UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About American Republic
American Republic was founded in 1929 in Des Moines, Iowa, just a few months before the stock market crash, and survived using the founder’s personal funds. Growing slowly initially, the company began expanding into other states in 1945, starting with Minnesota. By the 70s, the company was big enough to have a big name celebrity – Jack Benny – as its spokesperson.
A series of changes in mergers took place in the 2000s. American Republic Insurance Company, then a subsidiary of American Republic Mutual Holding Company, was joined by World Insurance Company of Omaha, Nebraska. The holding company changed its name to American Enterprise Mutual Holding Company in 2004, but American Republic continues to operate under its original name.
Today the company is still headquartered in Des Moines. They are licensed in all states and the District of Columbia, with the exception of New York. Their products, however, are only offered in 33 states, and product offerings vary from state to state. In some states, coverage is offered through a subsidiary, American Republic Insurance Corp. Policies are sold by independent agents.
American Republic Products
Since American Republic product offerings vary from state to state, we chose their home state of Iowa for the purpose of this review. In Iowa, American Republic offers two general supplemental plans for individuals, as well as Medicare Supplement Insurance. A quick look at several other states reveals that the offerings are generally similar elsewhere.
Care Assist Short-Term Convalescent Care
This product offers coverage for short term nursing care either at home or in a facility. The plan provides cash benefits to pay for costs that are not covered under health insurance or another short-term disability plan. It appears, based on the short description, to be a supplement for both main health insurance and other supplemental plans, such as disability insurance.
Express Pay Life
This whole life insurance plan is designed to be a funeral and final expenses policy. It is a simplified plan offering cash benefits that can be used for any purpose but is generally aimed at paying for funeral costs. Although the website does not offer a statement regarding the requirement for a medical exam, the general description appears to be that of a quick-issue life policy without an exam required.
In Iowa, American Republic offers the standardized letter-coded plans that are designed to pay for expenses not covered under Medicare. While the website strongly pushes Plan F – the most comprehensive and also most expensive plan – it does state other options are available.
There are a total of 11 lettered plans, but not all insurance companies offer all of them. American Republic does not state which plans they write aside from Plan F, however, all companies in the Medicare Supplement market are required to write Plan A. This is the most basic and usually most affordable option. It is likely that American Republic has a few more offerings in between A and F.
American Republic Rates
Given the nature of the company and the products, it is not surprising that American Republic does not offer online quoting. They do have an online form that can be used to request a quote.
Other options include calling a toll-free number or searching for an agent in your local area. In all of these cases, potential customers can expect that contact with the company will lead to solicitation, either by phone or by mail.
Rates are not offered for Medicare Supplement although other similar companies frequently do have a base chart for the cost of the plan. As a result, we are unable to offer a comparison to similar companies.
American Republic does not appear to have a specific claims phone number. Instead, it is listed as part of Customer Service. An address is offered for filing claims by mail, as well as a fax number.
The website does not offer information on how claims are handled, but given the specific type of policy this company writes, that is not surprising.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Although the website indicates that American Republic is still headquartered in Des Moines, we were unable to find a Better Business Bureau (BBB) record for Des Moines. There are a number of locations listed on the BBB, many of which have an A+ rating.
There are 33 reviews on American Republic on Consumer Affairs that are mostly negative. Of the few that left a star rating, one is a five star while the rest are one or two stars. Most of the complaints involved claims that were denied or difficulty getting the company to pay benefits. A number of complaints state that rates increase frequently. There are a few positive reviews scattered among the negative ones. Overall, the complaint volume and concerns are consistent with what we see from similar companies.
The Bottom Line
American Republic is focused on a very specific type of policy and is the kind of company that likely gets the majority of its business through agent referrals. Without rate quotes or much specific information on the products, it is difficult to form a solid conclusion. Many insurance shoppers will prefer to go with a name they know, particularly if shopping on their own and not with an agent.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.