Trying choose the right life insurance company can be a difficult decision with huge potential consequences for those you love and provide for. You need to start by knowing what you want, and what each policy has to offer. Think about who you are protecting, your age and health, and theirs.
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It helps to compare the basic offerings of one life insurance company next to another life insurance company. Some of the things that you should look at are the longevity of the company, customer service ratings, services provided and add-on benefits.
There are a number of important questions you need to ask. Use the list below, along with any that speak to your personal life insurance needs.
Life Insurance Provider Questions
- How much in benefits will policy holders receive?
- What additional services does the company offer to policy holders while they are still alive?
- How much is paid out to policy holders upon death?
- How will the policy’s benefits be applied to final expenses?
- Does the life insurance company make it relatively easy to file for benefits or is the process arduous and drawn out?
- How highly rated is the customer service?Has the company earned any awards or accolades?
Two major life insurance companies worth considering are Amalgamated Life Insurance and National Guardian Life Insurance. You can see how they stack up alongside one another below.
Amalgamated Life Insurance was established in 1943 as a way to provide insurance benefits to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and expanded rapidly through the 20th century. The life insurance company’s founder, Sidney Hillman, wanted to create a labor-oriented means to deliver benefits such as health and pensions to a union largely made up of immigrants.
Leaders in the men’s apparel industry agreed with his vision to expand benefits beyond the negotiation of fair hours and wages. Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America merged with several other unions. Today the company is called Amalgamated Life Insurance. It provides life and health insurance and retiree benefits.
National Guardian was established in 1910. Its first issued policy was a mere $5,000. Today the life insurance company has over $6 billion of ordinary insurance and consolidated statutory assets over $2.5 billion and has consistently been rated one of America’s most successful independent mutual life insurance companies. You can also use independent raters like AM Best to get unbiased ratings of insurance companies.
Throughout its more than one hundred year history, National Guardian Life Insurance has merged with more than a dozen companies. Today they have over one million policy holders.
Amalgamated Life primarily offers collectively bargained insurance and pension services to union participants.
Their specialties include:
- Medicare supplements
- Group insurance
- Individual life insurance coverage
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Medical stop-loss insurance
- Health and pension administration
- Medical management
- Disability coverage
- Voluntary critical illness protection
While Amalgamated Life offers a large array of services to policy holders, National Guardian Life Insurance offers niche products such as preneed planning, final expense, and group markets. Visit this website to learn about preneed planning to determine if you want this coverage.
If pre-need planning is what you are looking for, National Guardian Life Insurance provides it after you answer a health question survey. A variety of payment options are offered to potential policy holders.
Along with pre-need planning, National Guardian Life Insurance offers final expense assistance. This can help with the cost of settling an estate. This can include hospital and doctor bills, outstanding debts, funeral and burial costs.
National Guardian Life Insurance also offers Advanced Funding Insurance Assignment which can be used to obtain payment for services when assignable non-pre-need life insurance monies are the method of choice for payment. This shortens the length of time of the cash flow delay with claims that can take one to two months.
National Guardian Life Insurance outsources many of the administrative tasks related to policy processing to reduce the costs to its policy holders. They also provide a network of partnerships to provide other benefits such as dental, vision, prescription, group life and limited benefit medical.
While Amalgamated Life Insurance sells to both unions and individual policy holders, National Guardian Life Insurance does not sell directly to employer groups, unions and other associations.
Customer Service and Ratings
Amalgamated Life Insurance has earned 36 consecutive A (excellent) ratings from A.M. Best Company and was named to the 2011 Ward’s 50.
National Guardian Life earned an A- (excellent) rating from A.M. Best in 2011. Standard & Poor’s rated the life insurance company secure and in the top one-third of all life and health insurance companies.
National Guardian Life offers free prescription drug discount coverage called RX Plus Prescription Coverage.
Members can receive up to 55% in discounts at select pharmacies and can take advantage of their mail pharmacy program.
Vision services can garner members between 45 and 65 percent savings. There are also additional discounts for hearing services ranging from 30 to 60 percent.
Amalgamated Life offers critical illness protection as an add-on benefit. The policy holder will receive a lump sum payment if confined to a hospital for 30 or more consecutive days or is diagnosed with
• Heart attack
• Incapacitated due to coma
• Renal (kidney) failure
This benefit is restored two years after the policy holder returns to full time employment. However, if this benefit is used, the benefit decreases the death benefit by the amount that was used for critical illness coverage.
If the policy holder decides to take advantage of the Employee Life Option (ELO), this insurance can accumulate a cash value based on a fixed low interest rate. The policy holder benefits from guaranteed premiums and guaranteed coverage. Additional options include Payer Waver of Premium, Accidental Death Benefit and Children’s Term Benefit.
Amalgamated Life Insurance currently does not offer voluntary Vision, Dental or Accident Insurance.
Read this article to learn how to best choose your life insurance company. The important things to consider when choosing a life insurance company are the benefits that each company offers policy holders while they are alive and after they have passed, the policy out-of-pocket costs, the reliability and reputation of the company and the overall rating they receive for customer service.
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