- Report: #199876
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: American Income Life
American Income Life1200 Wooded Acres, Waco, Texas Nationwide United States of America
American Income Life Scam Review | Complaints INVESTIGATION: American Income Life, National Income Life dedicated to helping associates achieve their goals; feel safe confident & secure doing business with AIL & NIL, they will not allow a legitimate complaint to go unresolved. ALL COMPANIES GET COMPLAINTS - HOW THE COMPANY HANDLES THOSE COMPLAINTS SEPARATES GOOD BUSINESSES FROM BAD BUSINESSES. Waco Texas Nationwide
*UPDATE : American Income Life join Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program and submit to independent investigation. American Income Life pledges to resolve all legitimate complaints and address any issues from the past, present and in the future.
*UPDATE Employee: Sensationalized Story
*Author of original report: Your doing a great job, Mark!
*UPDATE Employee: WHAAAAAAT!
*UPDATE Employee: WHAAAAAAT!
*UPDATE Employee: WHAAAAAAT!
*UPDATE Employee: WHAAAAAAT!
*UPDATE Employee: just to correct mark on a couple things
*Consumer Suggestion: wow, powerful stuff
*Consumer Suggestion: wow, powerful stuff
*Consumer Suggestion: wow, powerful stuff
*Consumer Suggestion: wow, powerful stuff
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SPECIAL UPDATE April 5 2011: American Income Life remains committed to 100% customer satisfaction and has drastically improved their business processes over the years to better serve their customers. American Income Life is truly dedicated to making sure ALL customers are happy. American Income Life continues to show customer service is of the utmost importance and they currently have no complaints!
To date, American Income Life has addressed and resolved all reported complaints, which have always been resolved to the complete satisfaction of their customers. American Income Life proves to be among the top members of the Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program, as a Verified Safe Business. American Income Life has remained actively engaged and improving the way they address customer service complaints. Rip-off Report has confirmed that American Income Life is no fraud, is not a scam and is of the highest integrity. As an active and current member of the Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program we are happy to report that now more than ever American Income Life remains committed to customer satisfaction and gets our top Verified Safe endorsement.
Rip-off Report's investigation found such complaints, but importantly also found that American Income Life / National Income Life is committed to resolving such complaints quickly and is doing everything possible to satisfy its clients and representatives alike. The company also takes appropriate action against any of its representatives who are found to have conducted themselves improperly or unethically. We believe that the number of complaints against this company, whether through the Internet or other channels, is small when put into the context of its enormous size. Most large companies would never commit themselves like American Income Life / National Income Life has to Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.
Read our investigative Report and American Income Life / National Income Life's commitment to 100% consumer satisfaction.
American Income Life / National Income Life provides products and services through independent representatives, and has been providing benefits to families for over 50 years. AIL is rated A+ Superior by A.M. Best Company, its second highest rating, for overall financial strength (as of 6/07). American Income Life / National Income Life www.ailife.com and also www.WorkAtAIL.com provides life insurance and supplemental benefits to members of labor unions, credit unions, associations, as well as private clients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and New Zealand.
See why you should feel secure and confident when doing business with American Income Life / National Income Life Read about Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program,..A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.
===================== NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED
American Income Life Let's never forget the elderly union members being screwed by this company Waco, Texas Nationwide
How was I alerted to this problem?
Let's just say it was all started by an employee with a conscience.
Imagine sitting at a desk each and every day answering the telephone for a large insurance company's Customer Service Department. You answer questions about beneficiaries, policy changes, account values, death claims, methods of payment and the seemingly dozens of other things people have questions about.
This all changes one day when you receive a call from a 70 year-old woman. This loyal policyowner cannot understand why your company will not pay her husband's death claim. You can tell she knows very little about life insurance and is having an extremely difficult time speaking with you about it. Married for over 50 years, she weathered union lay-offs, strikes, war, the death of one of her children, economic troubles, and a hip replacement. She is trying desperately to hold back the flood of tears and you can sense the pain in her voice. All she has left is his life insurance policy and she wants so much to give him the burial he deserves.
Confused by your company's initial response to completely deny the claim, she's telephoned her local union representative and found that his policy was not taken out through them at all. "Wait a minute" she cries, "the agent told us he worked for my husband's union". "He said he was some sort of representative or spokesman." However, the union representative knows nothing about this and informs her that this insurance company is in no way affiliated with their organization.
You cautiously look around the edge of your cubicle expecting someone to yell, Surprise! This can't be a real call; maybe some of the others in your department are playing a cruel trick on you. These thoughts are quickly broken by the sound of her voice in your earpiece.
She explains that her husband once had a policy he took out in 1966 with another company. They faithfully made payments on this until receiving a yellow card in the mail informing them of a "free" life insurance policy being offered through his union. Soon after receiving this card in the mail, they were contacted by a person claiming to be a union representative who was just following up on the free insurance offer. All he needed was a signature to put the new plan in force. Trusting that the union would never knowingly allow anyone to harm them, they invited this agent into their home.
When the agent arrived several days later, he seemed like such a wonderful man. Dressed in a nice suit, he greeted them warmly and complimented their beautiful home. Digging into his pocket, he produced some sort of identification card, which he claimed, would confirm his affiliation with their union. This card, however, was not really important to them. If this nice young man said he was from their union, then he was, and there were no questions asked. After all, they had been loyal members for more than 40 years and anyone from that organization was like family.
At their kitchen table, the agent brought some papers out of his briefcase. These were the applications for the new "free" policies and in order to get them started all they needed to do was sign them. As they put their glasses on and examined the documents, the agent said, "you know, for just a few dollars a week, you can get a much better policy which is also offered through the union. These new policies are know as Burial Plans and will provide your family with the money needed for your final expenses."
The husband mentioned that he already had a life insurance policy he took out nearly 30 years ago and didn't think he needed any more. "I can appreciate that," the agent said, "but that policy's only worth $1500.00. Your wife will need much more than that to take care of you." But these policies are expensive and we're on a fixed-income," stammers the old man. "I just don't know if we can afford them." Overcoming each objection, the sharp-dressed agent is "slick" and speaks very quickly. Soon the unsuspecting seniors are completing applications for two $50,000 policies.
In just a few weeks, the new policies arrive in the mail. Enclosed is a letter from the agent, thanking them for their business. Not suspecting anything to be wrong, the wife files the policies away in a drawer and forgets about them. Because the premium payments for these new policies are paid automatically through their checking account every month, they are essentially, "out of sight - out of mind".
You are really surprised at how well this woman remembers the chain of events leading to the purchase of the policies. "When my husband passed away a few weeks ago, his cause of death was listed as a Coronary Occlusion," she says. "He hadn't really had any trouble prior to this and I just don't know what I'm going to do now. Your company told me they wouldn't pay me any money because my husband didn't die of an accident. I had no idea these policies only covered us if we died on accident - the agent never told us that."
"He had a 1966 policy but, we just couldn't afford all 3 policies and had to cancel the old one." Desperate for help she cries, "I've tried many times to call our agent and he will not return my calls, why won't he at least talk to me? The agent told us these policies were through our union, why doesn't the union know anything about it? Sometimes we had to do without other things so we could pay for these policies, where did all our money go? Whom can I call, what can I do?"
After gathering yourself, you promise the policyowner that you'll speak with your immediate supervisor about her problem and get right back to her. "Please help me" is the last thing you hear before hanging up the phone.
After giving your supervisor all the information you can remember, he promises to "look into it" and instructs you to return to your desk. After asking this man for something positive to report back to the woman, you're instructed not to call her and to allow the company to take care of it. Feeling like you just abandoned a friend, the rest of your day does not go well all. You just can't get that woman's voice out of your mind. After work, you sit alone at home wondering what happened. And as you lie in bed that night, the pleas for help echo in your mind. Sleep does not come easy.
The next day you query your supervisor on the status of that case. "I have no idea" he says, "I told you to let the company take care of it. Besides, it's not your problem, just answer the telephone and do your job." These words seem almost threatening and you need your job so you do as you are told. Over the next few months, you pay much closer attention to those calling you and your associates. It seems as though more and more calls from desperate policyowners are coming in all the time.
One day as you and several of your co-workers are having lunch, someone mentions a horrible telephone call they received from a policyowner that morning. For some reason, this story sounds vaguely familiar and piques you're interest. Although it wasn't from the same person, It involved the same agent and had to do with an accidental death policy not being properly sold. When you bring this up to the others, they tell you they get phone calls about this particular agent all the time. Because he sells so much insurance / so many policies, he is never held accountable for his actions. Actually, it's not just one agent. There are many different agents who do the very same thing. You think to yourself, it must be nice to make that much money. It must be just like getting away with bank robbery.
As if programmed in your mind, the questions spring forth. Why doesn't someone do something? Can't someone help all the people who've been cheated? How can these agents look in the mirror every morning?
As you drive home that afternoon, you have an idea. You'll get on your computer and search the Internet for someone who handles this sort of thing. There has to be consumer advocates out there whom these people can turn to. That evening as you sit in your living room, you log onto the Internet, type in L-I-F-E I-N-S-U-R-A-N-C-E- F-R-A-U-D and "Bingo!" there I am.
I've been told this is a great story, but is it really just a story?
Could this very thing have already happened to hundreds-of-thousands of loyal labor union members across our nation?
I have reason to believe it has.
Are there people out there who do not yet know this has happened to them?
I have reason to believe there are.
When do people usually find out that their life insurance agent and / or the company has been less than honest?
Right after the insured passes away and their family is desperate for help.
Is this the type of thing someone should take a chance on?
Absolutely not! Why would someone want to pay into a policy for most of their life and end up with nothing in the end?
Has this type of thing happened before with other companies? Yes, Metropolitan Life, Prudential, New York Life, John Hancock, Allstate, and numerous other companies have paid $Billions in restitution and fines.
Are all this company's life insurance policies bad?
No, of course not. However, in the past 13 years, I've not found many that are more expensive.
The above scenario doesn't really apply to me. Are there any other types of potential fraud you suspect these agents have committed?
Yes, the most common being Policy Misrepresentation.
For example, a hard-working union member is promised a policy worth $100,000 and neither the premiums nor the death benefit are ever supposed to change. However, upon closer examination, the policy actually consists of three parts or sub-policies. The first of which is usually what agents usually call a "Burial Plan." For our purposes, we'll say this part is worth $10,000.
The second part could be a Renewable and Convertable 10-Year Level Term policy. This policy will actually last only 10 years before the policy will need to be renewed and the premium increased. After another 10 years has passed, the policy will again require renewal and a premium increase. According to the policy contract, insured must die prior to the policy anniversary nearest his/her age 65 in order for this portion of the policy to pay-off. Again, for our purposes, the value of this 10-year policy will be only $10,000.
The third and final portion of this "$100,000" policy is an $80,000 Accidental Death Benefit. According to the terms of this policy, the insured must die of an "approved" accident prior to his/her age 70 in order for this policy to benefit anyone.
So, will the policy really remain unchanged AND provide a $100,000 death benefit?
Yes, as long as the insured dies of an "approved" accident within 10 years.
I've also investigated a large number of cases where after just a few years, the premium paid is larger than the death benefit.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Will you explain this one to me?
Sure. Let's say a 67 year-old man purchases a life insurance policy that will never be worth more than $1,800 to his/her beneficiaries. And for this policy he/she pays $323.00 each and every year. Do the math. $323.00 X 10 = $3,230.00.
Why would someone pay $3,230 for an $1,800 policy?
Because they were probably told their premiums would stop when the amount paid reaches the death benefit OR that the policy's value will somehow increase over time. Remember, that $3,230.00 figure applies if he lives only 10 years. What happens if he lives 20 years?
Are there any other types of potential fraud you've seen?
To list them all would be impossible. Almost every time I begin investigating another agent and/or agency, I find the same old story with a slightly different twist. The different ways in which life insurance can be sold (or mis-sold) depends solely on an agent's imagination. I believe the most common "scam" I've found is when agents represent the TRGR10YM "Senior 10" policy as a permanent policy or burial plan. I personally believe a large percentage of agents are trained this way and feel pretty positive that I will acquire evidence of this in the near future.
This policy is nothing more than a Graded Benefit 10-Year Term product. Let's say the policy is represented to have a $3000 death benefit. What is not usually disclosed is that during the first year of the policy, that benefit is only $750.00. In the second year, this is increased to $1,500. The third year will see this amount increased to $2,250.00 and the 4th year (and every year thereafter) will receive the full $3000.00 - for only 6 additional years! Remember, this is only a 10-Year term policy and the chances of its benefit being out-lived are remarkably good.
Mark, I've telephoned my local American Income Life agent and he knows of you.
It seems the worst ones always do. I'm one of the best-known Life Insurance Fraud Investigators/Consultants in the United States. It comes as no surprise to me that your agent knows who I am. In fact, I've been in contact with the company's legal department for more than a year now. They also know me.
He told me there's nothing to worry about, that his is a great company and you are nothing more than a liar, cheat, crook, scoundrel, fraud, evildoer, or any one of a hundred different adjectives.
What do you expect them to do? Admit to it? If what I allege is true (and over the past 10 years I've had a 100% success ratio) do you honestly believe they'll step up and confess? I've investigated agents who make in excess of $400,000 per year; do you think they'll just give it all back? There are still people who'll swear that Enron did nothing wrong, O.J. Simpson is innocent, and there never were any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There were some people at MetLife who also claimed they did nothing wrong - right before they paid almost $2 Billion in one of the largest law suits in history.
The information I've shared with you is not "The World According To Mark Colbert," it can be found right on your policy in black and white. Get your policy out, read it, understand it. And please understand that it may be in your best interest to find someone other than your original agent to help you do this.
I telephoned my local American Income Life office and spoke directly with "the boss." He/she called themself a GA (General Agent), MGA (Managing General Agent) or SGA (State General Agent). This person told me that this company has been doing business with hundreds of different labor unions for many years and has never had any problems.
Maybe they haven't - until now. Prudential didn't think they had any problems either. Even after nearly $2 Billion in fines and restitution, they'll still try to convince people they did nothing wrong.
The bad part of this whole ordeal was when you had to realize there were people who actually fell for it.
They told me all about how their Valuation and Commutation Interest Rates are set by the Commissioners Reserve Method and are therefore very close to those used by the rest of the industry. We also have a choice of not two, but three Guaranteed Value Options. And we will always have a choice of taking either Paid-Up or Extended Insurance.
And if you understood all that, you would laugh and know that when it comes to the way in which your policy was sold, all that technical lingo means absolutely nothing. At a seminar I held last year, a bunch of AIL "executives" literally ambushed policy owners as they arrived at the hotel. In the usually forced conversations that ensued, big words and technical jargon was tossed out like dimes at a carnival's coin toss booth. I was greatly disappointed that several people fell for it and turned around without hearing, as Paul Harvey would call it, "The rest of the Story."
Mark Atwater, California
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/07/2006 12:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Income-Life/nationwide/American-Income-Life-Scam-Review-Complaints-INVESTIGATION-American-Income-Life-Nationa-199876. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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