading period at no additional cost, but other riders are not available for this coverage option.
Factors That Affect Your Rate
When shopping for any type of life insurance policy, be prepared to provide some personal data. Some factors like a healthy family medical history, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol products, and a history of job stability could help you to keep your premiums low.
Your insurance agent will pass your application to an underwriter, who compare your lifestyle with data to produce your risk profile. Your risk profile will determine how your policy is will be priced.
Your age, income, employment status, marital status, and even where you live are a few of the stats you will need to provide during the application process. Underwriters use your information to determine a risk assessment before giving you a quote.
Depending on the type of policy for which you are applying, additional information may be required. Providing medical history and getting a full physical examination may be required.
Your sales agent can help you decipher what you need to provide throughout the application process. Although it may seem counterintuitive, providing thorough information will help to understand your needs and get the right policy in place.
Current Health & Family Medical History
Although it can be personal, underwriters will need to know your personal and family medical history. Certain factors like a history of heart disease or breast cancer will factor in when pricing your policy. Although this might seem a bit invasive, it helps to keep you mindful of living a healthy lifestyle and seeing your physician for regular preventative care checkups.
Some occupations might lower your risk and some might raise your risk during the underwriting process. Although the work world for many of us is much safer now, there are still positions that can be dangerous or highly stressful. Your independent agent will need to understand your day-to-day position as he works with his underwriter to determine a quote.
It is always a good time to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. It counts when you are applying for any type of life insurance policy. High-risk habits don’t only limit themselves to consumption — some of your favorite hobbies could affect your rate quote. If you horseback ride regularly or partake in extreme kayaking, you might subject yourself to a higher risk profile.
Veteran or Active Military Status
Speak to your agent about any discounts for a veteran or any active military members. Although Americo Financial Life & Annuity does not provide information on benefits for military personnel, your agent can help determine if there are discounts or special product offerings for you.
Getting the Best Rate with Americo Financial Life & Annuity
Getting rates can be daunting. Many people comfortable with the internet venture out on their own only to get bogged down. Unfortunately, rate information isn’t always easily accessible.
While it is worthwhile to do your due diligence, an independent agent can help scout out the best rates. You should also be aware that even after obtaining a quote, you may need to complete a physical exam and provide supplementary information before signing a policy.
Working through an independent agent can help speed things along and give you some ease of mind that you are getting a policy that meets your particular requirements. To get rate information for any Americo Financial Life & Annuity product you will have to work with an affiliate agent. You can go to Americo.com to find an agent.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Programs
Since Americo Financial Life & Annuity relies on its network of partner sales agents to introduce its products to potential customers, it does not seem to provide other programs directly. The website provides only introductory information and overviews but relies on its Contact Americo page to direct you to learn more.
The website doesn’t provide any customer brochures or direct product information, nor does it specify which states its products are sold.
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Canceling Your Policy
Things happen and you may not be able to make your policy premium payments, or you might want to surrender your policy to redeem any value or equity before the expiration of the policy. Before you cancel your policy, you should work with your sales agent and accountant to determine if canceling is the best option
You will want to understand any cancelation fees or early withdrawal penalties. Your tax accountant will help you to determine any tax implications from an early surrender.
How to Cancel
If you are looking to cancel your policy, you will want to be methodical to avoid any issues or unforeseen penalties. Follow these steps to help work your way through the process.
#1 – Review Your Policy to Understand Any Cancellation Fees or Early Withdrawal Penalties
Sales agents will normally run through the cancellation process at the time of signing a new policy. If there is a time you want to cancel your policy, you will likely have forgotten anything that you discussed at the time of signing. To prepare, review the policy and become familiar with any cancellation fees outlined in it.
If you aren’t able to find the information you need in your review of the policy, or if you are confused by the language, reach out to your sales agent for a better explanation.
#2 – Contact Your Accountant & Sales Agent to Discuss and Tax Implications & Options
If you are taking any kind of early withdrawal, return on premium, or distribution of equity when you cancel your policy, you might be subject to pay income taxes. Contact your accountant to discuss the implications and the amount you might be receiving.
Sometimes canceling your policy might not be the best option. Discuss your reason to cancel with your sales agent and determine what your options might be.
If you can’t make premium payments for a while, or if you are looking to just withdraw some equity to help with other needs, a sales agent might be able to present you with an option to keep your policy, defer payments, and get back on track when you can.
#3 – Cancelling Your Policy
If you have discussed the options and you are truly committed to canceling your policy, work with your sales agent to properly submit a cancellation form.
For Americo Financial Life & Annuity, you can obtain a form at Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Surrender Policy Page. Be sure you keep copies of anything you submit and follow up with phone calls to ensure the form is received and is processed properly.
#4 – Cancel Your Automatic Payments
Once you have completed the cancellation process, be sure to check that any auto payments are shut off. Keep any final payment information in a file with your copy of your cancellation form.
How to Make a Claim
Customers can make a claim directly to Americo Financial Life & Annuity by submitting a completed claim to [email protected] To submit a claim, you will need to go to Americo.com and choose your state from a drop-down menu. After choosing the proper form, a PDF will open for you to print and complete.
With the completed form, you will also need to submit the following:
- A statement by the claimant and signed by the beneficiary
- A certified copy of the death certificate for the deceased
- The original insurance policy
- A copy of the obituary if available
The form will request information on the deceased and information for the beneficiary. You will also need to choose a settlement option, and you and a witness will be required to sign the form. For help with claims, you can reach out to the administrative support group at Americo Financial Life & Annuity.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity Insurance Company – Administrative Office
Design of Website/App
Americo.com is a very basic website for customers. The site provides general information for the company and its products and provides agents an access point to its sales connection and agent tools.
Instead of accessing from a direct app, agents can log in to their tools page right from the Americo Home Page. Navigation is straight forward, with four simple tabs to choose from on the home page.
Customers will want to know about some helpful pages on the Americo site. Customers can use the Americo.com site to find forms to begin servicing their policy on the “Service Your Policy Page.”
Customers can also find contact information to request information for Americo policies or to reach the Americo administrative offices on the sites “Contact Us” page.
Americo investments in technology seem to be focused on providing its agent network with tools. They do not have a phone app for customers. For customers who prefer speaking directly with agents and customer service professionals, this might be a good thing.
Accessing Americo.com from your phone’s browser works just as effectively as from a laptop or desktop. However, since most of the pages guide you to forms that you need to submit, it might be better to just use a desktop or laptop to download the information.
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Pros & Cons
Americo Financial Life & Annuity provides a good set of options to consider when shopping for your life insurance policy.
As you consider various providers, it is helpful to consider things like the size of the company, the ability for the company to meet your customer service needs, and whether the company provides tools so you can do business the way you feel most comfortable.
For instance, Americo Financial Life & Annuity customer service seems to be primarily over the phone. Some younger customers might prefer email or online support tools.
- Americo Financial Life & Annuity products are available nationwide through a network of sales agents.
- Products offerings are diverse and affordable options are available.
- Americo Financial Life & Annuity has a long history as a stable provider.
- Americo invests heavily in technology and provides agents with easy to use tools and customers with quick application response times.
- Americo Financial Life & Annuity is a smaller provider and is not as well known as larger companies.
- Limited information is available online about the company, making it difficult to compare with other providers without the help of a sales agent.
- Americo Financial Life & Annuity has lost market share in its life insurance offerings since 2016.
The Bottom Line
Shopping for Life Insurance is quite an undertaking because everyone has different needs. Americo Financial Life & Annuity offers a wide array of products to provide the consumer with some flexibility.
For consumers looking for term insurance, Americo Financial Life & Annuity provides options for individuals as young as 20 years of age with terms that range from 15-30 years.
For some consumers, the burden of covering a mortgage in the event of a loss could be the first priority. Americo Financial Life & Annuity’s Mortgage Protection Insurance is a great option to cover just the basics to help you rest easy.
For consumers looking for final expense insurance, Americo Financial Life & Annuity provides a quick application review process, and benefits can be in place from day one. With coverage options that range from $2,000–$30,000, Americo again offers quite a range of flexibility for consumers.
Of course, with all the information on Americo Financial Life & Annuity, it is always better for a consumer to reach out for a set of quotes before making a decision. Before you reach out to an agent or particular insurance company, arm yourself with some quotes. You can use the tool located below to get started on finding life insurance quotes today.
Americo Financial Life & Annuity FAQs
#1 – Can I purchase an Americo Financial Life & Annuity policy online or directly from the company?
Americo Financial Life & Annuity products are only available for purchase through independent agents. You can find an agent near you by visiting Americo.com and completing the Americo Contact Form.
#2 – How can I find out if Americo products are offered in my state?
After completing the Americo Contact form, the company will follow up to provide options that may be available in your state. Americo Financial Life & Annuity products are offered in select states nationwide.
#3 – Will I be required to complete a full medical exam to obtain a policy?
Most life insurance product offerings will require a medical examination. However, final expense guaranteed products may not require a medical exam.
#4 – My company provides life insurance through my benefits package. Can I still purchase an additional insurance policy?
You might need more coverage than your employer-provided plan offers. Take a look at your employer-provided coverage and compare the total coverage with what you believe you will need to cover any expenses you might need to pay. If your employer plan does not meet your needs, speak with an agent to understand options to purchase supplemental insurance.
#5 – At what age should I start shopping for life insurance?
Although everyone has different needs, acquiring good term life insurance when you are younger has benefits. Because you are younger and healthier, obtaining a policy will be easier and premiums will be cheaper. Having a look at insurance options when you are in your 20s is a good idea.
#6 – If I have a family history of illness, can I still get insurance?
Different policies will have different requirements. Speak to an agent about options specific to your situation.
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