American General life insurance received 4 stars for customer service in our survey of the best life insurance companies. A majority of surveyed policyholders, 77 percent said they would recommend AIG to a friend. Top reasons for choosing American General life insurance included the insurer’s reputation, 29 percent, best price, 23 percent and recommended by a friend, 19 percent. American General Life Insurance Co. is based in Houston and is part of AIG.
The story of American General began in 1925 when the Texas Commission of Appeals made a historic ruling that enabled insurance companies to underwrite both property and casualty insurance. Founder Gus S. Wortham had operated a successful insurance agency in Houston in 1915 and had a vision for such a company. With the backing of his father and several prominent business associates, he launched the American General Insurance Company on May 8, 1926 — one of the first multi-line insurance companies in the nation. Three years later, American General declared its first dividend. In 1945, American General completed the first of its own strategic acquisitions, Seaboard Life Insurance Company, making American General the only company in the southern United States to underwrite fire, life, automobile and casualty insurance. Another acquisition in 1953 in Omaha marked American General's first expansion outside Texas. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, companies in Maryland, New York and Tennessee followed. By 1968, American General had reached $1 billion in total assets and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. AIG provides life insurance through its company, American General.
American General offers four different kinds of life insurance and cancer care insurance. They offer term life, universal life, variable life and whole life. Term life offers financial protection for a period of time. This term gives the insured coverage for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, or a specific age. Universal life insurance offers a flexible policy that has a death benefit with a cash value accumulation component. Variable life insurance combines a death benefit with cash value accumulation that can be put into a wide variety of investment options. Whole life insurance remains in force for the insured’s entire lifetime and offers a guaranteed death benefit as well as cash value. Cancer care insurance helps offset the cost of cancer treatment and recovery.
Contact American General at:
American General Life Insurance Company
P.O. Box 4373
Houston, Texas 77210
Telephone: (888) 543-3371
Sources: "History of American General Life Companies," American General web site; "About AIG," AIG web site, 2009; "Life Insurance," AIG web site, 2009; “AIG National Insurance Company,” A.M. Best web site, November 2008