American General Life Insurance was one of the first companies in the U.S. to offer several types of policies to its customers. Until the Texas Commission of Appeals ruled in 1925 that a company had the right to underwrite both property and casualty insurance, companies had to specialize in only one line. One year after that ruling, Gus Wortham asked his father and several prominent Texas businessmen to back him in a venture that he named American General.
American General Life Insurance
As the first multi-line insurance company in the nation, it was immediately popular and did so well that it was soon able to start buying up other insurance companies. Its first acquisition, Seaboard Life, was quickly followed by many other small companies across the nation.
The acquisition of Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company marked American General’s first step into the retirement savings market. By 1968 American General reached one billion dollars in assets.
Today, it is one of the most trusted companies in the world with a number of branches around the globe. Like most modern companies, it has a vast number of customers that it deals with online. Its full line of services includes life, casualty, fire, health, and car insurance along with annuity policies and wealth management.
Types of Life Insurance
Basic life insurance is an important factor in the life of most Americans as a means of ensuring financial security in case of the loss of a family member. The two major types of life insurance policies that American General offers are term and whole. Whole life insurance is more expensive, but contains an investment component that can be borrowed against.
Term life insurance is not an investment. It requires only a set number of payments before it will pay off its full face value in case of the death of the insured. Since American General allows interest to accrue on its policies, term is usually the best purchase.
In addition, federal taxes are deferred on term life insurance policies and beneficiaries receive tax-free benefits, making it a good financial choice. The majority of Americans who are insured with this company carry term life insurance.
Getting Life Insurance
Age is not the main criterion in obtaining life insurance. American General, as most other companies, also looks at the general health of the applicant, his medications, alcohol and tobacco use, and hobbies in order to determine whether a policy will be issued and at what cost.
American General in the 21st Century
American General continued buying other companies in multi-billion dollar deals until it was acquired itself by American International Group in 2001. Although AIG is generally regarded as the evil “too big to fail” corporation that consumed billions in tax dollars during the bailouts of the first decade of this century, American General continues to cater to the needs of the average person.
As the life insurance company increases its relationships with its customers, American General will continue to be a tough competitor for other life insurance companies throughout the 21st century. Speaking of competitors, check out our William Penn life insurance review to see how they compare.
Call us at 888-411-1329 to discuss your specific situation and we can help you get approved for life insurance.
By: Michael Quinn