Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Aflac vs. American Fidelity Assurance Company

When choosing insurance providers, it is always best to do some simple, yet in depth, comparison of the companies between which you are choosing. In this instance, the insurance providers we will be comparing are Aflac and American Fidelity Assurance Company.

Aflac is currently the largest provider of individual and group supplemental insurance policies in the US. Supplemental policies cover household payments and other expenses, such as mortgage payments and bills that are not covered by traditional health insurance policies.

Aflac provides insurance to individuals in both the US and Japan, being the largest provider of life insurance policies to individuals in Japan. American Fidelity Assurance Company offers insurance products similar to Aflac, including supplemental policies, life insurance and cancer policies. However, American Fidelity Assurance is a smaller company and not nearly as well-known as Aflac.

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Aflac History

Aflac was founded in 1955 by three brothers; John, Bill and Paul Amos. The company originated in Columbus, Georgia, first known as American Family Life Insurance Company of Columbus.

In 1964, the company name was formally changed to American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In 1973, Aflac expanded to originate a holding company named the American Family Corporation.

In 1990, the Aflac assumed the current acronym, taking the first letter from each word in the formal name of the company. However, the official name of the company remains American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus for underwriting purposes.

From 1979 through 1997, the Aflac company purchased and held several television stations. These stations were ultimately sold to the Raycom broadcasting company in 1997.

Aflac initiated over 6000 insurance policies in its first year in business, and Aflac was one of the first companies to offer cancer insurance policies. In 1964, the company directed sales of policies to the employment marketplace. Sponsored by and in cooperation with various employers, Aflac was able to fund polices via payroll deductions.

In 2003, 98% of all premiums paid to Aflac policies were deducted from employees’ paychecks. The company became a leader in the payroll deduction approach to premium payment. By 2009 Aflac’s assets were 84 billion dollars with 60 million people covered with polices.

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Aflac Corporate Structure

Aflac’s corporate sales structure is the most successful insurance business model in the United States. However, on a per-agent basis, agents receive lower commissions than with other insurance companies. Utilizing this business model, Aflac’s structure has proven to be most successful and the company is currently a Fortune 500 leader in the insurance marketplace.

Aflac operates both in the United States and Japan, and has it’s corporate headquarters and main offices in an 18-story, just east of downtown Columbus. The Aflac Building is the tallest building in the city of Columbus.

Types of Insurance Offered

Aflac currently offers several types of insurance policies in the United States, including cancer policies, such as lump sum cancer and critical care cancer policies. In addition, Aflac offers dental coverage, hospital intensive care, life insurance, short term disability and hospital indemnity.

Aflac also offers coverage for dependent day care coverage and transportation, as well as other unreimbursable medical expenses, and Aflac provides human resources support for HIPAA and COBRA.

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The Aflac Duck

A director of Aflac conceived of the acronym name of “Aflac” while eating his lunch in New York’s Central Park. The director found himself muttering the acronym, which, to him, was a sound that resembled the quacking of a duck.

The director’s idea was to use a duck for promoting the company in various marketing venues. The famous Aflac Duck is now utilized in numerous television commercials and online video ads.

The Aflac Duck television ads originally began airing in 1999, and the duck has become an increasingly popular symbol of the company over the past several years.

Until recently, Gilbert Godfried was the voice of the famous Aflac Duck. The TV commercials are created and produced by the Kaplan Thaler Group, a popular advertising firm in New York City.

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Innovations in Cancer Policies

Certain government officials and some critics believe that cancer insurance returns are much lower than returns for standard insurance. The U.S Accounting office states that cancer polices pay back an average of only 35% or less on a policy as compared to standard insurance. Aflac’s cancer polices generally pay back over 62%, nearly double the national average.

State of New York insurance laws mandate that cancer policies pay back a minimum 82% and other types of policies pay back a minimum of 75%. Aflac’s investment of $170,000 in lobbyists and campaigns to change the law encouraged the lawmakers in New York to overturn the ban to allow policy holders to purchase lower deductible cancer insurance, with lower requirements for payback dollars.

Ratings and Awards – Aflac

Aflac, in 2001, promoted their first accident policy in the country of Japan. This promotion obtained accolades for the company from the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten of the most effective marketing campaigns of the year.

American Fidelity Assurance

American Fidelity Assurance is a family owned and operated company specializing in life insurance, though this company offers many of the same policy types as Aflac. American Fidelity Assurance is a subsidiary of the larger American Fidelity Corporation. American Fidelity’s corporate headquarters is located in Oklahoma City, OK at 2000 North Classen Boulevard.

American Fidelity Assurance’s mission statement indicates that their stated target market is employees of educational institutions, employees of auto dealerships, health care industry workers and employees of municipalities.

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American Fidelity Assurance History

The company was founded in 1960 by the Cameron family. The company is currently and has always been operated by the Cameron family.

Types of Insurance Offered

American Fidelity Assurance offers voluntary life coverage, supplemental health insurance policies, similar to Aflac. In addition, American Fidelity offers cancer policies, disability, long term care coverage and hospital indemnity.

Ratings and Awards – American Fidelity Assurance

American Fidelity Assurance company was given an “A+” rating A.M. Best for sales in 2007. The company was ranked as a Fortune 100 company in 2009, and awarded the accolade as being on the of the “Top 100 Companies to Work For” that year.

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Aflac vs American Fidelity Assurance

Aflac and American Fidelity Assurance both offer supplemental insurance policies that cover expenses not covered by standard health insurance. However, Aflac is, by far, most well known for this type of coverage. Both companies offer life insurance, hospital indemnity, long term care, and cancer policies.

American Fidelity Assurance operates in the United States and 20 other countries while Aflac only operates in the United States and Japan. The major difference between Aflac and American Fidelity Assurance policies and coverage is that the latter offers their customers tax deferred annuities.

Aflac is clearly the most well-known of the two insurance providers, with their successful marketing campaigns. Aflac has very effectively educated the public with regards to the benefits of owning supplemental insurance policies.

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