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 Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 27, 2022

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Founded in 1845, New York Life Insurance Company (NYLIC) is under the parent company, New York Life Group. As a mutual insurance company, NYLIC is owned and operated for the benefit of its members and specializes in life insurance policies. Paying dividends, offering exceptional service, and being an international company, NYLIC is a Fortune 100 company.

What should you know about AFLAC?

American Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) is a supplemental insurance company operating since 1955. Offering multiple life, accident, and health insurance plans, AFLAC consistently ranks among Fortune magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America.”

They’re well known for their popular commercials and a duck who repeatedly says “Aflac” while showing situations in which you might use their coverage.

Unlike traditional life policies, Aflac is not limited to a death benefit. Their primary offering is coverage for living expenses and supplemental medical costs after an accident. The financial professionals with Aflac often reach out to potential customers through their employers.

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What are the financial strength ratings for NYL and Aflac?

Three independent rating companies have evaluated both companies on their financial strength and likelihood of survival as follows:

  •  A.M. Best: NYLIC = A++ | AFLAC = A+
  • Fitch: NYLIC = AAA | AFLAC = A+
  • Moody’s: NYLIC = Aaa | AFLAC = Aa2

Types of Insurance NYLIC Offers:

  • Term Life
  • Whole Life
  • Universal Life
  • Variable Universal Life
  • Long-Term Care

Types of Insurance AFLAC Offers:

  • Accident
  • Short-Term Disability
  • Cancer/Specified Disease
  • Hospital Confinement Indemnity
  • Specified Health Event
  • Hospital Intensive Care
  • Dental
  • Life
  • Hospital Confinement Sickness Indemnity
  • Vision

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Who is insurable by NYLIC and AFLAC?

Both companies offer individual and group insurance policies. Eligibility and conditions for each policy vary. If you choose an accident or illness policy, keep in mind it will exclude any preexisting conditions, and there’s generally a waiting period. Both companies insure a wide range of customers at affordable prices for a set period of time or permanent coverage.

Determining Who is Best

NYLIC and AFLAC have agents who will meet and service clients’ needs. Professionals meet with potential policyholders and evaluate what is best for them based upon their needs and financial status. Both companies pride themselves on their extensive list of options, making it essential to meet with an insurance agent for clarity and an understanding of all the opportunities that are available.

Basic Overview of NYLIC Policy Options

  • Term Life Insurance: Offered at different coverage levels over an amount of time (usually 5, 10, 15, or 20 years), term life insurance will pay benefits to a beneficiary if a policyholder dies during that time. Premiums are predetermined and may not fluctuate, however, clients maintain the option to renew or change a policy once the time period has passed.
  • Whole Life Insurance: As a lifetime benefit, policyholders typically pay a slightly higher premium over the course of the policy. However, rates won’t fluctuate as they may with term life policies. Cash value may draw dividends and may be taken out for particular situations, such as buying a house or paying for a child’s college tuition.
  • Universal Life Insurance: A more flexible form of insurance, policyholders may adjust payments over time as long as they make the required minimum payment. Extra money applied to the account may grow tax-deferred. This extra cash may be taken out or used to increase benefit awards.
  • Variable Life Insurance: Variable life insurance is best suited for those individuals wishing to ensure death benefits while also allowing their investment to draw profits. These accounts are subject to market risk and allow an individual to borrow funds under certain criteria.

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Basic Overview of AFLAC Policy Options

  • Accident: Available for individual or family coverage, this benefit will compensate policyholders a set fee for any medical visit that occurred due to an incident deemed an accident. Amounts paid depend upon the type of treatment and nature of the injury.
  • Short-Term Disability: Should an injury or medical condition result in short-term disability, AFLAC will pay a monthly benefit directly to the individual, regardless of whether they have medical insurance or other coverage. Based upon their income, an employee will have a portion of their wages taken out each month. Employees will have the option to renew or cancel the plan annually.
  • Cancer/Specified Disease and Specified Health Event: Both plans pay a set fee to a policyholder should a specific health condition occur during the time of their coverage. These conditions include, but are not limited to: cancer, organ failure, transplants, heart attack, stroke, third-degree burns, coma, and paralysis. As with the accident policy, the treatment and extent of the condition will determine what benefits are received.
  • Hospital Confinement Indemnity, Hospital Intensive Care, and Hospital Confinement Sickness Indemnity: Should a policyholder become confined to a hospital or Intensive Care Unit, these plans would pay a set benefit amount based on the duration and treatment administered while in the hospital. Compensation for physician visits, rehabilitation and diagnostic exams are available among the three plans.
  • Dental: Both uninsured and insured dental patients will receive a set amount of money based upon various procedures and ailments associated with dental care.
  • Life: Offering a 10, 20, or 30-year term life policy, AFLAC guarantees a Return of Premium Benefit. Additional benefits of up to $200,000 are available for individuals who are under the age of 50, and up to $100,000 for those over 50. As an individual life insurance policy, holders may take the policy with them should they change jobs. Additional riders, including accidental death, spouse, and child life insurance, are also available.
  • Vision: Through employer sponsorship, a worker may have a monthly amount deducted from their paycheck to go towards benefits for vision-related costs. The amount paid will depend upon a predetermined benefit chosen at the time of purchase of the policy.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Insurance

Whether it’s the life insurance policies NYLIC specializes in, or the supplemental medical insurance AFLAC is known for, it’s important to consider the following when purchasing any policy:

  • Start and expiration date of the policy
  • Tax status (i.e. will tax payments incur or be deferred)
  • Impact on the current financial status
  • Long-term impact on the financial status
  • Probability and likelihood of using a policy
  • Reliability and performance of the company

Always remember to address any questions and concerns you have with an agent and be sure to shop around and compare prices, conditions, requirements, and terms among companies before making a commitment.