What is your preferred buying experience?
AIG Direct, a division of AIG, offers highly-rated direct-to-consumer life insurance products.
We are part of AIG, one of the largest insurance organizations in the world. – AIG Direct
For some, purchasing a life insurance policy online is an ideal buying experience.
AIG Direct was created for this very reason – 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 their history, products offered and frequently asked questions.
That way, you can make an informed decision on whether AIG Direct makes sense for you.
Table Of Contents
AIG Direct’s roots 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 – 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.
Clients could buy life insurance without meeting an agent face-to-face.
Many consumers in the market believe the internet is a good source for insurance information, 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 search for 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.
Currently, AIG Direct offers five different types of life insurance policies.
Let’s dig in and learn about the features of each product.
What Is It?
Term life insurance provides protection for a specific period of time, usually between 10 to 30 years. Generally, term life insurance is an affordable way to secure a large policy size (called face amount).
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.
Term Length: 10 to 30 years, available in 5-year increments
Premium Payments: Fixed
Death Benefit Amount: Fixed
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!
Bottom line – Term life insurance is an affordable policy that financially protects you for a specific period of time. Your premium payments and death benefit remain level.
2. Quality of Life
What is it?
Quality of Life Insurance is one of AIG Direct’s newest products. Think of Quality of Life as life insurance protection with the added feature of living benefits (called riders).
Living benefits are supplementary benefits to your life insurance policy in addition to the death benefit.
It’s true that life insurance protection is not for you. The policy’s death benefit provides a financial safety net for those you care about most.
However, appropriately called living benefits, riders can make all the difference should you be diagnosed with a serious illness.
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 the benefit to be utilized.
- Chronic – You must be diagnosed by your physician with a qualifying condition – within the last 12 months. A condition which meets the criteria would be one that 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 have a few options for purchasing a Quality of Life product.
- First, you can buy 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.
Bottom line – If you are diagnosed with a qualifying serious illness, a Quality of Life policy (or rider) provides the option to access death benefit funds.
What is it?
Universal life insurance is a particular form of whole life insurance.
Let’s first establish what whole life insurance is.
Also referred to as permanent life insurance, a whole life policy provides life-long coverage. As long as you make your premium payments, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit regardless of when you pass away.
Next, it’s important to highlight the uniqueness of a universal policy.
In addition to providing permanent protection, there is flexibility in premium payments and an investment component to this form of life insurance.
Your life isn’t a photograph that’s frozen in time. It’s constantly changing — and a universal life insurance policy can change along with it. – AIG Direct
AIG Direct’s universal life insurance includes two specific elements:
- the cost of insurance (COI), and
- a savings vehicle
Let’s start with the cost of insurance.
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 a savings vehicle (investment component). This vehicle is subject to current market rates or the minimum interest rate performance (the greater of the two).
Your premium payments will first go towards your COI. Any additional premium amounts are placed in the savings vehicle.
Unlike other whole life insurance products, there is flexibility – a Universal product allows you to raise or lower your death benefit amount according to your monetary needs.
Keep in mind, in order for the policy to continue to be in force, there will be minimum premium payment requirements (your COI – cost of insurance).
Bottom line – Universal life insurance will provide you with coverage for your entire life, flexible premium payments, tax-advantaged and flexible death benefits and the ability to borrow against the cash value of your policy.
4. Guaranteed Issue
What is it?
Guaranteed issue life insurance (GI), also referred to as guaranteed acceptance, is a form of permanent life insurance.
Guaranteed issue is a guaranteed “yes.”
Your application is approved regardless of your health status. Further, GI is a form of no exam life insurance, meaning 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.
AIG Direct provides Guaranteed Issue Whole Life.
Expect the purchasing process to be quick and straightforward. Often, it only takes minutes for GI policies to be issued.
Your policy includes living benefits (riders):
- 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.
Be aware though, there are limitations.
- First, your face amount must be between $5,000 – $25,000.
- Second, there are specific age requirements. Only applicants between the ages of 50 – 85 can purchase AIG Direct’s Guaranteed Issue product.
Bottom line – Approval is automatic for guaranteed issue whole life as long as you meet the age requirements. There is no medical exam. Some living benefits are included.
5. Accidental Death
What is it?
Accidental death insurance (AD&D) pays a benefit if, as AIG Direct describes, “you get seriously injured or killed in a covered accident.”
Not to be confused with other more traditional forms of life insurance, AD&D only pays a benefit for qualifying accidents.
In fact, Accidental Death is technically not a standard life insurance policy.
As such, Accidental Death is easy to qualify for and affordable. There is no required medical exam.
Often AD&D is recommended for individuals having a difficult time finding life insurance protection they qualify for.
For example, individuals who are too young for guaranteed issue life insurance, but don’t qualify for other types of coverage, will consider an AD&D policy.
AIG Direct’s accidental death insurance will financially protect your loved ones if you experience an unfortunate accident.
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 other body part
- Loss of sight, speech, hearing
Death must occur within a certain time frame, usually within a few months, for the to policy pay. Deaths unrelated to a qualifying accident will not be covered.
Remember, AD&D is easy to qualify for. You cannot be turned down for an AD&D if you have a dangerous occupation.
And, even if you have health conditions, you will still be approved.
AIG Direct requires you to be between the ages of 18 – 80 to qualify.
Note – Some choose to purchase AD&D in addition to a traditional policy. That way, if a tragedy occurs, beneficiaries receive further financial protection.
Bottom line – Accidental Death Insurance is affordable, easy to qualify for and issued almost immediately. Your beneficiaries will only be paid if serious injury or death occurs as a result of a qualifying accident.
What is the difference between AIG Direct and AIG?
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 are the same AIG product.
Think of it as a matter of personal preference. Some clients prefer an entirely online experience, while others would like to speak with an experienced agent to discuss policy options.
Are there drawbacks to AIG Direct?
Before moving forward, you’ll want to educate yourself on whether AIG Direct’s products make sense for you.
Consider the following:
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.
If you purchase a traditional life insurance policy, like term, you will likely take a medical exam.
For some, medical environments make them cringe. Other carriers do offer extensive no exam life insurance options.
What is the AIG Direct Scholarship Program?
Since 2005, Life Happens, a non-profit life insurance awareness organization, began the Life Lessons Scholarship Program.
Admiringly, students who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the loss of a parent receive college scholarships.
In 2018, AIG Direct participated in the Life Lessons program for the first time.
They awarded two scholarships, totaling $25,000.
Why are there negative reviews?
A quick search online will reveal a number of complaints against the company.
In particular, customers tend to criticize their experience with customer service.
However, as with most organizations serving millions of clients, this is to be expected. Keep in mind that AIG is a highly-rated company and, more often than not, it’s the frustrated customers who reach for the keyboard.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates AIG as “A+” (Superior).
What is the process to buy an AIG Direct policy?
AIG Direct describes their 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 phone call lasting approximately 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.
Will I take a medical exam?
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.
Does AIG Direct have strong ratings?
Since AIG Direct is a part of AIG, their financial ratings are excellent.