American Income Life

www.ailife.com

American Income Life Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
638 Reviews
3.1
638 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Income Life CEO Roger Smith
Roger Smith
364 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. 77 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.  

    Just starting though I can tell it has potential for amazing growth

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

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

    Pros

    Person relationship ms between clients and coworkers. Helping someone for life and not just worrying about the money.

    Cons

    Lots of traveling. Understanding rejection and making notes of want worked and what didn't and bad candidates hurt the good candidates trying to be successful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I thought having three well paced informative interviews was great but some hired just see a big payout. I believe they will fizzle out quickly though

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Newly promoted managing director. Say yes to Surace Smith.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Director in North Royalton, OH
    Current Employee - Managing Director in North Royalton, OH

    I have been working at American Income Life

    Pros

    Unlimited opportunity for growth.
    Uncapped earning potential.
    I feel that I'm a part of something bigger than me.
    Helping agents and newly promoted managers hit their financial goals.
    Second to none training.
    The chance to be my own boss with none of the expenses of the traditional entrepreneur.

    Cons

    Big up front effort required.
    Mentally tasking.
    Physically draining.
    It's all worth it. Can't get something for nothing. Let's get real people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing. Yall changed my life.

    PS
    I'm writing this review while on vacation in a 5 star resort (Cap Cana) in Punta Cana Dominican Rep. A place and price tag I couldnt have imagined of before coming to play for Surace Smith.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    American income life has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I am proud to work for such an amazing company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervising Agent in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Supervising Agent in Austin, TX

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

    Pros

    I get to help people and their families. Have a lot of fun doing it and I get to help new agents and my fellow agents succeed.

    Cons

    The only thing I can say is this is t for everyone. If you are not dedicated or hard working then this is not for you.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    best company ive ever worked for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Master General Agent in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Master General Agent in Little Rock, AR

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

    Pros

    freedom of schedule. unlimited opportunity to advance in your career. you can make as much money as you want to.

    Cons

    make your own schedule. its up to you how many hours you want to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    the more families you help the more money you make!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    I Love my company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervising Agent in Troy, MI
    Current Employee - Supervising Agent in Troy, MI

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

    Pros

    Retire in 10yrs, Make a ton of money, great training, opportunity unlimited.

    Cons

    have to work hard, so if you dont like that this may not be for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I love em to death

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    this company has helped me to grow as a leader in incredible ways!

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

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

    Pros

    they have an incredible structure in place with a system to help me grow and be successful

    Cons

    it forces you to face the truth about who you are and your work ethic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep holding your agents to the fire and accountability, and help them to understand their goals

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Leadership 101

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisory Agent in Simi Valley, CA
    Current Employee - Supervisory Agent in Simi Valley, CA

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

    Pros

    Energetic speakers! Lots of great information for new leaders! So glad to be a part !! Time to build my team!

    Cons

    None at all at this point!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Just do it

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

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

    Pros

    The best part overall as a 23 year old is that I am debt free, aka I have paid off all of my student debt I racked up in a course of 4 years at Texas A&M University. I am expanding with and becoming into a business man overall as I grow within the company. I get to manage my income based on a system of a numbers game and income is never an issue anymore. The most important part of my job is that I am providing benefits the whole world needs, rather than trying to sell water filters or vacuums to random people. Not to mention renewal checks that are going to start paying for my new car.

    Cons

    The only cons that I can think of is someone not growing fast enough due to lack of discipline. I work a lot, but I work hard to play hard. I love to hang out and party, I still see my friends all the time, and leave enough time in my schedule to work out every morning.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Living the Dream

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervising Agnet in Tulsa, OK
    Current Employee - Supervising Agnet in Tulsa, OK

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

    Pros

    Coming to american Income was the best life decision I have ever made. I was like so many people, trying to make ends meet, struggling with finances and bills. I have also had an extremely tragic life and set of circumstances. It took me a month to go back from the first interview, as I was really afraid to change my career at this point in my life. Just because I needed that steady pay check and did not feel I could wait two weeks to get paid in another career, I wasn't sure i could do this. American Income was the best decision I ever made, coming to this company has changed my life. I don't struggle with finances, it's exciting, challenging and I absolutely love what I do. I am an American Income success story and I am happier than I ever thought possible.

    Cons

    There are none that I have encountered at this point in my career.

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