What is your preferred buying experience?
AIG Direct, a division of AIG, offers highly-rated direct-to-consumer life insurance products.
For some, purchasing a life insurance policy online is an ideal buying experience.
AIG Direct was created for this very reason, to give you the option to skip the face-to-face agent meetings and buy directly from the carrier.
Here, you will find a comprehensive overview of AIG Direct, including its history, financial ratings, and products.
With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision on whether AIG Direct makes sense for you.
AIG has been in business for a century, taking root in 1919 with an origin story unique from many of its competitors.
Rather than the United States, the company’s American founder Cornelius Vander Starr set up shop in Shanghai.
In 1926, AIG opened its first U.S. office in New York City under the name American International Underwriters.
By 1929, the company moved its headquarters from Shanghai to NYC.
As it continued its expansion, the company solidified itself as an industry leader over the decades to come.
AIG Direct began in the 1990s.
Based on a platform of innovative online tools and a direct-to-consumer approach, founders Ron Harris and Laura Huffman initiated partnerships with a number of insurance carriers, namely AIG, Transamerica and Protective Life.
As time progressed, each carrier developed streamlined processes, including AIG Direct (formerly called Matrix Direct).
By the 2000s, AIG Direct had evolved into a fully online system, where clients could buy life insurance without meeting an agent face-to-face.
We continue to anticipate these future customer needs and innovate to make term life insurance as accessible and easy to purchase as possible. – AIG Direct
Today, AIG Direct offers a number of life insurance products and has helped over six million people find high-quality coverage.
It’s important to note AIG is one and the same as American General Life Insurance. American General rebranded their life insurance division to AIG.
AIG is dedicated to using its success to positively impact communities around the world, with tens of thousands of hours of volunteer service under its belt and millions of dollars of charitable contributions matched each year.
In 2005, Life Happens began the Life Lessons Scholarship Program to provide college scholarships to students who’ve lost a parent.
In 2018, AIG Direct participated in the Life Lessons program for the first time, awarding two scholarships, totaling $25,000.
Financial Strength & Ratings
Over the last 100 years, AIG has proven itself to be a strong and community-minded company you can depend on.
The company’s reputation is informed not just by its service to clients, but also by its impressive financial performance.
AIG has consistently received excellent ratings from the major credit rating agencies, which assess a company’s likelihood to meets its obligations by paying out claims as promised.
Since AIG Direct is a part of AIG, we can look to the parent company’s performance.
Take a look at their most recent ratings:
In addition to AIG’s financial ratings, we can also look at AIG Direct’s BBB rating.
AIG Direct is BBB-accredited and holds an “A+” rating from the organization.
Currently, AIG Direct offers five different types of life insurance policies.
Let’s dig in and learn about the features of each product.
AIG Direct playfully describes this type of policy as, “Set it and forget it!“.
Your beneficiaries receive a tax-advantaged lump sum payment of the policy’s face amount if you pass away during the term of the policy.
AIG Direct offers level term life insurance, the most popular form of term coverage, as well as renewable term coverage.
Term lengths range between 10 to 30 years, available in 5-year increments
AIG Direct’s term life policies come with fixed premiums and a fixed death benefit.
You will have the option to convert your term policy into a permanent life insurance policy, without the need to demonstrate insurability.
Keep in mind, a conversion to a permanent policy means your premium payments will increase and you must convert before the assigned deadline!
As long as you make your premium payments, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit regardless of when you pass away.
In addition to providing permanent protection, a universal policy offers flexibility in premium payments and an investment component.
AIG Direct’s universal life insurance includes two specific elements: the cost of insurance (COI), and a savings vehicle
Your COI includes all aspects of your policy which determine how much money is required to keep your life insurance in force. As you age, your COI increases.
Additionally, your universal policy will have an investment component.
This savings vehicle is subject to the greater of current market rates or the minimum interest rate performance.
Unlike other permanent life insurance products, a Universal product allows you to raise or lower your death benefit amount according to your monetary needs.
You can also borrow against the cash value of your policy.
Guaranteed issue life insurance (GI), also referred to as guaranteed acceptance, is another form of permanent life insurance.
Guaranteed issue is a guaranteed yes, meaning your application is approved regardless of your health status.
Further, GI is a form of no exam life insurance, so you can skip the physical examination.
However, guaranteed issue is usually best for those who have exhausted all other life insurance options. Carriers absorb substantial risk when they issue GI policies and charge accordingly.
Your policy includes living benefits, or riders, where:
- Premiums are returned if you are diagnosed with a qualifying chronic illness.
- A qualifying terminal illness allows up to 50% of the death benefit to be accelerated.
The face amount on these policies can range between $5,000 – $25,000, and coverage can be purchased between the ages of 50 – 85.
Quality of Life
Quality of Life Insurance is one of AIG Direct’s newest products, combining life insurance protection with the added feature of living benefits, or riders.
Living benefits are supplementary benefits to your life insurance policy in addition to the death benefit.
In essence, you have the right to access (accelerate) some of your death benefit under qualifying circumstances.
AIG Direct provides an Accelerated Death Benefit rider through their Quality of Life policy.
You must be diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness in order for the benefit to be utilized.
- Chronic: You must be diagnosed by your physician in the last 12 months with a condition which prevents you from performing at least two activities of daily living:
- Critical: Considered a severe condition with rapid onset:
- Terminal – An illness is determined to be terminal if your physician expects you have 24 months or less to live as a result of your diagnosis.
You can purchase a Quality of Life policy from AIG Direct with automatic living benefits. or you can buy a universal life policy or an indexed universal life (via American General) policy and add the Quality of Life benefit as a rider.
Not to be confused with other more traditional forms of life insurance, Accidental death insurance (AD&D) only pays a benefit for qualifying accidents.
While you will want to be aware of the fine print, generally, the following accidents are covered by an AIG Direct AD&D policy:
- Work-related machinery
- Partial or total loss of limb or another body part
- Loss of sight, speech, hearing
Death must occur within a certain time frame, usually within a few months, for the policy to pay.
AD&D is affordable and easy to qualify for. You cannot be turned down for an AD&D if you are in poor health or have a dangerous occupation.
AIG Direct requires you to be between the ages of 18-80 to qualify. Some people purchase AD&D in addition to a traditional policy.
That way, if a tragedy occurs, beneficiaries receive further financial protection.
Applying for AIG Direct Products
AIG Direct describes its straightforward process in five simple steps.
For a traditional policy, like term life insurance, expect the following:
- Quotes: You fill out their online quoting tool.
- Phone call: Plan to participate in a call lasting about 10 minutes. You will answer health and lifestyle questions.
- Application: Complete a full application.
- Medical exam: Depending on the type of policy you are applying for, you may need to participate in a physical, lasting about 30 minutes.
- Underwriting: Underwriters will evaluate your risk based on your application. For traditional coverage, the process may take a few weeks.
AIG Direct has a sterling reputation and an impressive product lineup, but it isn’t your only option for life insurance.
As you shop for the right policy, be sure to compare AIG Direct to other companies.
Take a few moments to consider the alternatives below, too:
- Haven Life: If you’re looking for affordable term life insurance you can apply for online, Haven Life is unmatched. You could be approved in minutes and get up to $3 million in coverage.
- Northwestern Mutual: If you need a true whole life insurance policy, take a look at Northwestern Mutual, which offers a number of riders and term conversion credits.
- Protective: A top alternative for universal life insurance is Protective. Their universal products offer the most affordable access to permanent coverage in the industry.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to purchasing life insurance from AIG Direct.
To recap, here are some of the top advantages:
- Strong reputation: Since AIG Direct is a part of AIG, its financial ratings are excellent. Independent financial credit-rating organizations, including A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s Investor Services and Standard and Poor’s all rate AIG highly.
- Purchasing experience: AIG Direct’s policies are sold online or over the phone. Conversely, AIG sells products via life insurance agents. Whether you buy through AIG Direct or AIG, you are receiving the same AIG product. It’s all about your personal preference.
- Some no exam products: Guaranteed issue and accidental death from AIG Direct are types of no exam life insurance. AIG Direct does require you to participate in a medical exam for more traditional types of policies, like term life insurance.
While the company has notable advantages, you ultimately have to decide if AIG Direct’s products make sense for you.
Consider the following potentially negative aspects of working with AIG Direct:
- Fewer options: By applying directly with a life insurance carrier, you will not receive multiple quotes from multiple companies. On the other hand, an independent agent will have access to the top carriers.
- Medical exam: If you purchase a traditional life insurance policy, like term, from AIG, you will likely take a medical exam.
- Whole life option: While AIG Direct offers universal policies and small guaranteed issue policies, it doesn’t provide applicants with a true whole life insurance product.
AIG is one of the best life insurance carriers in the industry, consistently landing on our list of the top providers in the nation.
As a part of AIG, AIG Direct is a name you can rely on, too.
With a streamlined online system, AIG Direct seeks to simplify life insurance.
AIG Direct may be the right provider for you, but to be sure, you should compare it to a number of companies.
Getting life insurance quotes is quick, simple, and could save you thousands of dollars.