American Memorial Life Insurance Company Review

American Memorial is the underwriting entity for Assurant Global Preneed, the largest provider of pre-planning funeral insurance in North America.
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Author: Brian Greenberg CEO of True Blue Life Insurance
Last updated: August 31, 2021

About American Memorial

If you’re older than 50 and you have shopped for burial or funeral options, chances are likely American Memorial is a company you’ve heard of. American Memorial is the underwriting entity for Assurant Global Preneed. In other words, American Memorial is the sister company that you’ll work with and speak with to buy life insurance from the parent company Assurant. While this may sound shady, it’s perfectly normal in the life insurance industry.

Through its American Memorial Life Insurance distribution channel, Assurant Preneed Global has over 3,000 funeral home partners and is the largest provider of preneed funeral insurance in the U.S. and Canada.

American Memorial’s biggest partnership is with SCI, Service Corporation International, the largest funeral and cremation service company in North America. Assurant Preneed Global provides insurance products and support services for SCI.

Assurant Preneed began operating with the acquisition of United Family Life Insurance Company in 1980. American Memorial Life Insurance Company was purchased in 2000. Assurant Preneed offices are located in Atlanta, Georgia, and Rapid City, South Dakota.

Our take on American Memorial

American Memorial Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Assurant, a company that has been in the insurance game since 1892. American Memorial began in 1955, and has grown ever since.
While Assurant offers a variety of financial solutions, American Memorial targets the niche market of final expense life insurance.

Niche companies are always a tradeoff. Younger applicants will find themselves faced with limited options, and probably won’t find affordable life insurance from a company like American Memorial. Seniors, however, can benefit greatly from the final expense and pre-need policy options, which can ensure that your final expenses are taken care of in advance, sparing your family any financial burdens.

A.M. Best RatingA-
S&P RatingA
BBB RatingA+
Customer Service Phone800-533-2220
Websitewww.assurant.com
AddressAmerican Memorial Life Insurance
440 Mount Rushmore Road
Rapid City, SD 57701

What we like

Pre-Need Coverage Travels with You

Paying for your funeral up-front may seem like a risk, but American Memorial promises that your policy is flexible enough for you to move or change funeral directors.

Strong Reputation and Backing

Despite some legal setbacks involving their health insurance, Assurant remains a strong company with a reliable financial track record.

Few Customer Complaints

Compared to other companies their size, American Memorial has received fewer customer complaints than the industry average.

What We Don’t Like

No Online Quotes

No online quotes are available, and applicants will need to speak with an agent to obtain policy details and premium rates.

Limited Policy Options

These policies serve a narrow segment of the market. Those expecting term life insurance or whole life insurance policies will have to look elsewhere.

High Modified Plans

The modified plans tend to be costly. Those with health conditions may wish to shop around to find the best rates.

American Memorial Life Insurance Products

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4.0/5
Though specializing in one form of insurance, American Memorial does offer some flexible options to customize your pre-need and final expense plans.

Pre-Need Insurance

A pre-need plan is designed to cover the cost of funerals and other end-of-life expenses. With this policy, the policyholder makes all the arrangements with the funeral home and then determines an up-front cost. After that, the policyholder will obtain a pre-need policy that fulfills these financial requirements. After your death, the American Memorial pays the funeral home on your behalf. Typically, these funds are available within 24 hours.

Your Story, Your Way

The key advantage of a pre-need policy is that it locks in your rates upfront. This also allows you to plan your funeral, which eases the burden on your family as well as gives you the chance to design your funeral according to your own wishes.

Flexible Payment

American Memorial Life offers flexible payment options. Policyholders can pay for the policy in a lump sum, or make payments over three, five, or ten years.

Policy Moves with You

If you change cities or wish to change funeral directors, you won’t have to make any changes to your plan. It’s not entirely clear how this works, however, given that the price is based on a preexisting arrangement with one funeral home. Policyholders may wish to raise this question to ensure that a new funeral home will provide the services they desire.

Final Expense

Final expense insurance is intended to cover any end-of-life expenses. This includes such things as remaining medical bills, outstanding debt, etc. Ultimately, the money is not earmarked for a particular purpose, so your beneficiaries can use the money as they see fit. Approval is dependent on your answers to a few basic medical questions, with no need for a formal medical exam.
American Memorial Life offers two variants of this final expense policy: the Preferred Plan and the modified plan.

Level Benefit Preferred Plan

The Preferred Plan offers level benefits for the lifetime of the policy, which ensures that your rates stay locked in. Rates are as follows:

Age rangeMinimum coverageMaximum coverage
0-60$5,000$50,000
61-70$3,000$25,000
71-80$3,000$20,000
81-85$3,000$20,000

This policy is designed for those in good health. Those with medical conditions should pursue the modified plan, below.

Applicants are also expected to receive coverage face-to-face. If you apply over the phone, your coverage is capped at $15,000, regardless of age or health.

Modified Plan

A modified plan is intended for those with minor or well-managed health conditions, such as type-2 diabetes or well-managed hypertension. As with the Preferred Plan, coverage varies by age:

Age rangeMinimum coverageMaximum coverage
40-60$5,000$15,000
61-70$3,000$15,000
71-80$3,000$10,000

Note that unlike the Preferred Plan, the modified plan has a narrower range of ages.
Additionally, this is a graded benefit plan, which means that the full death benefit is not available until the third year of the policy. During the first two years, beneficiaries receive a return of the premiums plus an additional 10% interest.

Policy benefits

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2.0/5
A 30-day free look period is becoming so common it barely counts as a benefit, and unlike most companies, they offer no riders to modify your policy.

Riders

American Memorial Life Insurance does not offer any additional riders with which to customize their policies. This decreases their overall value substantially, as many competing companies offer living benefits and other customizable features.

30-Day Free Look Period

American Memorial allows its policyholders to return their policy for a refund up to 30 days after purchase. This isn’t all that unusual in the industry but gives buyers greater confidence that they can “try out” their policy without a huge risk.

Cost

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3.0/5
These policies favor healthy applicants, but healthier applicants will find competitive rates for low-coverage policies.

These policies are intended to offer low coverage amounts, since their purpose is considerably more narrow than other whole life insurance offerings on the market. As such, policyholders can expect generally affordable rates.

A 40-year-old man can receive a $10,000 policy for around $25/month, and his rate will go up to $115/month at age 70. These are generally competitive with other final expense policies on the market today, but they are hardly the best. The fact that no riders are included decreases the value of these policies substantially.

If you have pre-existing health conditions that prevent you from obtaining final expense insurance elsewhere, American Memorial may be a valid option. But if you shop around, you may be able to find policies that have better options and a lower monthly premium.

Performance

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5.0/5
Like their parent company Assurant, American Memorial has a positive reputation in the industry today.

Financial ratings

American Memorial Life is well-reviewed by consumer agencies:

  • S&P Rating: A
  • A.M. Best Rating: A-

Additionally, their parent company, Assurant has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, Assurant has historically made news for canceling the health coverage of some of their sick policyholders. They have since recovered from that scandal, and this should not impact the life insurance offered through American Memorial Life. Customers should simply be aware of the parent organization’s legal and financial history before making a final decision.

Customer reviews

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5.0/5
American Memorial has a solid track record of customer service.

Customer ratings

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides ratings to insurance companies based on the number of customer complaints. A customer complaint ratio of 1.0 is considered average. The NAIC has a complaint index of 0.26, which indicates that they receive fewer customer complaints than other companies their size.

51 replies
« Older Comments
  1. Rodney Hill says:

    Wondering why I make auto payment for many years now and my bank statement has always said paid to American Memorial but this month Dec. 2020 it say paid to Assurance. Same payment but did they change over or sell out American Memorial???

    Reply
    • Brian Greenberg says:

      I hope you mean Assurant.
      Assurant is the parent company and they have been doing a rebrand.

      Assurant Solutions Preneed Division – Rapid City
      440 Mt. Rushmore Road
      Rapid City, SD 57701
      1-800-533-2220
      Open Monday through Friday – 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MST).

      Reply
  2. Frank Quaranta says:

    Every month I’m having $87.15 drafted from my checking account, tagged as “AMERICAN MEM. PREM PYMT 210128 3124115 FRANK QUARANTA”
    Will these premiums continue to be drafted till I die? I assume this is to cover my funeral expenses with McEwen Funeral Service correct?
    How much am I insured for?
    Thank You

    Reply
    • Brian Greenberg says:

      Premiums are typically taken out every month until you call the insurance company to make a change. Depending on the cash value of the policy, you may be able to pay premiums out of the cash value. But your death benefit decreases by the amount withdrawn. I would contact the funeral service for assistance.

      Reply
  3. Carol J See says:

    It seems to me that the only answer you have for every question is to contact them. It is hard to do when every you call, you are put on hold forever, or they say they can’t help you, but they want your money, or don’t take it when you have set it up.

    Reply
  4. Kristin J says:

    My dad filled out the paperworkand met with a man. He paid a $25 fee and was told if they don’t give him life insurance he will get the money back. Been 2 months and he hasn’t gotten his money back. Scammers taking people’s money. Y’all should be ashamed!!!

    Reply
    • Brian Greenberg says:

      Please know that we are not American Memorial. We help people who have issues or questions regarding American Memorial. I’ve never heard about a $25 fee, unless it was the first month’s premium.

      Reply
  5. Barbara Hewitt says:

    My husband and I recently pre-arranged basic cremation services from Funeral Alternatives in Medford, Oregon. We are signed up for “Full Benefit Single Premium Plan” and understood that this was a onetime full payment which we paid ($1385.00 each). After receiving a whole life policy on July 22, 2021 which states “Annual Premium” of that amount and a Benefit Description stating “Nonparticipating single premium whole life policy that endows at age 100, we are confused! Are we expected to pay further annual premiums? I have until August 8,2021 to cancel these arrangements and policy so would appreciate a quick reply from you.

    Reply
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About the author
Ben Peetermans author
Ben Peetermans
Life Insurance Expert
Ben Peetermans is a life insurance editor. He enjoys blogging about various topics, including finance. He has been writing about insurance since 2015. Ben has been featured in various press outlets including FOX, CBS, and NBC.