As you search for the burial and final expense insurance products, you will come across multiple companies that offer an excellent array of burial insurance products, and a simple look at a few of these options will reveal numerous competitive brands and companies that offer pretty much the same products.
Some of these companies will, however, offer better features than others. In this review, we’ll take a look at one of the companies that you might want to try out. Today, we look at Assurant/American Memorial Burial and Final Expense Insurance Company and what they have to offer.
So, who is Assurant/American Memorial Burial and Final Expense Insurance Company?
Overview of Assurant/American Memorial Company
Established in 1959, Assurant/American Memorial Burial and Final Expense Insurance Company, American Memorial Life is a subsidiary of the company known as Assurant Solutions.
The company has been offering great specialty services and insurance products over the years, and they also provide great risk management solutions. What you should know is that Assurant Solutions is considered an important part of Assurant, which is one of the leading health insurance businesses.
Although this company closed its doors back in 2015, it exited the market from losses from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) losses. On the other hand, Assurant Solutions specializes in the casualty and property arena.
Today, American Memorial Life Insurance, in partnership with Assurant, offers some of the best final expense insurance products. American Memorial is a top-rated insurance service provider.
In March 2021, the company announced the sale of their best-preneed area of the business to the CUNA Mutual Group, which is one of the broadest financial services providers that has been offering the service for at least 30 million customers across the world.
Note that while Assurant has been around since 1892, the insurance company has been offering the best of insurance products since 1959.
Assurant, which is the parent company for American Memorial Life, bought the preneed insurance company in 1996, meaning you’d access funeral pre-planning services from the company with ease.
Over the years, Assurant has been able to invest in and acquire multiple companies, including American Memorial, hence the consistency in their growth.
Today, American Memorial Life by Assurant is headquartered in New York City, and though they have had legal disputes over the years, they remain in excellent health in the health insurance markets.
Over the years, the company has earned a substantial level of recognition in the different sectors.
In 2016, Assurant/American Memorial Burial and Final Expense Insurance Company earned the award for the Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles, the Communitas Awards 2015, and also the 2016 Project of the Year from Pink Elephant’s IT Excellence Award.
American Memorial Burial and Final Expense insurance company is A-rated going by the A.M. Best Rating’s rating. The company is committed to offering all its clients the best level of customer service. Also, the company boasts a strong financial basis, which means that the company is fully capable of paying its customer claims on time.
The other indicator of the company’s financial viability is its high ranking by Better Business Bureau that rates the company an A+ and the A rating by Standard & Poor’s.
Of course, the ratings are only a small part of what the company really is, but these solid ratings are a clear indicator of the company’s financial health, as well as its excellent customer relations.
For a clear understanding of what the company really has to offer and how good it is, you will be happy to know that in 2017, the company recorded over $31.8billion in total assets while recording total equity of $4.2billion. During the same period, they also bought a minimum of $6.4billion in revenue.
Assurant has also been involved in the detection of fraud along with other nefarious activities, and though these may have had an impact on their financial stability, it also means that you can trust the brand.
So, what burial and final expense insurance products does this American Memorial Burial & Final Expense Insurance Company offer?
Assurant/ American Memorial Burial Insurance Company offers some of the best end-of-life product offerings for you to enjoy. There are primarily two main product categories offered – Preneed Insurance and Final Need Insurance.
These are two of the best options available to you, especially if you are looking for smaller options for end-of-life products that would cover the essential fees such as the cremation fees, church services, funeral service, as well as the cost of the casket and the burial.
These insurance options are largely preferred because these options mean that you will not incur any taxes, and you’d also get to enjoy a much lower monthly premium compared to what you’d have to pay if you sought the traditional insurance options.
So, which product options does the company have to offer?
- Preneed Insurance
Preneed insurance is an important insurance product that’s designed beforehand to cover all the funeral costs, as well as the end-of-life expenses.
This insurance product has been developed to streamline all the funeral planning expenses, including the necessary fees and all other funeral-related costs.
As you make your end-of-life plans with the funeral director or the funeral home and decide on the total upfront costs, the preneed insurance options available will ensure that you have everything related to your funeral covered.
After deciding on the desired arrangements, you’d need to get a policy to fulfill these financial requirements for the funeral.
Upon the demise of the policyholder, the full death benefits are payable to the funeral home directly. In most cases, the funeral home will access the death benefits within 24 hours after the claim has been processed.
The main advantage of this policy is that it offers a great deal in terms of payment flexibility. What this means is that American Memorial Life would offer an extensive range of payment options allowing you to pay for the policy in your terms.
So, the policyholder gets to pay for the full value of the policy upfront, or they could spread the associated costs in 3, 5, or 10-year repayment periods.
- Final Expense (Need) Insurance
The final need policy is an insurance policy that pays for the funeral costs as well as the associated funeral costs. But unlike the preneed policy, the final expense’s death benefits are paid to the named beneficiary rather than the funeral home.
What this means is that the and policy’s death benefit is not specifically for the funeral costs, and the named beneficiaries get to use the money whichever way they please, preferably for the payment of the funeral, medical bills, and all other associated costs or living costs.
You’ll be happy to know that this policy would be approved even without the applicants having to answer the extensive health questions or medical checks.
In most cases, this insurance policy is processed after you ask rather few medical questions – this is done during the underwriting process.
The policy also boasts a 30-day No-Look period, which means that you get to change your mind about the policy within the 30-day period, especially if the insurance policy doesn’t really match your needs.
This policy is quite flexible, and should you move cities or no longer wish to work with that funeral home, then you’ll be allowed to make the necessary changes.
This product is available for applicants between the ages of 50 and 85. American Memorial Insurance Company also offers a Final Expense insurance product. It is the company’s biggest product and their largest income source. Their funeral or burial insurance is a whole life insurance product that offers the best coverage, and policyholders remain covered for as long as you pay your premiums.
You don’t need a medical examination to qualify for this insurance policy. However, the insurance company will need you to answer some health questions, which means that they may have to check out your public records for overall health information, prescription medications, and even your driving records.
The maximum coverage amounts for the death benefits include $25,000, and the best part is that, unlike the term life insurance options, the final expense policies is a type of whole life insurance that builds potential cash value; meaning you can borrow against the premiums paid, the value of the policy, and the face value of the insurance cover.
Final expense insurance policies can be simplified issue covers, and they offer level and modified death benefits. These benefits are accessible based on the state of your health.
Level-Benefit Immediate Death Benefits
This is the top feature of the Simplified Issue Preferred Plan. This means that the insurance policy doesn’t come with a waiting period, and the death benefits would be accessible instantly after the approval of the insurance policy.
So, with a $10,000 policy, your death benefits would be accessible as soon as the application is approved.
But there is one catch – that for you to be eligible for this insurance plan, you must be in great health. You’d also have to have other qualifications to access the additional carriers offered by the company.
Generally, the face value of the insurance policies will never decrease in case of deterioration of your health status.
Applicants aged between 0-60 will get insurance coverage of between $5,000 and $50,000, while applicants between 61 and 80 years will access a cover ranging from $3,000 – $25,000. On the other hand, individuals between the age of 81-85 access coverage of between $3,000 and $20,000.
Note, however, that the maximum limit for the insurance coverage would be $15,000 if you choose to buy the insurance product over the phone rather than face to face.
Modified Benefit Graded Death Benefits
This modified death benefit plan is also known as the return-of-premiums plan. Unlike the immediate death benefits plan, the modified plan comes with a 3-year waiting period, meaning that the policyholders will only access the full death benefits after the 3-year period lapses.
So, if a policyholder passes away within the first two years and the death wasn’t accidental, the company will only pay the total premiums paid up, plus an additional 10% interest by the company.
In most cases, the individuals who are not approved for the immediate level insurance product have a higher chance of being eligible for the modified insurance plan. Generally, the premiums paid are all fixed, and the policy builds cash value.
The maximum insurance coverage is $15,000 for applicants between the ages of 40-60 and a minimum of $3,000, while persons aged 61-70 would also access insurance products between $3,000 and $15,000. Older individuals aged 71-80 years access insurance products valued at $3,000 and $10,000.
The monthly average paid in premiums for the 40-year old policyholder for the $10,000 plan is $24.02 for males and $20.43 for females. For 85-year-olds, on the other hand, the premiums payable is $230.74 for males and $181.52 for females.
Keep in mind, however, that the age, gender, location, and health of the applicants are some of the factors that determine the number of premiums payable to the policyholders.
How to Qualify for Assurant/American Memorial Final Expense insurance?
You’d have to answer the prerequisite questions asked about your health. Understanding the features of the products is important in making sure that your application is approved with ease.
The company processes insurance claims fast, and all you need to do is to contact the sales agents on the phone. Alternatively, you could also go to the Assurant Website and click on the Claims $ Support for final expenses and the prearranged funeral planning to file a claim.
Some of the underwriting advantages of this policy include:
- For the first year, you will access full and renewal commission if you are on the modified plan.
- For applicants on insulin, processed applications are for applicants above 45 years.
- There is a 2-year look back on Non-CHF heart diseases and cancer, among others often considered under the Level Benefit offered.
- COPD Qualifies for Level-Benefit
- Final Expense Coverage benefits
- They offer a pre-need option for applicants
- The premiums are fixed
- The plan offers immediate coverage for people without health benefits
- Lifetime protection under the simplified issue whole life policy
What Are the Knockout Questions?
When it comes to burial and final expense insurance, knockout questions refer to the questions that are used by insurance brokers to determine the plans that applicants qualify for.
The knockout questions are also useful when it comes to the questions asked, and you won’t have to worry about wasting time applying for products that you may never qualify for. Insurance agents also do their due diligence, making sure that the knockout questions are asked correctly and not just filled to make sure the application is processed.
These questions also ensure easy assessment of the applicants that qualify for immediate level and modified level death benefits.
What Are the Health Questions Asked for a Whole Life Policy?
To be considered for the Level Benefits insurance plan, here are some of the health questions often asked:
- If you have some mental or physical impairment, that means the need for assistance when performing daily living activities like eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, or taking medication; and if you are in hospital currently and confined to a nursing facility or a bed or hospice care.
- If you have ever received a diagnosis for a terminal illness or even an internal organ transplant in the last 12 months?
- If you have taken infections or medication for chronic illnesses like cirrhosis, liver/ kidney failure, dialysis, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Dementia, cardiomyopathy, or any form of organic brain syndrome.
- If you’ve medically been diagnosed or treated for AIDS, ARC, or tested positive for HIV?
- If you’ve had cancer or some form of metastasis, or even had recurrent cancer that resulted in amputations.
- If you have received a diagnosis for brain disease or neuromuscular disease, systemic lupus
- (SLE), cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or paralysis.
- If you have, in the past 24 months, been diagnosed or treated for diseases like internal cancer, melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, or Hodgkin’s disease.
- This 24-month diagnosis option is also applicable to diabetic comas, insulin shocks, and other diabetic complications like retinopathy and neuropathy.
- For persons who qualify for the Modified Benefit Whole Life Plan, applicable questions apply to heart and brain-related diseases (last 24 months).
- If you have, in the past 36 months, been medically diagnosed with or treated for bipolar disorder, alcohol/ drug abuse, schizophrenia, COPD, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema, etc.
- If you have been confined in a nursing facility, mental facility, or convalescent care value
- If you have been postponed for life or declined for health insurance, or even attempted suicide.
Pros & Cons
- The company offers simple and straightforward insurance products and coverage for easy planning of funeral expenses and costs.
- The plans are economically viable thanks to their financial standing and the level of security offered.
- There are many other insurance products offered by the Assurant parent company.
- The plans are offered in most US states, except in New York
- The premium payments are fixed
- There are immediate and modified (graded-level) plans
- The company boasts a global reach
- The preneed insurance product ensures arrangement with funeral homes for easy end-of-life planning.
- Level benefits accessible to individuals over 40y years
- There are insurance
- The policies don’t offer the most extensive coverage options
- Assurant has, in the past, ran into legal issues around the cancellation of health insurance policies for their sick clients
- Maximum coverage for applications over the phone is $15,000
- Some of
e policies for applicants over 80 years
- their policies are restricted to the specified funeral homes
How to Sell Assurant/American Memorial’s Final Expense Product?
To sell the final expense insurance, an understanding of the market and the products offered is important. Using the lead programs and the high-quality offerings, and the elegant features offered, you will be able to sell the products with ease.
If you are interested in covering your funeral expenses in advance, the burial and final expense products by Assurant/ American Memorial Company might be a great option for you.