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About Pan American Life
Pan American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) was founded in 1911 in New Orleans, with the goal of providing insurance services to Latin American countries; the founders, working in the fruit import industry, had seen a need for such services. By 1913, the company offered products in 10 states and eight countries. By 1929 they had expanded to 20 states and 13 countries.
Continued growth in the decades following WWII led to the company’s current standing, serving 49 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a total of 22 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean regions.
Pan American writes life, accident, and health insurance for individuals, and the same for businesses along with a variety of other financial products such as pensions. Their headquarters remains in New Orleans, and in 2014 they became a part of the Zurich network, one of the largest insurance networks in the world.
Pan American products are sold through agents and brokers across the service area. Some products are underwritten by subsidiaries.
Pan American Products
Product availability varies from country to country based on local needs and laws. For the purpose of this review, we will focus on products offered in the United States, where Pan American offers most of their product lineup.
Individual life, health, and accident insurance are available directly from Pan American and a subsidiary as well.
Whole life insurance and term life insurance are underwritten by Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company, part of the Pan American insurance group. The Pan American website offers limited information on these policies, linking off to the Mutual Trust website for details.
The Mutual Trust site lists four different whole life options:
- Horizon Value, a plan designed to grow guaranteed benefits early and quickly to provide access to cash accumulation accounts
- Horizon Guarantee, which focuses on lower premiums and slower cash accumulation with guaranteed death benefits
- Legacy One, a single premium policy
- Economax, a blended term and whole policy
SelectTerm is the company’s term life policy, offering term lengths between 10 and 30 years. This policy is renewable up to 98 years old as well as being convertible to a whole life product.
Universal life insurance is also listed with a very brief description, and appears to be underwritten directly as no mention is made of a subsidiary company, and Mutual Trust does not list it as a product.
Like their Universal Life, there is little detail regarding product offerings for accident insurance. Pan American appears to offer products for protection both within the home country and for travel. Visitors to the site are directed to contact an agent for more information.
The only health insurance product for individuals that is listed on the site is Medicare Supplement. Again, there is little information and a link to contact the nearest agent or office for more information.
Pan American writes a wide range of plans as employee-sponsored benefits, including health and life products.
There are four main health insurance products, ranging from an ACA-compliant health plan to a high deductible supplement plan. None of these plans appear to be true full-coverage health insurance, however, details are limited so it is unclear what is covered.
- Panabridge Advantage, which is offered either as a self-funded plan or a limited benefit indemnity plan. This plan is ACA-compliant.
- Panamed, a limited benefit indemnity plan that pays a fixed daily benefit amount.
- Medical Accident Expense, which is designed specifically to pay for accident-related medical bills
- Panabridge, a supplement plan for high-deductible health plans
The company also offers a range of supplemental insurance for specific needs.
- Cancer Care
- Critical Illness
- Medical Stop Loss
Ancillary Benefits available from the company include:
- PPO Networks
- Rx Drug Benefits
- Professional Health Services
Little detail is offered for most of these plans on the company website, and visitors must contact an agent for more information.
Pan American has two options for group life. These are a term life insurance policy with a variety of benefit options and riders available, and Paycheck Protector, a plan that pays guaranteed monthly income to the beneficiaries upon the employee’s death.
Once again, there is little in the way of detail offered on these plans, only a basic outline and directions to contact an agent.
Pan American offers accident insurance for companies, including Blanket Accident and Trucking Occupational Accident. There is also a Texas Non-Subscriber plan available.
Pan American Rates
Neither Pan American nor its subsidiary, Mutual Trust, offer online quoting at this time. As a result, we are unable to offer a comparison rate to other insurance companies.
While this is a relatively large company, much of its premium base is located in other countries. This may lead to less competitive rates in the U.S., where they are up against larger and better-known insurers.
There does not seem to be a dedicated area for claims information on the Pan American site, nor does there appear to be a direct claims line. The contact page offers a toll-free number, email address, and mailing address for reaching the company.
Policies issued by Mutual Trust will be serviced by their claims department, but again their website does not offer clear claims information.
Both companies have a policyholder login, but that may not be helpful to a beneficiary looking to file a claim, as that person may not have access to login information. While it is common for this type of company not to have a dedicated claims line, forms and instructions for filing a claim should be more readily available.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
While Pan American does have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) page, the company is not rated at the time of this review. The stated reason is lack of sufficient information, which may be due to the large operations outside of the U.S. However, it seems unusual that a company headquartered in the U.S. with more than 100 years in business would have insufficient information for a rating. The BBB has no official complaints on file and only one negative customer review.
There are three Google ratings for this company, two of which are negative and cite limited coverage for the cost of the policy and failure to pay claims.
We were unable to find much else in the way of reviews for this company, which is not surprising given the nature of its products and the large focus on countries outside the U.S.
The Bottom Line
With little information on the products, rates, and company reputation, it is difficult to form a solid opinion on Pan American. Certainly, they have a long and solid history, but likely get much of their business through employers and in Latin America. This is not the type of company the average individual is likely to select for their main insurance needs, and we would not expect them to be highly competitive in terms of rates when compared with other major insurers.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.