AIG Life Insurance – Agent Marketing Reflections

AIG Life Insurance Company, as part of the American International Group, was the global international leader in the financial services industry. This giant has various operations in over 100 countries with additional services that include property casualty insurance, asset management services, and purchasing and underwriting subprime loans. Without the massive and controversial United States bailout, it would be in bankruptcy.

AIG has lost their coveted super high insurance ratings, where the major rating firms annually miscalculated their business practices. Now they have begun a reorganization that will constitute major selloffs while refocusing on once again becomes a dominant insurance company. Stockholders saw stock prices plummeting from its high by over 90% before now starting to stabilize.

Your big AIG question should be: Has AIG learned their lesson? Moreover, if you now or previously represented them, Have You learned your lesson?

Five things contributed to the choice of many American insurance reps to sell their insurance products to clients.

1. GREED Selling term insurance offered by AIG Life Insurance provided representatives with commission payouts often 20 to 30% higher than other major competitors.

2. SIZE Insurance representative implied to prospective clients that dealing with the largest company, meant it had to be the best. Otherwise, how could it be the largest?

3. RATINGS Many insurance reps only will sell products of the highest rated insurers. They tell themselves and clients that means financial security. Well the atomic rating bomb has exploded, injuring millions.

4. PRICE The easiest way to sell term life insurance, is to offer your prospect the lowest price on the market. Do clients buying AIG Life coverage live longer so rates are lower? Are AIG internal expenses lower, so rates are lower? (Like an expensive resort meeting in Arizona funded by American taxpayers) Do they pay their reps less? (See #1) A full combination of these would be the only way rates could be lower then competitors.

5. BUYING BUSINESS The quickest way to jump the ladder to rise upward, is for an insurance company to “buy business”. As the insurance company, you attempt to give as many clients now by whatever it takes to get more policies sold, and worry later about when claims have to be paid out. Baiting the hook was easy. Sucker in agents with higher commissions, the lowest term insurance rates, and thinking they were representing the smartest insurer out there.

AIG Life Insurance is still “buying business” today, after all the turmoil of internal problems. Watch television and you will see a closely affiliated company offering term life insurance at rates up to 70% less than others. If you somehow catch the fine print, you will see AIG mentioned as the insurer. An excellent way for AIG Life Insurance to bypass insurance representatives, and still fool consumers. A slight twist, but business as usual for them.

Selling insurance to clients should reflect the conscience of an insurance representative in recommending the right product and the right company. There are over 600 life and health insurance companies offering products in almost every state. If you are selling based highly on commission rates, company size, ratings, or price, you are probably doing a disservice to your clients.