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Our take on American Continental
Today, Continental Life offers some great options for final expense insurance coverage. Those looking for a lot of policy options and benefits will have to look elsewhere for term life insurance, whole life insurance, or universal life insurance. But those who need final expense coverage will find that Continental Life provides insurance coverage for a broader age range than most other insurance companies.
Additionally, Aetna is a massive company that has one of the strongest reputations in the industry. Having been around since 1853, Aetna’s backing of Continental Life gives the company a strong presence in the industry despite a limited range of products. We recommend their final expense products to those looking for stability at the end of their lives.
American Continental Life Insurance Company Details
|A.M. Best Rating||A|
|Customer Service Phone||800-872-3862|
|Address||American Continental Insurance Co|
800 Crescent Centre Drive, Suite 200
Franklin, Tennessee 37067
What we like
Great for Seniors
American Continental offers great products for those looking for final expense coverage, and some policies are available up to age 89.
No Medical Exam
Final expense plans are simple-issue and require no medical exam, though some medical questions may be used to determine the details of your coverage.
Once approved, monthly premiums stay locked in for the duration of your policy.
What We Don’t Like
Limited Policy Options
Since the company targets seniors, younger applicants will have to look elsewhere for other policies or rider options.
Riders enable the policyholder to fully customize their policy with additional options and features. Aetna offers no riders.
No Online Quotes
Applicants will have to obtain their rates from an agent, and their website offers no online quotes for its policies.
American Continental Life Insurance Products
Final Expense, Level Plan
American Continental Insurance Company offers final expense insurance products only. These policies tend to be smaller, and restricted to older applicants. This reflects their narrow purpose, as these products are intended to be used for remaining expenses after the policyholder passes away.
American Continental offers three options for their final expense plans. All are available without a medical exam, but to qualify for the level plan, applicants can expect to answer a few basic health questions prior to approval.
Broader Age Range
Their level plan is available to applicants between the ages of 45 and 89. This age range is slightly broader than most other plans on the market. It also means that older applicants will be able to obtain coverage, provided they are able to answer some preliminary health questions.
Death Benefits Vary by Age
The policy’s death benefit depends on your age at the time of issue. Below you can see the variation in death benefit according to age:
- Age 45-65: $35,000
- Age 66-80: $25,000
- Age 81-85: $15,000
- Age 86-89: $10,000
This decrease in benefit is not uncommon for policies of this type, and it’s actually refreshing to see any policies available to applicants of this advanced age.
Level Benefits & Immediate Coverage
If you are approved for the level plan, coverage begins immediately, with level premiums that last the lifetime of the policy.
Final Expense, Graded Plan
The second option provided by American Continental is their graded plan. This plan is designed for those with health conditions that disqualify them from the level plan (above). A graded plan does not provide full benefits until the third year of the policy. During the first two years, the policy pays a smaller amount.
Competitive Graded Benefits
American Continental’s graded plan offers 40% of your death benefit during the first year, and 75% during the second year. These are higher graded benefits than most other companies in the industry.
Unlike the level plan, this option is restricted to anyone between 45 and 80. That also means that like the level plan, you can only receive $35,000 in coverage if you are 65 or younger. Older applicants can expect to receive a maximum of $25,000 in coverage.
Final Expense, Modified Plan
A modified plan is something of a “last resort” option for applicants with health options. American Continental’s plan has a two-year graded period during which your beneficiaries receive a return of premium plus 10% interest. Additionally, this plan is reserved for those under the age of 80, making it the most limited of American Continental’s plans.
Riders are typically used to modify insurance policies and provide additional options and benefits. American Continental offers no riders.
30-Day Free Look Period
Typically, insurance companies offer a 10-day window in which you can cancel your policy for a full refund. American Continental extends this period to a full 30 days. We should note that this isn’t terribly unique in today’s industry, though some customers may appreciate the “safety net” this provides.
American Continental’s own training materials provide data on the rates for applicants of various ages:
|Issue ages||Female Non-Smoker||Male Non-Smoker|
*Note that these numbers are for reference only, and should not be taken as policy quotes without talking to an agent.
Good Rates for Level and Graded Plans
The rates for their level and graded plans are competitive for the industry, and applicants looking for simple plans to cover final expenses can benefit from these offerings. The fact that older applicants remain eligible for affordable life insurance coverage is a huge plus.
Higher Rates for Modified Plan
Those with health conditions should look elsewhere, as the rates for the modified plan are a bit excessive, even for a plan of this type. Other companies offer policies for those with manageable health conditions at lower rates, and often with more options.
Best for Those Who Need It
One of the challenges of smaller policies is that it’s possible for your premiums to eventually exceed your death benefit. For example, American Continental’s training materials actually specify a situation where this can occur. In their example, a 70-year-old woman receives a $10,000 policy for roughly $56.00/month.
They note that at this rate, the woman’s total premiums will exceed the benefit of the policy by her 84th birthday. The sample disclosure statement did not include any details on what would happen in this eventuality.
This suggests that these policies are best for those who expect to need them within a period of 10 years or so.
American Continental Life has not been independently reviewed as of this date. However, their parent organization, Aetna, has a long financial history, and as of 2020 maintained their rating of “A” (excellent) from A.M. Best. While Aetna is probably better known for its health insurance offerings, we would expect similar service for their life insurance products.
Aetna/American Continental Life Insurance Company
Final Expense - Level Bennefit Plan
Whole Life Life Insurance
The NAIC’s reviews are strong, though there are lingering concerns regarding the quality of American Continental’s customer service.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) evaluates insurance companies and assigns them “complaint ratios” based on the total number of customer complaints they receive. A ratio of 1.0 indicates an average number of customer complaints for a company that size.
For the past three years, American Continental Life has received a complaint ratio of less than 1.0. This means that they receive fewer customer complaints than other companies their size. As of 2020, their complaint ratio was 0.89, showing that they remain lower than the national complaint index.
We should note, however, that some independent reviews have indicated that customers have struggled to get in touch with the customer service department of American Continental Life. While this isn’t reflected in NAIC’s complaint index, it appears that at least some customers have struggled with reaching the company for questions and service.
See what you qualify for by answering some health questions.