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Old American Insurance Company Review & Complaints: Life Insurance

Old American Insurance Company serves more than 200,000 policyholders in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Old American specializes in providing life insurance to seniors looking for final expense insurance. Old American insurance products are sold through independent agents across their service area. The company has an A- rating with the BBB.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Sep 21, 2020

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Focused on the needs of the senior market, Old American Insurance Company provides mainly final expense life insurance across the majority of the states. They are approaching 80 years in business and have a basic lineup of products.

About Old American

Old American Insurance Company was founded in 1939, and they have always been focused mainly on providing life insurance to seniors seeking final expense coverage. They are a member of the Kansas City Life Group of Companies since being acquired in 1991, and not surprisingly have their headquarters in Kansas City, MO. The family-run company is on its fourth generation of the founding family at the executive level.

Old American serves more than 200,000 policyholders in 47 states and the District of Columbia, and it has more than $1 billion of life insurance in force. Their products are sold through independent agents across their service area.

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Old American Products

Old American writes only life insurance policies, their focus since the beginning. Although final expense insurance for seniors is their main product, they also offer a policy for the opposite end of the spectrum – juvenile life.

Final Expense Life

Old American’s final expense products is a whole life insurance policy that is designed to pay funeral costs and other final expenses. The maximum death benefit offered on the policy is $25,000.

Premiums are guaranteed and the policy is guaranteed to remain in force for as long as they are being paid.

Although the plan does require that the applicant answer some health questions and is rated accordingly, there is no requirement for a medical exam in order to get coverage. The amount of the death benefit that is offered is based on the applicant’s health. They offer a graded policy as well, with limited benefits in the first two years and 100% of the death benefit offered thereafter.

Juvenile Life

Juvenile polices can be issued between the ages of two weeks and 15 years old. These plans offer a ten-year payment plan after which the policy is considered to be paid up in full, and no further premiums are charged although the policy remains in force for life. It can also be pre-paid in a single premium or shortened to eight years.

This is a whole life policy that has a cash accumulation account; that account can be accessed later in life if needed.

Rates

Old American does not offer online quoting. This is pretty standard and not surprising for a company of this sort – with a long history of agent-focused sales.

Final expense life insurance is usually fairly affordable due to the low death benefit amount, but how this company will compare to other similar companies is difficult to say.

Claims

Old American’s website is quite limited and basic and does not offer information with regards to claims. The contact page offers a toll-free customer service number, as well as a contact form that can be filled out for a reply. This form can be used to inquire about claims, but they cannot be filed this way.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Old American has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and nine complaints on file in the past three years. The BBB seems to find this volume high enough to dock the company’s rating, but with only three closed in the past 12 months, we would not think it is a matter for concern at all.

Google has 16 reviews with a 2.8-star overall rating. There are several positive reviews – notably, at least one is from an agent that works with them and not a customer, and several negative reviews citing denial of claims and poor customer service.

We did not find any major red flags with Old American, and the complaint volume is not high for the size of the company.

The Bottom Line

Old American is a very focused company with very limited policy options. Without rate information, it is difficult to compare them to other companies, but they might be worth considering if presented as an option by an insurance agent with rates provided.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

24 Comments

  1. John Andrew “Andy” McAfee, General Agent, for Old American Insurance Company. His office is at 714 Broadway in Hannibal, Missouri. McAfee was fined $5000 by the Attorney General of Iowa for “deceptive mail practices”. He sent over 60,000 mailings to Iowans offering “free government benefits” in violation of state and federal law.

    February 4, 2019
    Older Iowans warned about offers of ‘free government benefits’
    Companies barred from sending deceptive mailers to Iowans

    DES MOINES — Older Iowans who receive official-looking mailers with “FREE government benefits” in large print should beware: A private company might be fishing for your information and trying to sell you insurance.

    An Arizona printing company and a Missouri insurance agency must stop sending deceptive mailers to Iowans as a result of separate consent judgments. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office had alleged that the companies had violated the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act and the Older Iowans Act.

    The mailers were sent to at least 61,750 Iowans. The front of the mailers had an illustration of the U.S. Capitol, and below it said “Official Business” and “Important information about your government benefit.” The envelopes also said “Receive your FREE Government Benefits Information Brochure” with “Free Government Benefits” in larger type.

    Inside, the mailer offered a “Senior Final Expense Program” that would “pay 100% of all funeral expenses not paid by Social Security, up to $15,000 for each senior covered. To see if you qualify, mail this postage paid card today.” The addressee was asked to provide name, address, phone, age and spouse’s age and name. In small type at the bottom of the page, the card read “Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government or Medicare program.”

    The Attorney General’s investigation showed that the mailers were targeted to Iowans as old as 85 and with annual incomes as low as $15,000. More than 1,000 Iowans responded to the mailer. The mailers were sent by Countrywide Printing and Mailing Services, LLC, of Tempe, Ariz., at the direction of McAfee and Associates of Hannibal, Mo.

    In a consent judgment entered by Fifth District Chief Judge Arthur Gamble in November, Countrywide and its owner, Troy V. Fish, are barred from engaging in printing and mailing services aimed at Iowa consumers. They also must pay $10,000 to the Consumer Fraud Enforcement Fund and destroy any names or other personal information of Iowans. Fish also agreed to cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation.

    In a consent judgment entered by Polk County District Judge Celene C. Gogerty on Wednesday, McAfee and Associates and its representatives — John A. McAfee of Hannibal; Alexander Chasteen of West Des Moines; Clay Walters of Grimes, Iowa; Justin Roberts of Waukee; and Rachael Edmondson of Kansas City, Mo. — are barred from sending mailers to Iowans that, among other things, “create a false impression that the mailer is sent from any government entity or department.” The mailers also must say that McAfee and Associates is a for-profit insurance business. The defendants must pay $5,000 total to the state.

    McAfee and its agents denied that they were involved in the design of the mailers.

    If the defendants violate the consent judgment, they could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 per day of the violation under Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act.

    Businesses that commit fraud against the elderly can face additional civil penalties under the Older Iowans Act.

    Seniors are frequent targets of scammers, according to a U.S. Senate report released in January. The Special Committee on Aging found that older adults lose an estimated $2.9 billion each year to financial scams. Among the top scams are people posing as representatives of government agencies.

    If you receive questionable mailings or calls, contact the Iowa Attorney General’s Office:

    Website: http://www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov

    Email: consumer@ag.iowa.gov

    Phone: 515-281-5926 (outside the Des Moines area, call toll-free: 888-777-4590)

    Reply
  2. I have a question. My mother and father have been paying Old American ins.co. For more than 20 years. They told me that it was an insurance company that covered funeral expenses,etc,etc. My mother passed away 4 days ago. And my dad lost or misplaced the policy folder. He’s in a panic… My question is,how can he proceed? He’s 91 years old. He’s also a little prideful. Can he get a copy of the policy ?

    Reply
    • Hey David, my name is Chris Bikin I am an agent with old American. Send me an email at chrisbikinlifeinsurance@gmail.com and I can help guide you through everything or you can call the company from the phone number listed at Oaic.com.

      Reply
  3. Just found out my father in law surpassed his total benefit. The agent understood this but didn’t offer anything except that we could collect a small portion of it back by canceling. Ripoffs.

    Reply
    • Get an attorney and sue the company and the agency involved. Contact your state insurance department.

      Reply
  4. Dave Ramsey, the Christian Financial Adviser, states that this form of insurance “whole life” and “burial life” like that which is sold by Old American Insurance Company of Kansas City, Missouri “is a ripoff”. And it is. You are better off buying term insurance from a company with the cheapest premiums. You may be better off to join a “funeral society” to find a cheaper funeral also. Old American Insurance Company has been scamming senior citizens with their inferior products and fraudulent insurance sales tactics and illegal tricks that are pulled by the agent on the insurance application including forgery of an applicant’s signature. My advice is to stay clear of this company and their uneducated agents.

    Reply
  5. Old American Insurance Company hires uneducated subpar agents who commit insurance fraud in multiple states.
    The worst agency is the [Redacted] Insurance Agency in Hannibal, Missouri. These agents in this agency will neglect to fill out the health questions on the application and have the applicants sign and initial a blank application. Then the agent will go back in and fill it out the way he wants it to pass O.A.’s Underwriting Department. If the applicant dies within the first two years of the policy then the company O.A. will deny the claim and say that the applicant lied to the agent on the application. This is insurance fraud. Other things the agents will say is that your cash value in the policy is like a savings account. Not true! Steer clear of Old American Insurance Company of Kansas City, Missouri because they are committing fraud in multiple states. The FBI and state’s attorney generals should investigate this company to the max. Seize their hard files and computer records at the home office and at the agency’s office at numerous locations.

    Reply
  6. My mother bought a small policy in 1985 and is still paying the same premiums. She surpassed the face value by 400% and yet was never notified she had paid the value of policy years back. I find this extremely upsetting that a company can take advantage of elders in this fashion.

    Reply
    • That’s how life insurance works.You continue to pay until you pass away, unless it is term insurance which expires before age 75-80 and the rates increase.If she got the policy in 1985 you figure that’s 30 years.I am assuming she lived into her late 70s or 80’s?

      Reply
      • Oh, well my husband was just with an agent who says that Old American Insurance, you only pay in 20 years and then stop. You have it from the time you start and regardless of when you die. I am checking them out and reading a conflicting arguement here.

        Reply
        • My question to you Laura is what type of product did he get from old American? We have term insurance, whole life insurance and 10 year paid up whole life insurance?That could mean multiple things what you said.

          Reply
        • I am checking it out also. As matter of fact, I signed up for it since I was quoted a good price versus other policies for my age 75, but still going to check other policies including American National.

          Reply
          • Too many things were fishy so we barely got out within the month. I would have read the paperwork earlier that he gave us but I was ill. Turns out the paper he gave us had us listed for a totally different policy. I had 30 days to either return it to the salesman or the company for our money back. I first sent it to the salesman (who believe me, had us fooled and I thought I was shrewd). Didn’t hear any replies to my phone calls despite his having always returned our calls before. Of course, you always get their answering machine and you can’t find their home address. Before going to rip off or BBB, etc (which it is not a member) I wrote the company an official letter of what I wanted done not expecting to get a reply. They had already neglected to get back with me as promised as they were going to contact the salesman as it wasn’t really their problem. However, with the official letter sent via certified mail, the company did answer and send a reply and a refund. I do not think the company is innocent at all but they try to keep just above water.

  7. My questions are about the application. Since my husband was in a surly way that day, the rep and I went over the application questions. Was advised that the questions all had time frames and within those frames the answers were all no. He advised me to tell my husband to answer all the telephone interview questions with a no, which he did but does not remember hearing the time frames.
    The rep called this morning saying he’d been excepted. Were there time frames in the interview? Can they say he lied an therefore not pay out a claim after paying out for years? Lost a little sleep last night thinking about this.
    Sad when you just plain can’t trust people and corporations anymore. Especially when money is involved.

    Reply
    • I understand and I would like to know the answer to your question as well.

      Reply
      • Hi Tawana and Debra! I’m an Old American agent and would like to let you know that there isn’t much of a time frame on the calls. In general, if you don’t answer within 30 seconds they will ask if you are still on the phone, at which point they will likely give you a set period of time to indicate you are on the phone, after which time they will hang up if no response is received.

        Reply
        • That part is true.

          I just went over my interview with my agent, and on the phone, and that is exactly what they did during my phone interview.

          Reply
  8. Eric, several of your comments concerning Old American are incorrect. Old American added preferred rates in Sept of 2014. Also, Old American is not geared toward those who are ill. On the contrary, many agents will steer their clients toward a guaranteed issue CO such as Gerber or Kemper. Also, Old American issues standard policies up to the age of 85 – not age 80 as you had stipulated. I have found their easy issue rates to be in the top 30 % of rates when I do my own comparisons. The strength of the company is likely their customer service since phone call are typically answered by a real person. If you have other questions about the company, feel free to ask. Definitely not perfect, but a solid small ins. Company…

    Reply
  9. After signing the green card I was contacted and an in home presentation was scheduled. I was given a pitch on how the Life Ins policy could accrue over time and I could draw on the money once it did which would be a good resource for a retiree such as me. The only paperwork I was provided to review was the rate sheet so I could decide the coverage I wanted based on the premium. Once the process was completed I was left with a brochure and business card. Overnight I became doubtful and made an effort to contact the agent via text/email/voice mail with no response. The second morning I called the corporate # which I found online and was informed the policy had been submitted and my bank drafted for the premium and it had not yet been 48 hours. The agent promised me my bank would not be drafted until the 22nd of the month when my funds would be replenished. Apparently my intuition was correct this person was giving me a sales pitch that was inaccurate. Customer service said they would send me a form to submit a letter of cancellation. I hope Old American is more reputable than the agent.

    Reply
  10. I have been receiving calls from this company for the pass week asking me to buy their insurance. I have told them that I am on the no call list and they still call. I tried to call back the same number that they called me from and the number is not in service. Please stop calling people that do not want your service.

    Reply
    • As an agent for the company, the only way that agents can contact you is if you fill out a lead card giving them your information such as you name number and additional information.If you don’t want to be contacted I would advise not sending back the lead cards in the mail otherwise the way an agent looks at it you are a prospect.I hope everything has been straightened out for you.

      Reply
  11. Eric,

    What is your opinion on working for Old American Insurance Company? My son-in-law has been working for them for the past 6 months and it just doesn’t seem like a very profitable job.

    Thanks,

    Rick

    Reply
    • Hi Rick,

      My insight into working for Old American Insurance Company is going to be limited, and it really does depend on what your son-in-law is doing for them.

      I can say from an overview level that selling insurance (assuming that is what he is doing) can be very profitable if done successfully. However, the learning curve is steep and it can take a long time to ramp up. One of the best sayings I heard about insurance went something like:

      “The first five years you work harder than anyone and get paid less. After that, you make more than most and have to work less.”

      Of course that is very dependent on the personal situation, but the point is it can be very difficult to build a book of business. Once that book is full, a lot of the money comes in on auto pilot when clients renew each year.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
      • I guess I wouldn’t complain about this company in relation to what it pays its employees!!! If salesmen WERE making big money, then insureds would have something to question. i just hope it’s on the up and up and that when my family needs the payout for my funeral, the money is there as promised. However, you Rick, should remove your silly complaint.

        Reply

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