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Our take on Americo
Americo boasts roots that go back more than a century. The company began with the founding of the Ohio State Life Insurance Company in 1906, as well as Great Southern Life Insurance Company in 1909. Today, the company exists as Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company, and operates under the umbrella of Americo Life, Inc.
Though Americo offers multiple financial products, its primary focus is on life insurance for seniors. Their annuities and Medicare Supplement coverage offer options to help seniors plan for the future, while their life insurance plans give financial protection for the inevitable.
It’s not uncommon for companies to provide affordable life insurance options for those who are looking to cover final expenses (funerals, bills, etc.). But Americo truly shines with three options for final expense coverage, thanks to their “Ultraprotector” series. They even provide guaranteed acceptance plans that could be ideal for those who are struggling to find approval with other insurance providers.
While negative online reviews are still circulating, recent years have seen great improvements in Americo’s customer service rankings.
We’d prefer to hear more details about their plans and pricing, but seniors who fit their niche market may find that their final expense policies are particularly attractive.
|A.M. Best Rating||A|
|S&P Rating||Not yet rated|
|Customer Service Phone||800-231-0801|
|Address||Americo Financial Life and Annuity|
PO Box 410288
Kansas City, MO 64141-0288
What we like
Final Expense Policies
Americo offers three different options for final expense life insurance coverage, and applicants can receive the accelerated death benefit rider at no additional cost.
The Ultraprotector III policy offers guaranteed issue life insurance coverage with no medical exam or questionnaire required.
Financial Planning Products
In addition to their life insurance, Americo has a small variety of other financial planning products, including annuities and mortgage life insurance.
What We Don’t Like
Vague Policy Details
Americo’s website is less than forthcoming on the specifics of any of their plans, and they provide no online brochures to help applicants evaluate their products.
No Online Quotes
Rather than providing online quotes, Americo’s website includes an option to request information, though this requires you to enter your personal information.
Poor History of Customer Service
While their third-party ratings have recently improved, Americo has an unfortunate history of poor ratings and reviews.
Americo Life Insurance Products
Term Life Insurance
|Length of Coverage||10, 15, 20, and 30-year periods|
|Estimated Time to Approval||Pending exam|
Americo offers term life insurance coverage in 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year increments. Policies range from $25,000 to $400,000. Americo does not specify age restrictions, though many companies cap their term lengths for applicants over the age of 50.
No Medical Exam Option
Americo advertises that they can provide a no medical exam life insurance policy to some applicants, depending on responses to an initial medical questionnaire. This means that some applicants may skip the medical exam, though it’s unclear whether Americo offers the full death benefit to those who don’t participate in a medical examination.
Americo’s level term life insurance policies offer level premiums, which means that your monthly rates will not increase as you age.
Return of Premium
Americo return of premium life insurance offers products that can provide a refund of premiums at the end of the initial term period. This is a helpful promise, though the language suggests that this comes in the form of a rider that must be purchased at an additional expense.
Americo offers products that allow individuals to convert their term policy into permanent coverage. Many companies offer these conversion options at no additional cost, but Americo seems to suggest that this option is only available by purchasing an additional rider.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance provides permanent, lifetime protection. These policies tend to be more expensive than term coverage, though Americo offers level premiums that won’t increase with time and age.
Final expense insurance is technically a form of simplified issue whole life insurance, though its smaller size makes it ideal for covering the cost of funerals and other end-of-life expenses.
Americo offers final expense policies through their “ultraprotector” series. No medical exam is required for these policies, but your level of coverage may depend on how you answer some basic medical questions, as well as a database search that can reveal any prescription medications you take.
This policy provides insurance to applicants between the ages of 50 and 85. Coverage amounts range from $2,000 to $30,000.
One benefit is that this policy comes with an accelerated death benefit rider at no additional cost. This rider provides up to 50% of the benefit if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness, allowing you to pay for medical bills, groceries, and other final expenses.
This policy also provides $2,000 to $30,000 of coverage, but only for applicants 50 to 80, a slightly smaller range than the Ultraprotector I plan. This policy is for those in moderate health who don’t quite qualify for the previous policy. Again, the accelerated death benefit rider is provided.
Applicants between the ages of 50 and 75 can receive coverage ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. The advantage of this policy is that it is a guaranteed issue, which means that applicants can’t be denied coverage based on health conditions.
However, this also means that the policy offers graded premiums. The full death benefit is not available until after three years unless the policyholder dies in a qualifying accident.
Indexed Universal Life Insurance
Americo also offers indexed universal life insurance. Indexed universal life insurance is another form of permanent life insurance, though it has some flexible options relating to the cash value that it accumulates. In an indexed policy, you have the option of investing this cash value on indexed markets such as the S&P 500.
This can be a great option for those who are considering estate planning or simply looking for additional investment strategies. The flip side is that it can be a bit more technical, and indexed policies can be a little risky. Many customers prefer to stick with traditional investment options, such as an IRA or a mutual fund.
Mortgage insurance is a specialized form of life insurance aimed at applicants who want to ensure that their home is paid for if they should unexpectedly pass away. Since mortgages decrease with time, this policy favors younger applicants, providing 10 or 20-year terms for values as high as $400,000.
Americo offers riders for their life insurance and mortgage insurance products.
Common Americo riders:
- Accelerated Death Benefit – In the event that the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal condition, this rider pays as much as half of the death benefit to cover bills and other expenses. This rider is included at no cost in some of the final expense products.
- Mortgage Insurance Riders – Americo indicates that its mortgage insurance can be modified with additional riders, though they offer no specific details. Typically, companies offer riders that can waive premiums if the policyholder is disabled, and some also offer child riders that provide limited coverage for dependents. Applicants will have to check with an agent to see which specific riders are offered by Americo.
- Term Life Riders – Americo also indicates that they offer products for the end of your term. This allows you to receive a return of premium or convert your policy into a whole life plan.
- Annuities & More – Americo also offers annuities and other financial planning tools that may incentivize customers to use the company for planning for the future.
Unfortunately, Americo offers no online quotes, preferring its customers to deal directly with one of their agents. Estimates for any of their plans are not available through Americo nor through any third-party reviews, making them a bit of a mystery. While some may value the personal touch of an agent, this makes it difficult to quickly compare rates between products.
Their mortgage insurance is an attractive product, but it’s not fully clear how it differs from a term life policy.
With this in mind, however, those who are looking for guaranteed-issue final expense insurance may find that Americo is among a handful of companies that provide this product.
Americo is currently only rated by A.M. Best, and received an A score.
- A.M. Best Rating: A
Both of these scores are an improvement. A.M. Best had previously graded Americo at an A-, but upgraded the score in 2014.
Additionally, the Better Business Bureau had ranked the company at a “C” until quite recently, suggesting a history of customer complaints. This new score suggests great improvement, though customers may still want to be aware of their history.
Independent reviews tend to be mixed, but the company’s reputation has seemingly been rehabilitated, at least according to the BBB.
See what you qualify for by answering some health questions.