American Income Life

www.ailife.com
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American Income Life Reviews

Updated March 3, 2015
Updated March 3, 2015
664 Reviews
3.2
664 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Income Life CEO Roger Smith
Roger Smith
377 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You have the opportunity to make a lot of money if you have what it takes to make the sale (in 20 reviews)

  • If you are a shark you will do well and make a lot of money off the backs of others (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • There are not any cons that I can think of other than the long hours (in 67 reviews)

  • The only way to make a lot of money is to be dishonest (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 90 people found this helpful  

    Might Be The Longest & Hopefully the Most Honest & Balanced Review on Glassdoor Concerning AIL. Please read to the end!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Regional Director
    Current Employee - Regional Director

    I have been working at American Income Life full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    So many pros here....let's start with:

    1) Freedom & flexibility- the ability to be an independent contractor (1099 associate) who can set their own hours, work pace, and income level.

    2) Preparation for the future- It is also nice that you can utilize AIL to gain valuable knowledge about sales, marketing, business development, communications and almost any other valuable skill/trait you would normally acquire in a university/college setting before setting out into the professional world. AIL is a great place for people to develop a solid core for what may lie ahead in their future for what they ultimately want to do for the rest of their lives.

    3) A fully-vested, Union-protected 10-year renewal plan makes achieving whatever you want to do in life possible- whether it is starting your own business or a non-profit, without taking out huge small business loans. Work hard now- enjoy the financial benefits for the rest of your life.

    4) The socialization aspect: from policyholders to co-workers to the random person that opens up the door to you on a daily basis there is never a boring day @ AIL. In short, we get paid to drive, talk, and help educate people on how to be financially literate when it comes to insurance and savings. Also, we get invited to BBQ's, family functions, and many other cool events from our members. It is impossible to work @ AIL and not develop a strong social network as a result of working here!

    5) The opportunity to be given recognition and additional responsibilities based on your own results, instead of on tenure or who you know

    6) Legitimate 6-figure income reality...I've personally only had 1 year under $100,000 and I took a ton of time off that year. I had never made more than 50,000 per year working 60-70 hours per week in retail prior to AIL.

    7) Good Senior Leadership/Mentors: although rare, this company truly some fantastic individuals sitting in high-profile & decision-making positions within the company...many of whom truly live the company's mottos and operating principles to the 'T'

    8) Ability to rebound quickly in a financial crisis- whether it happens directly or indirectly to you there a very few professional opportunities where you can go make an extra 10K or so the following month, even if you are not a manager. While money is the root of all evil, it can also help you do great by and support those around when times get tough. As long as someone focuses on the beneficial aspects of the monetary opportunity at AIL they will be in a good place.

    9) Running your own business- as long as you are showing results and growth, you can run your own office(s) with nearly absolute autonomy. But, unlike running your own traditional business, you have the support of a Fortune 700 company and its senior leaders when you need it. It's the best of both world's really.

    Cons

    NOTE: Every individual AIL office is franchised and no two are exactly alike in nature...just like a fast-food chain or multiple-location gym.

    Depending on your SGA (AIL franchise-owner), RGA, MGA, and other upline managers, you may have the above-mentioned freedom & financial opportunities inhibited by several factors including:

    1) Micromanagement- many managers treat their associates like W-2 employees in their daily interactions with them and should be reminded of the 6-Point Test for Independent Contractors to help them develop a working relationship that is more true to the nature of their contract. Recommend to do something, but not require them to do something. Small but huge difference between the two.

    2) Too heavy of a focus on the scripts- teach your associates the script and it's key components but don't hold back their creativity and interpretation of the presentation- remember, you hired them because they were intelligent beings (I hope)...not script-reciting robots.

    3) Mandatory Meetings- yikes, this is a huge legal volcano waiting to bury the SGA's of this company. Recommend attendance and explain why it is important associates are there...and leave it at that.

    4) Lack of accountability from senior management- remember, you are not infallible...quit making promises you can't back up and if you fail to uphold your end of the bargain, make it right in whatever way possible!

    5) Buddy-buddy system- depending on the SGA, many are very cliquey and develop too tight of an inner-circle where the general attitude becomes very akin to a fanatic cult. Stay true to your standards and guidelines, not to who challenges you the least and edifies the very ground you walk on

    6) Chargebacks and selective underwriting- you may actually owe the money back to the company if you submit a policy that does not get issued due to health, even though sometimes the insured met the underwriting guidelines of the field guide you were issued. AIL also does not like to underwrite large policies for some reason.

    7) Too many traps in the bonus system- many times as a senior manager I have not earned the bonuses I projected on earning because of the several pitfalls in the bonus system, such as the quality of the downline manager (the manager you are supervising), the fact that your downline managers did not code enough new associates (even though you might have)

    8) The Peter-principle- associates are promoted to management positions to rapidly in many SGAships across AIL so they never get a chance to fully grow into their previous role and end up failing miserably at everything. Give junior associates more time to hone their skills before throwing the next task(s) at them. If you want to grow so bad, go do it yourself and stop forcing others to take on your responsibilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Before I give advice to management (see below) I would like to give some advice to those reading reviews: 90% of the content of the negative reviews you see on this site are TRUE, to one degree or another. But remember, no one generally goes to the internet to blog about how great things are- it's usually to complain or expose what they feel is negative. However, some red flags for you (the potential job seeker) when you are reading reviews: if someone says the word "employee" in their review you can essentially disregard the rest of the review due to the actual nature of the contract they signed.

    Also, if someone complains about travelling they simply were not paying attention to the interview process (or the local office wasn't being truthful)- they were blinded by the $$ potential. And finally if anyone complains about management not being truthful, in most cases I have observed it's because they came ill-prepared for the interview and did not ask enough and/or the right questions. To expand on that, another huge reason for attrition is lack of spousal support. The new associate might not have clearly explained the opportunity & its requirements to their spouse or s/o- approx. I would put the figure of dissatisfied agents around 60% of the total % of dissatisfied agents that promise their better halves the world via this opportunity and do not prepare them for the initial 3-6 month grind required to be successful long-term.

    My advice to candidates: don't sign on the dot for the job- ask to ride along (job shadow) the person interviewing for a day or two before committing to the opportunity. Also, once you commit: do so for a minimum of 6-months. This is not a career you can gauge on a daily or weekly basis.

    Now that I have said that, I am exited to provide some valuable some advice to the management:

    1) Stop hiring everybody! This career should not be someone's first "real job"...you really do need a bit of good educational or professional experience (at minimum an internship or working entry-level at a successful company, regardless of industry) prior to joining AIL. AIL is only good for a gateway into the financial services industry, not into the general realm of employment itself! By hiring bad candidates you alienate the good candidates in your organization and the opportunity does not seem that special anymore, hurting agency culture and individual drive.

    2) Hire by necessity- not in advance to replace the inevitable turnover. If you are losing agents left and right, aggressive hiring on a weekly basis will do nothing but apply a 1-month Band-Aid to the solution and fill the pockets of your SGA!! In order to stop turnover, book a ton of interviews and only select the absolute best candidates, mentor them to obtain their license, and support them during their 1st 90 days as if they were the last agents you are ever going to hire. In short, don't hire their replacement until they give you a reason to do so.

    3) Know your territory and the opportunities/constraints it provides, don't out hire your available resources to where your agents must produce 90% of their leads by referrals just to have a weekly paycheck. Referrals are awesome, but remember- we are a UNION company, first and foremost. When those goes by the wayside, so does our niche and the business model itself will start to decay leaving us at the same level as State Farm, New York Life, Farmers, etc...just a general insurance company looking to present to anybody willing to listen to our "spiel".

    4) Educate your Agency Owners (running their own office) about business & tax legalities. Don't force them to invest their money, hire associates under the table, put agents on mandatory schedules...and then when they get in trouble hide behind the "Oh, well they are an independent contractor" guise. Step up and take ownership of the actions of those below you that you have mentored.

    5) Do more with less. Currently as a company I feel we could double our production but cutting 1/3 of our agency force and cutting recruiting efforts by over 66%...this would leave 2-3 uninterrupted weeks to devote to the proper mentoring of those associates we bring on to our respective teams and provide the time needed for managers to increase production so junior managers can afford to give away some business to a new associate once they pass their state licensing exam. If you want to recruit every week, you personally should pay for the staff to do so instead of shifting the financial & logistical burden onto managers below you w/ a fraction of your income.

    6) Be upfront and don't tell lies to people in the hiring process. Set up clear expectations (in writing) and don't be afraid to sign your name on the line of what the position will entail from day 1 - retirement.

    7) Make a commitment to yourself that you will help this company be great again- yes we are making more $$ than ever before and our company's growth is nothing short of admirable....let's just leave a smaller "trail of blood" in the process and not build OUR dreams on the obliterated ones of wide-eyed newbies who often entrust us with the last bit of money, time, and trust they have left during these rough times. Let's be a positive example for labor and not a thorn in its side.

    8) Create a more formal business structure by creating roles for key associates and assisting junior managers with their investments in the structure of their business...instead of giving away thousands of dollars of I-pads, vacations and other ridiculous prizes that only benefit the top 10% of the company. It's time to stop making a non-MLM company appear like one.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    I have been working at American Income Life as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    RESIDUAL INCOME. After receiving my first renewal check. It's been easier to stay committed to this career. No matter what the adversity. Then stacking years of results on top of results. I've been blessed with bigger and bigger renewals. I have great retention so it's no question if I will be getting one each month. As a matter of fact. My renewals pay the majority of my bills. I have replaced my previous income at my prior dead end jobs with residual income. I literally make more money in renewals each year than I did working a 20k/year hourly wage job. All I had to do was make 2 strong years of sacrifice. It wasn't easy. But I know this. I could have stayed in my current position and still been in the same place wishing I had a better opportunity to provide a better life for my family and future family. I've had great months making 10k or more. I've had bad months as well. Self inflicted bad results from lack of effort and full commit is the real reason. I can make all the excuses I want. That's the bottom line truth. I don't have to stress like the many years before this opportunity. I have freedom. Sure. I still have hard times. I'm human. It's part of life. But the hard times get easier after each year in the business. I get better at what I do and my income gets hire each year. What an amazing opportunity! Its a constant grind. But only for a short time in life. 10years isn't that long compared to working until I'm 70. Think about it....what are you willing to endure to assure you take full advantage of this great opportunity? I don't agree with many ways business is conducted in the office. But we have a great lead system and great products. The best life insurance program I have been able to find over all. So no matter what I do and don't agree with in office. It doesn't change the truth and power of our marketing system and our products. Hands down I believe I offer the best product to my members. I do this for them. In return. I am rewarded and blessed. It's a win win. I don't need to worry about how each office is run. I've established myself. I advise anyone who understands long term visions and is willing to deal with and over come negativity and adversity to do the same. Overall each office is different. I've seen great leaders create amazing atmospheres that made me want to be at the office and fired me up with excitement. I've also dealt with the opposite and avoided it. I refuse to let those circumstances take away my future though.

    10years life time vesting. Wow. Life time renewals for my family. Even when I die my renewals pay out to my family until all my clients are no longer living or cash out their policies. That's opportunity! That's financial security!

    Overall. Company wide. Amazing people! It's a blessing to work with so many great people. I can't say all people are great. Or perfect. Or even trustworthy. Who can? At any work place... I've made some amazing friends. I'm close to many clients and developed strong friendships with them. I've been able to network in so many different areas and demographics. My connections are very impressive. I feel blessed.

    Cons

    Adversity is reality. You will face it. If you don't have a strong support system at home. I must say it again. STRONG! Meaning that they can't quit on you the moment you have a bad week. Or a bad year. They must understand the reality of the long term vision.
    The ideal candidate for this career has no children, or has a stay at home spouse if they do have children. If you are a single parent. Unless your parents or other family members and close firends are willing to basically raise your child for you. You will struggle to have the time required to make sufficient sales inorder to pay your bills, provide for your children, and pay your taxes. In my case. My family was supportive at first, but they soon gave up on me because it isn't their responsibility to raise my children. It was a burden. I was never home because of the sacrifices required of me from my leaders in business. I am very good at what I do. That doesn't mean I had or have time for my family. It actually meant and still means I had and have less time. I believe in a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. I know I'll be able to retire early and all sacrifices will be worth it. Missing out on many great moments now for a sucure future is a tough price to pay. Not all have that mindset. But my family doesn't see it the way I do because they are not engaged in the day to day activities. They don't have the same passion and desire to serve and protect the families we are blessed to work with. They certainly don't benefit from it. They obsorb the burden up front. Unless your family can have faith in you and buy into your vision. You will fail. Its truly that simple.
    If you can handle your home life and have a strong support system. Then you will have other cons that ultimately will come down to your mental toughness and strength of your vision. Your "why". The reason you make the sacrifices. How bad you want it and your ability to handle adversity. What is a con? Many people would have a different answer. The bottom line is that it's something you don't like. Well. I have news for you. Ask any successful person how they achieved the great level of success they have been rewarded. Not only in this business. Ask others you know. After interviewing them you will find what I found. They where willing to do things that unsuccessful people simply were not willing to do. Yes. That means sacrificing time with children. Missing birthdays and other family events. The list can go on and on and on. The only difference is that they made the sacrifices required. Period. For one reason. Vision.

    Proverbs 29:18King James Version (KJV)
    18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

    TAXES TAXES TAXES. Yes. You have multiple write offs, but often what I observe and my own personal experience. Nobody teaches you how to save for your taxes. Nobody stresses how vital it is that you pay them or else all the sacrifices you make will be worthless. You will find yourself in thousands of dollars of debt to the IRS. This alone can drive you out of the business and destroy your credit. How does this happen. Well. You have to pay your bills right? You have to provide for your family and eat right? What happens when you don't make enough sales and your family needs food? Or you need gas to hit the field and write businesses...You spend your untaxed dollars and create major issues with the IRS. That's how it happens. It happens more than you think. Nobody talks about it, but if you last long enough in the business. You will find that many people are swimming in IRS debt. Be smart. Be disciplined. SAVE FOR YOUR TAXES AND PAY THEM!!!

    My least favorite aspect of the business is this. Bad leaders. Some where either prompted to quick or are placed in the position out of necessity. I've seen many great agents become terrible leaders and then leave the business because of it. They would have been better off as a producer, and over time; earned the position through personal development before having the opportunity to advance. Instead they promote great producers who have terrible leadership skills so that they can put multiple new agents in their car and get them coded. This way the upper management keeps getting bonuses off of production. The problem is that producer actually fails as a trainer. They get the codes but, the agent turn over rate is very high. This causes destruction in personal lives and creates bad feed back on sites like this. It's better to hire the right people and promote the right people. I personally believe it's better to grow slower and stronger than to appear to be growing faster and actually getting weaker. There doesn't need to be so much destruction on the way to the top. Remember the race between the tortoise and the hare? We all know who won that one.
    Bad retention. . Don't sell just too sell. Serve the

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach. Lead by example. Stop lying. Stop being selfish and misleading. Build loyalty by honesty. I've observed multiple back stabbing and "trimming of the fat" without any consideration of the massive sacrifices you required of your agents. Stop demanding and requiring sacrifices if you have no intention of developing an agents success. Often times you only hire to maintain your bonuses because you "need" a code. Think about how unethical that truly is. You hire someone who needs money, they pay for their own course, their own license, and spend the last of what they have to launch a career you promise will be life changing. They go through weeks of training racking up debt and stress. You "code" them enough to keep your bonus. You never truly had faith in them to be great, or succesful in the long run, but you cared about your bonus because if you don't get it. Soon you will be demoted. Meanwhile this person has sacrificed everything they had and are worse off now than they where before. They often leave before training process is complete because you lack the willingness to develop them. Or. They quickly realize they have been mislead. For those who do make it through training class. Only your favorites get the attention needed. Once they served their purpose and you realize they won't be successful. You refuse to give them leads because they are not generating and ALP. This ultimately will cause them to quit. Which is exactly what you want. This could have all been avoided if you simply would have been honest up front in the third interview looking at the big picture. The career simply isn't for them. Understand their current home life and situations and weigh that against the reality of the business. Help them understand what they are committing to before you hurt them. Don't just hire for codes and bonuses. Hire because you want the right people on the bus. Don't let people take a ride and promise to get them to the promise land, but leave them stranded in the desert.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    just finished my first year

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Eatontown, NJ
    Current Employee - Manager in Eatontown, NJ

    I have been working at American Income Life full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Im making great money and was able to retire my wife in my 8th month! I have 3 children and i make enough to provide for them and my wife all on my own. I have met some amazing people here who have really opened my eyes to what is possible. Also i have qualified for convention, and my wife and I will be going on a all expense paid trip to California. I am incredibly exited for my future here. I will be with this company for the rest of my LIFE!

    Cons

    HOURS HARD WORK BLAH BLAH. I cant understand for the life of me how people complain about this opportunity. In my opinion only a piker would complain about the leads. If you have ever worked in life insurance before you would know that any lead is great because most companies don't have any! Also i see a review here that says go 4-5 years with almost no pay?!? you have to be out of your mind i made over 80K this first year and i know that 4 years from today i will be making over 300K annually.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to learn selling techniques and advance quickly within a company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Insurance Sales Agent
    Current Employee - Insurance Sales Agent

    I have been working at American Income Life

    Pros

    Pay, there is really an unlimited earning potential, flexible hours, excellent training and continued support offered from the start.

    Cons

    Commission, high quotas, unrealistic expectations, forced to invest into "your business" which is really investing into your managers business at your expense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the employees more to gain an understanding of the current problems .

  6.  

    Great company with unlimited potential but you must memorize a sales speech before you are allowed in the feild.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Insurance Agent in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Insurance Agent in Oklahoma City, OK

    I have been working at American Income Life

    Pros

    Unlimited income potential, ability to make your own schedule, and a great environment of people giving you that extra push.

    Cons

    You must work the schedule they want you to for the first 90 days. This means you have to work on Saturdays so no weekend trips.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow people to work on Saturdays only if they wish to or make it biweekly. When training on the script give people a personal cubical instead of one chaotic room.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    I hope this works out for me.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Insurance Sales Agent in Roseville, MN
    Current Contractor - Insurance Sales Agent in Roseville, MN

    I have been working at American Income Life as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The lifesyle it brings is very powerful. 3 months experience with this company and I'm already around many important people in the company. Great training, the personal values I've learned and the money are promising. It's very relaxing knowing that many fail here unless they are focused and have a clear goal in life. Pay attention to details and advice other employees give you, they want you to succeed so that they can grow too.

    Cons

    Consider saving a few months pay before inquiring for a job here; the first few months are to be looked upon as "on the job training" with few chances to make a decent income. The culture is very introvert to what most would see sales as. Travel and hours are somewhat long, not recommended to older generations or people with a "professional only" attitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation during training seems to be a common concern with employees and potential applicants. Paying attention to hiring only efficient applicants and training employees differently could be an approach to this concern. I love it here, keep us happy and we'll return the love.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    SALES REP

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in State College, PA
    Current Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in State College, PA

    I have been working at American Income Life

    Pros

    unlimited earning potential. great programs for the clients. great bonus'. no cold calling at all. I get to see towns and meet people I would have never met. Growing as a person is my #1 reason for working here. yes the $ is great, but im encouraged to read books listen to audio and better my diet. I really love working here. the renewals are awesome!

    Cons

    cons? no cons. sacrifice comes to mind as a con. just longer hours during training. short term sacrifice for long term gain.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    like working a lot

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Income Life

    Pros

    good people to work for

    Cons

    takes a lot of time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    better leads

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Being a Business Owner at Ail

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boothwyn, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boothwyn, PA

    I have been working at American Income Life full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    8 Out of 10
    That is the the amount of new businesses that fail. This career is similar if you have the drive and motivation you will do well. Everyone thinks they can run a business; and then are surprised when they find out that owning a business the most difficult endeavor you will ever undertake. Show me a brand new business that makes a million dollars in the first year? First 6 months? First month? But this is what people think is going to happen. Million dollar business are a product of time, energy, sweat, and a lot of sacrifices. If you can devote yourself, believe in yourself, and not give up no matter how impossible it gets over time you will succeed.
    In the words of Thomas Edison "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

    Cons

    The business needs time and patience. It will be the hardest thing you will ever do but don't give up!!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Initial training was good. Sales presentation too long.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Licensed Originator in Blue Bell, PA
    Former Employee - Licensed Originator in Blue Bell, PA

    I worked at American Income Life

    Pros

    positive environment. Good mix of people. Positive training methods with mix of technics.

    Cons

    Sales script way too long. AIL relies way too much on a computered sales pitch to present there products. Also during the sales pitch agents ask for referals before giving the clients there figures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    shorter presentations. Less dependency on a laptop to sell. More personable approach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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