American National Life Insurance Review

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American National

American National

overall rating
3.6

Our Take

American National sells whole, universal, universal index, and term life insurance policies that offer customizable terms, coverage amounts, and protection options for your policy. It is a great option if you want to work with an agent to find the coverage that works best for you. 

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Can get terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years

  • Pays dividends on whole life policies

  • Universal life policies have flexible benefits and premiums that you can increase or decrease

  • You can borrow against your permanent life insurance policies

  • Offers term conversions

Cons
  • Does not offer a spousal rider

  • Does not offer final expense coverage

  • Does not also sell other supplemental insurance coverage like critical care insurance

  • Not many policy details on their website

  • Can’t get a quote online

Key Takeaways
  • American National provides a wide range of life insurance products that are fully underwritten and could require a medical exam. 
  • The company offers several riders to add to your coverage including things like a child protection rider, a disability income rider, and a terminal illness rider.
  • American National also offers coverage like auto or home insurance so you could buy all your major insurance policies from one company.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1905
  • Kinds of Plans Whole, term, universal, universal index
  • Number of Plans 5
  • Payment Options Mail, online, phone, automated payment, credit card
  • Official Website https://www.americannational.com/wps/portal/an/menu/insurance/life

Introduction

American National is an insurance company that primarily sells property and casualty insurance coverage but also offers a suite of term, whole, universal, and universal index life insurance coverage. It offers several riders to customize your coverage. While most plans are fully underwritten and might require a medical exam, the company does offer a guaranteed issue universal life insurance policy  

We reviewed American National’s policy offerings, riders, pricing, customer service, industry ratings, and more to help you decide if its policies are right for you.  

Company Overview

American National is headquartered in Galveston, Texas, and sells insurance under the name American National but also under subsidiaries like Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company, Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company, and United Farm Family Insurance Company. 

In 2020, the company had $128.2 billion total insurance in force and made a net income of $467.5 million. Policies are sold over the phone or from an agent and the company is rated A by AM Best for financial strength. 

It is licensed for business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico. However, not all products are available in all states. 

Available Plans 

American National offers universal, universal index, term, and whole life insurance policies. The company does not publish coverage minimums or maximums on its website. 

Term Life Insurance

American National offers fixed premium and level payout term life insurance coverage with terms that are renewable and term lengths of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. The company’s term policies allow you to convert to permanent policies if you decide you want more permanent life insurance later on. 

You can add a terminal illness rider to the term life insurance to pay out your death benefit early if you are diagnosed with an illness. 

Whole Life Insurance

American National offers whole life coverage with a guaranteed benefit. Its whole life policies have a fixed premium that stays the same over the life of your policy. There is also a dividend option on the whole life policy, and the company has a history of regularly paying dividends which allows you to build cash value in your life insurance policy and access income in your retirement or over the life of your policy. 

Universal Life Insurance

American National’s universal life coverage is a permanent life insurance policy that allows you more flexibility than the company’s whole life coverage. You can choose flexible premiums and payouts for your plan, allowing you to adjust how much you pay into the policy based on what kind of cash value or death benefit you would prefer. 

You can also borrow against your universal life insurance policy and customize your plan by adding riders to your coverage. 

Universal life policies are indexed to interest rates with details laid out in each policy when issued. 

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

American National’s indexed universal life insurance is similar to its universal life insurance policy except that its growth is tied to a particular stock index like the S&P 500. The indexed universal life insurance policies allow you to also choose flexible premiums and death payouts depending on your desire for growing the cash value of your plan and your ability to pay your premiums. 

You can also borrow against your policy to help you finance an unexpected expense and American National offers riders to customize your coverage. 

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

American National offers a universal plan that they call a "guaranteed" plan but which is not a standard guaranteed-issue life insurance policy that qualifies you for a policy without a medical exam. Instead, this policy is a universal life insurance policy that guarantees your death benefit for your entire life or up to a certain age, you can choose. You have the option to buy a "cash out" rider that allows you to cash out your entire policy at a later date if you no longer need the coverage and want access to your funds. 

All of American National’s policies are fully underwritten and could require a medical exam. 

Available Riders

American National offers several life insurance policy riders including: 

  • Child life insurance rider: This rider allows you to purchase coverage for your children to add to your policy.
  • Cash-out rider: This rider allows you to cash out your policy if you no longer need it. 
  • Accelerated benefits rider: This rider allows you to get access to your death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness so that you can cover medical expenses. 
  • Coverage extension riders: These riders can extend your coverage in certain ways by offering you more coverage or extra term riders. 
  • Accidental death benefit rider: This rider will double your payout if your death is the result of an accident. 
  • Waiver of premium rider: This rider purchases coverage to ensure that your premiums will be paid if you become disabled.

Not all of American National’s riders can be added to all policies. They are also not guaranteed issue and might require a medical exam. 

For more information on the cost of each rider, you will need to contact the company.

Riders are an affordable way to add extra coverage to your life insurance policy

Customer Service: Great Phone, Email, and Online Options

American National has customer service hotlines for their policy service and claims service. You can call 1-800-899-6806 to pay your bills Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT or find out about their policies. Call 1-800-615-7372 to get help with a claim Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT. 

There is also an online portal, online forms, and the option to email, mail, or fax claims and ask policy questions. 

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints Than Average 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides ratings of insurance companies to help customers understand the level of consumer complaints against specific companies. A company that gets a rating of 1 has an average number of complaints against it. A company that gets a rating of below 1 has fewer complaints and a company that scores over 1 has more complaints.

American National has an NAIC complaint index of 0.49 meaning that it receives fewer complaints than its competitors. In total, they have 0.04% of the national complaint market share. Many of the complaints received were for slow payment of benefits or bad customer service. 

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

AM Best offers consumers ratings of companies to help them determine their financial strength relative to other companies. It does this by analyzing factors including a company’s revenue, sales, forecasts, past performance, and balance sheet to determine how financially healthy it is and how likely it will be to meet financial obligations in the future. 

American National has an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best. 

Cancellation Policy: Must Contact the Company for Details

American National’s cancellation policies are not listed online and it also doesn't list the length of its free look period. However, per law, a life insurance policy will come with a minimum of a 10-day period where you can cancel your policy, get a full refund of your premiums, and not have to pay any cancellation fees. 

Before buying an American National policy, be sure to ask about their cancelation policies and if there are any fees involved. 

If you are purchasing permanent life insurance, you will also likely have to fill out a surrender form when canceling. American National would then calculate how much the surrender value of your policy is and pay it out to you when you cancel. 

Price Of American National Life Insurance: Varies by Policy Type

American National does not give quotes on their website for their policies. To get a quote, you need to contact an agent. 

The amount you will pay for a life insurance policy through American National will vary significantly depending on things like the type and level of coverage you buy, what riders you choose, your age, gender, smoking history, and general health. 

How American National Compares to Other Life Insurance

We compared American National to Monumental Life Insurance to give you an idea of how it stacks up against other providers.

American National vs. Monumental Life 

American National and Monumental Life are both insurance companies that offer other forms of insurance coverage in addition to life insurance but Monumental Life also offers group or employer-sponsored life insurance policy options. Both have excellent financial strength ratings, and both offer several policy options, policy types, and riders to let you customize your coverage to ensure that you can maximize your value for your life insurance as protection or as a part of your retirement or estate plan. 

Consider these other key differences and similarities between American National and Monumental Life:  

  • Monumental Life offers a final expenses coverage specifically for those who want just enough coverage for funeral expenses. 
  • American National offers auto and home insurance while Monumental Life offers Medicare Supplement and supplementary group coverage.  
  • Both companies sell annuities in addition to their other insurance coverages.
  • American National has far fewer customer complaints.
  American National Monumental Life
Types of Plans  Whole, term, universal life, universal Whole, term, universal, universal index, final expenses
Customer Service Phone, mail, fax, online  Phone, email, online 
NAIC Complaint Index  0.49  1.459 
Optional Riders Available  Yes  Yes 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent) A (Excellent)

When you’re buying life insurance, check the NAIC complaint rating and online user reviews. If a company has a high number of complaints, that could be a red flag.

Final Verdict

American National is one of the few large property and casualty insurance providers that also offer a robust selection of life insurance that it underwrites itself. The company offers a number of policy options, coverage amounts, and riders to ensure that you can get the perfect policy for you and your family. You can work with an agent to get coverage to protect your car, your home, and your family’s future, making it simple to get all your major insurance policies. 

American National also offers several customer service options and claims options to make submitting a claim easier. The company has an A rating from AM Best, and its NAIC complaints index is much lower than average. American National is a good place to look for life insurance coverage options and potentially find a policy that is right for you.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company's offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.

Article Sources

The Balance 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. Global News Wire. "American National Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results." Accessed May 9, 2021.