If you are comparing life insurance cover, this independent AIG review takes a detailed look at AIG’s life insurance policy - including types of cover available, the typical cost of premiums and any additional benefits provided.
Who is AIG
AIG, or American International Group, was founded in 1919 by Cornelius Vander Starr in China as ‘American Asiatic Underwriters’. The first US office opened in 1926 and the company headquarters moved from Shanghai, China to New York City in 1939.
The first offices in the United Kingdom opened in 1953, and four years later offices opened in Australia. In 1984, AIG began trading on the New York Stock Exchange and in 1992, Lloyd’s of London and AIG agreed to establish the first insurance company underwriting operation located at Lloyd’s.
Seven years later, AIG acquired Sun America Inc, and in 2001 it acquired American General Corporation. Tata and AIG established a joint venture general insurance company in India the same year. Further acquisitions have included Travel Guard (2006), Ageas Protect (2014), Laya Healthcare (2015) and Validus Holdings (2018).
In 2020, AIG won the 'Best Added Value Provider' and 'Best Individual Life Insurance' at the Cover Excellence Awards. At the Protection Review Awards AIG picked up the award for 'Best Underwriting and Claims 2020'. Also in 2020, LifeSearch awarded AIG the 'Best Critical Illness Provider' as well as 'Outstanding Insurer of the Year'.
The points below provide a brief overview of AIG’s life insurance policy, including cover types, the insurer’s claims history and some of the additional benefits provided.
- Policy types: Choose from level term, decreasing term, increasing term, whole of life cover, family income benefit, as well as Life Start cover (where premiums start low and increase over time) and Instant Life Insurance (allowing you to get cover more quickly). Choose from joint and single policies. Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included and you can combine life insurance with Critical Illness cover.
- Claims record: 2020 data not yet published. 2019 - AIG did not publish the percentage of claims it paid and instead chose to share the values - £48 million paid out in life insurance claims; £30 million paid out in critical illness claims and £12 million for terminal illness claims. 2018 - Life insurance 99%, critical illness 94%. 2017 - Life insurance 98%, critical illness 93%. 2016 - 96%, critical illness 92.3%.
- Additional benefits: Policyholders have access to Smart Health which offers doctor consultations and mental health support. If you take out critical illness cover with life insurance, children’s critical illness cover is automatically included.
- Up to £100 cashback: If you apply for a policy through LifeSearch* (simply click on the link and complete the short form), you will receive up to £100 cashback. You can find out more below.
AIG Policy Summary
The table below highlights the key facts and figures for AIG's life insurance policy:
|Type of cover||Life Insurance|
|Options||Level term, decreasing term, increasing term, whole of life, family income benefit. Option to choose Life Start cover where premiums start low and increase by 3.5% each year (ideal for those on a budget) or Instant Life Insurance which has a short online application and provides cover quickly.|
|Policy Coverage||Single, joint life first event (pays out on first death) or joint life second event.|
|Terminal Illness Cover included?||Terminal Illness Cover is included which pays out if the policyholder is diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months.|
|Can cover increase over time (indexation)?||If you choose an increasing cover, the sum assured will increase by 5% every year.|
|Waiver of Premium||Waiver of Premium can be added to your policy for an additional cost. This means you won’t have to pay your premiums if you are incapacitated for longer than 26 weeks.|
|Minimum age at entry||17|
|Maximum age at entry||86|
|Policy Exclusions||Suicide in the first 12 months is not covered. Suicide will also not be covered if you have increased the sum assured in the 12 months prior to death. Terminal Illness Cover will not pay out if the illness does not meet the definition in the policy or if it is not expected to lead to death within 12 months.|
The table below highlights the key facts and figures for AIG's critical illness cover:
|Type of cover||Critical Illness|
|Options||CIC Start, Core critical illness cover, Enhanced critical illness cover or Key 3 cover|
|Can it be combined with life cover?||Yes under its Critical Illness with Term Assurance plan.|
|Number of critical illnesses covered||AIG covers for impact rather than condition but is the equivalent of 45 illnesses under core cover and 50 under enhanced cover.
AIG Key 3 is its lower cost option of critical illness cover and covers Heart Attack, Stroke and Cancer* (these 3 illnesses make up around 80% of critical illness claims)
|Total and permanent disability cover included?||Available at extra cost|
|Children’s critical illness cover included||It is available at a flat extra cost of £7.50 to cover all your children. Pays out £50,000 for AIG's group 1 conditions and £25,000 if the child is diagnosed with a group 2 condition. Covers the equivalent of 75 conditions|
|Minimum age at entry||17|
|Maximum age at entry||75|
|Policy exclusions||No payout will be given if the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness that is not covered or the illness does not meet the definition listed in the policy. Payment will not be received if you die within two weeks of being diagnosed.|
*not all cancers are covered
Additional free benefits provided by AIG
- Life insurance includes Terminal Illness Cover which pays out if you are diagnosed with an illness that is likely to lead to death within 12 months.
- Access to Smart Health which provides on-demand consultations with GPs, as well as mental health support, an online helath check and fitness programme. This also includes access to the Best Doctors service which can provide second medical opinions.
- Access to a discretionary fund that will pay up to £300 for services such as travel costs and wigs after cancer treatment.
- AIG will pay up to £10,000 of a valid claim in advance to go towards funeral costs.
- Bereaved children have access to specialist support through the charity Winston’s Wish.
- If you choose CIC Start where the cost of the cover will increase by 3.5% each year, pregnancy and children's cover is included automatically and all conditions are covered.
Optional benefits provided by AIG
- Waiver of premium is available for an additional cost. This means your premiums will not have to be paid if you are incapacitated for longer than 26 weeks.
- Option to add Total Permanent Disability cover to critical illness cover which will pay out in one go if you become permanently disabled.
- Adult enhanced critical illness cover available at an extra cost providing cover against more illnesses and increased benefits.
- Enhanced critical illness includes pregnancy cover which provides £5,000 for specific pregnancy complications
Children's critical illness cover:
- For core, enhanced and key 3 critical illness options children’s critical illness cover costs a flat, extra £7.50 per month. Children are covered from birth up to the age of 22. Critical illness claims are paid depending on whether the condition is covered under AIG's group 1 or group 2 conditions. Group 1 conditions receive a £50,000 payout while group 2 receive £25,000. A critical illness claim can be doubled if the child is unable to be treated in the UK and has to travel abroad to be treated.
- There is an extra benefit of £5,000 for any child who suffers a birth defect.
- Children's life cover is also included and would pay £10,000.
- Children's hospitalisation benefit pays £100 per night from the 7th consecutive night in a hospital for up to 30 nights.
How much does AIG insurance cost?
To give you an idea of how much you could pay each month for AIG life insurance, the below tables show monthly premiums for £250,000 of level term life insurance over a 20-year term.
We’ve broken the figures down for both a non-smoker and smoker in different age groups and compared them to the cheapest and most expensive premiums in the market.
AIG life insurance comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Non-Smoker)
|AIG premium||Cheapest premium||Most expensive premium|
AIG life insurance comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Smoker)
|AIG premium||Cheapest premium||Most expensive premium|
NB - all premiums are quoted on a monthly basis
How much you, as an individual, will pay for your life insurance premiums will depend on a range of factors, including your age, health and lifestyle (including whether you smoke), your occupation, how much cover you choose and the length of the term. The above figures should therefore only be used as a guideline.
Before taking out a policy, it can be a good idea to speak to an independent insurance specialist who can advise on the right policy for you. Below we explain how you can also qualify for up to £100 cashback if you take out a life insurance policy.
Best way to buy AIG life insurance?
If you are considering buying a life insurance policy with AIG, it’s worth first talking through your options with an independent insurance specialist such as LifeSearch. Independent specialists can access quotes from all major insurance companies to help ensure you are choosing the right life insurance policy and/or critical illness cover. They can also advise you on how much cover you need, and help you complete your application forms.
Should you choose to put your policy into trust, an independent insurance specialist will be able to provide support and they will also be on hand if you need to make a claim in the future. To get a quote, simply fill in this short form*. There is no obligation to take out a policy, but if you do, you will qualify for up to £100 cashback.
AIG life insurance summary
- Established in 1919. In 2019, AIG paid out £48 million in life insurance claims, £30 million in critical illness claims and £12 million for customers who were diagnosed as terminally ill.
- Life insurance automatically includes Terminal Illness Cover and can also be combined with Critical Illness cover.
- Children’s critical illness cover is included with CIC Start and available for a flat £7.50 extra per month with core and enhanced critical illness cover.
- Policyholders have access to Smart Health, which provides GP consultations, mental health support and second medical opinions.
- AIG also provides a discretionary fund that will pay up to £300 to support those having cancer treatment. It will also pay up to £10,000 for funeral costs.
- AIG life insurance premiums may not necessarily be the cheapest for you as the amount you pay will depend on a range of factors. To ensure you get the right policy at the right price, it is best to shop around and compare deals carefully.
- If you buy a life insurance policy through LifeSearch*, you will receive up to £100 cashback. Simply click on the link and complete the short form to be called back at a suitable time.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch