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

Full starFull starFull starFull starEmpty star
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.

53 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. Robert M Hendrix says:

    Have burial insurance for myself and Myra Jean Hendrix through Pendry’s Funeral Home in Lenoir, N C. Can this be shifted to another funeral home while we are still living? With this policy through American Memorial Life Insurance Company we will have full coverage for complete funeral. If we can’t switch now will there be any problem switching upon our death? Thank you for responding.

    Reply
  2. Daniel L Richardson says:

    i sent back my policy and cancelled the policy yet they are still sending me a premium payment notice and it was returned before 30 days

    Reply
  3. Steve Richey says:

    I am the son and fiduciary for me mother, who purchased a policy several years ago (in the 80’s or 90’s, I think) and payments are still being made via her credit union account. However, when moving to assisted living, she lost her paperwork/policy #. In order to allow this policy to continue, I need information regarding what it is. Was unable to get the assurantpreneed.com webpage to work. How do I find out the information regarding this policy? She resides in southern Indiana, and am assuming that this is a life insurance policy.

    Reply
  4. Rhiannon Duncan says:

    I tried to access the Assurant website address as you have indicated in this site to contact them for an American Memorial Insurance contact. I am missing the policy for my grandfather, to which i am the beneficiary, and the one paying the premiums. I need to contact them regarding type of policy? Whole life? Term? At this point i have paid more in premiums than policy has value? Please advise a valid email or website for them. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Jerry J Russell says:

    I have paid off my policy (2-07-2020) three months ago and I have not received any confirmation or information that the policy has been paid off. I have called your service office and confirmed that the final payment was received and the policy was paid off, I was told then that they would get information to me to show the police is paid off. This was two months and I have not received anything from you! When can I expect something from you to show everything is paid off and the policy is good,

    Please respond as soon as possible this is no way to run a business.

    Susan Russell
    [email protected]
    817 221 3905

    Reply
    • Brian Greenberg says:

      You need to call American Memorial Customer Service.
      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).
      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Patricia Lawson says:

    I purchased a life insurance on January 13, 2020. I paid the first 3 months premium and have heard nothing else from the company. I need payment coupons or soneppme notification to send with my payment.. I’m comNcerned about this account. I feel like maybe I’ve been scammed. I live in Kentucky..

    Reply
    • Brian Greenberg says:

      I don’t see you in our system as a client. If you have an American Memorial Policy it is best to give their customer service a call.
      Contact our Customer Service
      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
  7. brett mccabe says:

    we already have assurant American memorial and im not sure if I am emailing the correct place. We would like to know if we can go paperless, do you have a website?

    Reply
  8. Phyllis Van Dyke says:

    I found your payment options to be extremely difficult. You want to charge me 5 to 10 dollars if I want to make an extra payment or via a different way other than the auto pay that was set up….In others words you are NOT customer friendly by any means, this is something you should work on…..I did not choose your company when I set up my contract with Valley of the Sun for cremation services your company was the one they gave me…Unfortunately…

    Reply
  9. Orin Svarc says:

    We have two policys that we took out in 1966 with Perpetual National Life Insurance Company (for my wife and myself). We are totally paid up for years and receive Dividend Notices each year at tax time from American Memorial. We would like to cash out these two polices but do not have the required information I need to send you. How do I do this? I have the policies here. I would also like to know what the cash value of each is now worth. This is not a death claim. We are both alive.

    Reply
  10. Zoraida Marrero says:

    Like others I’m new to Assurant, I find your payment options to be extremely ridiculous. You charge $5 if I pay online and $10 if I pay via phone, set up for auto pay or mail in a check. As you probably know, hardly anybody mails in checks and almost everything is paid online without having to pay ridiculous payment fee. I have 3 different policies, that would mean $15 a month for online payment. This doesn’t benefit me or many of your customers. I did not choose your company when I set up my funeral arrangements, they did, and I wasn’t notified of this ridiculous payment options. If I had known, I would have gone with someone else. Please don’t ask me to call Assurant cause I already did and the customer service told me there’s nothing they can do. In other words a waste of time. Can you, please send this message to person that probably can help with this situation instead of asking us to complain to Assurant. This is very annoying and unnecessary extra customer work. Company should deal directly with Funeral Companies and make a deal with them to solve this issue, which probably doesn’t seem like a big issue to you. I’m gonna stop because this is frustrating and I can go on forever.

    Reply
  11. Alyce Davidson says:

    I have spoken to Donetta with American Memorial twice. I wanted to pay off the balance but was going through very stressful situations during May when I should have done it. I have been denied even though my mind was on trying to save my family business from going under during COVID that has been in business for 49 years. I think this is wrong and if I had read the comments beforehand that are on here, it would have given me the heads up on not using American Memorial. My Mom is going to plan hers soon and I have advised her against American Memorial! She is arranging hers at the same funeral home my husband and I did. I have filed a complaint with the BBB!
    I am a business woman too and I always try to do what is right and this is NOT right!

    Reply
  12. Edward Capinpin Hoff says:

    I have written to American Memorial to an email address they gave me which is
    [email protected]
    but the letter was sent back which says rejected permanent fatal errors.
    I live in the Philippines and it’s hard for me to contact them by phone or postal mail.
    What is the right email address for American Memorial. My insurance is all paid off but I would like to know the value of it now.
    Thank you
    Edward Capinpin Hoff

    Reply
    • Brian Greenberg says:

      I would suggest calling them. Maybe through Skype?
      American Memorial Life Insurance Company
      800.533.2220
      Another option is comment on their Facebook page. I see that they respond.
      They recently updated their site and I cannot find an email address either!
      Maybe call some of their local offices?
      https://www.assurant.com/office-locations
      Let us know if you have success so we can help others get ahold of them better.
      Brian

      Reply
  13. Angela Cazares says:

    I need the best email address to contact American Memorial Life Insurance Company to cancel my policy. I started my policy on 09/07/20 and in my state (Texas) I have 30 days to cancel without penalty i.e. with a full refund. I paid an initial payment of over $800 and that was the only payment I authorized. I was supposed to be billed in the mail as I was going to pay by check every month. I called 1-800–533-2220 and spoke with 4 different customer service reps and they all told me not to worry about it because my policy was still pending and had not been processed, yet they said I had to wait 30 days for my initial payment to be recredited to my debit card! The AMLIC agent at the funeral home I went to has washed her hands of it and said there is absolutely nothing she can do to insure that my policy is cancelled (although it is still pending) and that I recieve my refund. The last AMLIC agent I spoke to DID NOT give me instruction as to what exactly I needed to do to make certain my policy is cancelled as it is still pending. I emailed a written request to cancel (without a form) to [email protected] and got a generic reply that said it would be added to my file in 48 hours but at this point, I don’t trust it. I will have to call customer service in 2 days to see if indeed my policy will be cancelled and hope I don’t get the run around again. I find it hard to believe this company has an A rating.

    Please direct me to the best contact email address available for me to cancel my pending policy so that I can get a timely refund. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Angela Cazares says:

    I need to make sure my pending policy is cancelled. Please direct me to an email address and contact that will process my request. I have already contacted customer service at 800-533-2220, but they have not been able to assure me to my satisfaction that it will be cancelled as per my request.

    Reply
  15. CLARENCE SMITH says:

    Give me some info about your check I received for $292.56 to Clarence Morell Smith.The check number 756230? From American Memorial life? Thanks

    Reply
  16. Jullie says:

    Hi guys,

    I got a policy for my son and I and my mom bought two policies as well. When we gave our initial deposit/payment I provided my card info for recurring payments. Well, every month I get a bill. When I call customer service I get tossed around left and right to different people and different numbers. Everyone I talk to seems lost and I’ve been told that they never got the info. I’ve asked for current balance and list of payment and they don’t have access to it?????? WHAT??? I totally understand the frustration you all feel. When I said I wanted to cancel my policy and get my money back the operator simply said “ok” like it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t care. Supposedly the pre-arrangements of your funeral services and/or your loved ones is so you can have peace of mind, can’t have it with the way this people work. It makes me feel unsure of what will happen at the time of need.

    Reply
    • Jewel Horner says:

      After several calls I finally got someone who knew what he was doing and help straighten out my burial ins. I understand with payment center change and COVID-19 causing many to have to work from home has many things hard, and it looks like they are getting their act together.

      Reply
    • Penny Collins says:

      I have read several of these comments & there’s one approach to this that seems to be missing. Every one of you is in control of your bank own accounts. If you can’t get an answer to your questions, cut off the money supply. I guarantee you will have someone on the phone in no time eager to help you. YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER! Their business makes money because of you & the money you give them.

      Reply
  17. Juan Carlos Gutierrez says:

    I need to send in a payment. Can I please get the address of where to send it to? Also, I need to know the premium payment. Your telephone/contact is down for a week.

    Reply
  18. Martha Frank says:

    Need to notify someone about a check I sent in for Oct. payment has not cleared my bank and I have not received a voucher to send in November’s payment. A call would be appreciated: 479-996-4642 Policy Number 3-171864. I am afraid that my check was one of those that drop off box was broken into. I am never late with payments and I sure don’t want this to effect my policy. Please let me hear from you as to what my next step can be. Maybe direct deposit.
    Martha Frank, NOv. 14, 2020.

    Reply
  19. Mila says:

    My mother did not received the bill for two months. She asked me to help her to pay by phone. I called to 800-533-2220 and was asked for authorization from my mother. The assistant was speaking so rude and disrespectful to my mother because my mom, who is 74 y.o., doesn’t speak English very well. I could hear how this lady was complaining to someone else on my mother. I could not continue this dialogue and said that I will call at another time for payment. So sad that some people working in this company have no respect to elderly people and to those who speaks English as a second language. I am very disappointed.

    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.