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American National Insurance Company Complaints : A Review
Losing a loved one is something that none of us look forward to. There are times when we place those thoughts to the wayside, believing deep within ourselves that it can be put off for another day. We contact different companies and try to understand what would be best, knowing there will be financial expenses involved. From burial expenses to medical debt many companies claim they are there for you at a time of loss. American National Insurance Company based in Galveston, Texas is not one of those companies.
Although rated in the top 10, when you look at the complaints filed and penalties an insurer would believe that is a reputable company with a good track record, considering they insure over a million people in the United States, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia and American Samoa. They provide a code of ethics that explains they play by all of the rules they are governed under. Their profit margins dated July 26, 2010, appear to be flawless.
But behind all of those numbers is a company who takes months to fund a Life Insurance Policy without any explanation of why it takes so long. When you contact a representative and begin to ask questions, there is not an explanation and each month they always state it will be sent at any time.
Watching A Family Member Suffer
In September of 2009 my Mother-In-Law past away, of natural causes. For years she had been paying American National Insurance monthly premiums on Life Insurance policies until her death. By December the company had received the Death Certificate and began to process the information. My husband knew it would take a little time before the policy was funded, so he allowed them time to process the information. In the same month, his Aunt received an X amount of dollars but he and his sister were left on the back burner. By April he made contact, which was approximately 120 days and the stated they were still working on the claim. He respected what they had to say and waited until June. When making contact in June they still did not provide an answer and said it would more than likely fund at the end of June. He waited. Nothing happened. Of course, he did not wish to make any waves but was a little agitated because we were into the 6-month without any response. He contacted the local representative in our state and they also stated that the policy would fund by July 2010. Feeling somewhat relieved, he continued on without worry. They contacted him and asked him if he would like to have Life Insurance policies written by the company. But due to all of the delays, all of the excuses and the frustration, he cordially declined. It is now almost August 1, 2010, we are nearing the one-year anniversary of his mother's passing. He is still waiting. How much more is out there? They have great second-quarter profits to report, but one can see why. Their profits are up which is because they are not taking care of there policyholders.
When our grandmother passed away, she had Colonial Penn and MetLife there was not any delays or issues. Unlike American National Insurance they provided accurate information and explained the process thoroughly. Those companies fund in a timely manner. We can understand why their numbers were reported well and they were trading high on the stock market, they were not providing customer service nor releasing any funds. If they were it was minimal. So while many policyholders sit on hold for months, waiting to pay a person's debt who has passed away and dealing with their creditors. American National Insurance is busy reporting profitable numbers instead of being concerned about there policyholders.
A Jaded Past
American National Insurance has a very jaded past. During the companies early stages, it has been documented that they were tied in with Maceo Crime Syndicate during the first half of the 20th Century. They had been tied in with questionable dealings with mob figures such as Jimmy Hoffa, Teamsters, Moe Dalitz and the Cleveland mob. During the 40's when Las Vegas was expanding, it has been noted that American National Life Insurance was heavily involved with the financing and development of Las Vegas.
Before taking out Life Insurance policies, health insurance, mutual plans, pension funds with American National Insurance, detailed research and questions should be asked. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Although the ratings appear to be strong it makes a person wonder, what hand they are shaking to get those scores.
Choosing A Reputable Company
Life insurance is a gift that is given when a family needs it the most. Bills continue to come through the mail, bill collectors would like to get paid. When you lose a loved one, it should not be a time for stress but a time to reflect and begin to heal. It should not take months or years to get things resolved. It should not be about the check is in the mail, but sincerity and understanding. When choosing a reputable life insurance company, look at the companies history. Ask your neighbors, friends, co-workers if they have ever heard of them, or what their experiences were with the company they had chosen. Because they are rated high does not necessarily mean they are customer service friendly. Many companies will automatically take your money every month, but when the time comes to reciprocate you could be standing in line.
1. Pay attention to detail and fine print, don't just sign on the dotted line.
2. There are different types of Life Insurance so don't let them talk you into, what they believe would benefit you. Read and research about the types.
3. Ask questions about the length of time it takes to fund, what the process is, and if any delays what would cause them. Get the facts.
4. Follow-up is important. Check-in every couple of weeks to get an update.
5. You are entitled to all of the interest that accrues during the process so don't get shortchanged with the provider you choose.
6. Everyone has rights, check into the time frame that a company has to fund the money.
7. Don't be afraid to file a complaint. Many times policyholders are fearful of filing against there insurance companies. If you believe there is wrongdoing, step-up and get assistance.
8. If you cannot get answers. work your way to the top someone knows what is happening and your money could be laying on someone's desk.
9. You are in control. You paid the premiums, you are always entitled to answers.
There are many companies that would like to have your business, so don't fall prey to the first one you see. Sometimes paying a little higher premium can go along way.
American National Insurance is not a company that we would ever choose to do business with. Their customer service is poor, their response is not timely, and their promises are always broken. If you are willing to sit and wait for months, choose them. If you are looking for Peace and relief knowing that you will find comfort and will be able to take care of your loved one's creditors in a timely manner, choose a company that is known for service, understanding, compassion and respect for their policyholders just like New York Life Insurance company, MetLife, Colonial Penn or Mutual of Omaha who has been around for over a 100 years and have positive reputations, simply by word of mouth.