American Income Life Reviews | Glassdoor

American Income Life Reviews

Updated February 27, 2017
1,333 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
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American Income Life CEO Roger Smith
Roger Smith
690 Ratings

1,333 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Expect to work long hours but when running your own business that should be expected (in 168 reviews)

  • 5years with the company is 100% commission (in 59 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (840)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Regional Director
    Current Employee - Regional Director
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  2. Helpful (110)

    "Agent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Canonsburg, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Canonsburg, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Prior to working with AIL, I was a consultant for around 2 years. I had intimate contact with hundreds of different companies across the country. That being said, I have neither seen nor heard of a company that puts such a deliberate and concerted emphasis on mentoring and developing their people. Whereas most companies’ training processes focus EXCLUSIVELY on the “on-the-job” duties or “day-to-day” tasks, AIL’s training process is geared first and foremost towards developing competent business professionals and exceptional leaders. 95% of the training and education you receive is NOT job-specific and will lay a solid groundwork for success, regardless of where your career path takes you.

    Specific to the South Pitt office: the leadership team constantly goes out of their way to make sure that every member of their team is in the best possible position to succeed. The office culture is absolutely second-to-none; although competition is a huge part of this business, there is not a single person in the office who isn’t rooting for you and does not want to see you succeed. We have a good time, we make good money, and we get to help a lot of people.

    Bottom line: this deal is absolutely not for everyone. The reason I love this job is the same reason some people would dislike it: you will get out of this job exactly what you decide to put into it. If you want to get paid $30,000 a year to waste away at a desk and watch the clock for 40 hours a week, this job is probably not for you... BUT if you are coachable and willing actually work when you're at work, you will be successful.

    Cons

    1. The first two weeks of training are very intense.

    2. Nobody is going to micromanage or babysit you to make sure get work done on any given day. You need to learn to manage yourself effectively.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Life Changing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Maryland Heights, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Maryland Heights, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Income Life full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent coworkers, plenty of training and leadership provided, OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH, life altering money, renewal income, EXCELLENT LEADS/CLIENTS TO WORK WITH.

    Cons

    Don't bother if you are not a driven, goal oriented person that wants something more than just being a number in a corporation. Some may view being challenged and actively engaged as a con.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up everything!


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Live the opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are many upsides, opportunities are unlimited with this company.

    Cons

    Haven't found a issue that is worth mentioning


  6. Helpful (2)

    "David Nham Great Mentor!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agent in Tacoma, WA
    Current Employee - Agent in Tacoma, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    David Nham is a great mentor who has shown me how to balance work and life. He has the ability to make work fun and his energy is contagious! I have a high regard for a manager who works as hard or harder than you! He has made my training transparent and is always helpful. I now have a career and I am able to spend time with my wife and two children regularly and just purchased our first home!

    Cons

    I am only in the office briefly to pick up supplies and/or for agency meetings or to meet with interview candidates. I would love a designated cubicle to put my stuff.

    Advice to Management

    I would suggest having super leaders like David Nham show others how to lead their team. He has a way of making sure everyone knows he is available to help and provide any tools you need!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Leap of Faith"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervising Agent in Cincinnati, OH
    Current Employee - Supervising Agent in Cincinnati, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunities unlimited is not an exaggeration. I took a huge leap of faith by leaving my previous career of 10+ years. I have been with AIL for a little over a month and was already promoted to a SA yesterday. Being rewarded and supported in this career move has been nothing short of awesome. I have never been so motivated to achieve greatness in my career and for my family. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your dreams. Take the leap- if you don't jump today, you will be standing in the same place tomorrow.

    Cons

    This position isn't for everyone- must be outgoing, and love to talk to people:)


  8. "Insurance Agent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Insurance Agent in Menomonee Falls, WI
    Former Employee - Insurance Agent in Menomonee Falls, WI
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Income Life full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of opportunity for making serious money

    Cons

    Very long hours, sometimes 7 days a week. Also it is very difficult to hit the major mark that they say only takes 5 sales a week.


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Be weary of what you are committing too"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Hamilton, NJ
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Hamilton, NJ
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Income Life full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Always room for growth opportunity, great management that does not mind going out of the way to ensure your success, given quality leads and expected to build a book of business off of referrals from that point forward, commission rates were decent but the bonuses offered for hitting sales or 'ALP' goals per week were relatively impressive, can make great money if you have a lot of free time and don't mind face to face interaction daily, not too much cold calling or door to door soliciting, the promotion track is realistic and when you get promoted everybody wins thus why the management is always by your side as they earn a hefty bonus off of your weekly production as well.

    Cons

    100% commission which typically balances out to an average salary for the average agent
    Deceptive recruiting practices occasionally
    If promoted to a supervisor your schedule flips to 8 am - 9 pm with 8-12 recruiting/interviewing, 12-2 lunch/administrative tasks and 2-9 is field time which actually means 2-10 since the 9 pm appointment slot if a must, so be prepared to commit your life to this company if offered a spot in management
    Little to no communication with state office/Branch offices and absolutely zero communication/organization with the home office in Waco, TX
    If accepted for the position you will be instructed to bring $150-200 to pay for the pre/post licensing courses offered by AIL and charged another $75-100 for the fingerprint process with the DOBI...they used to offer covering the fees for the fingerprint process by deducting this amount from your ledger but no longer do this due to people bailing out in the middle

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work but would highly recommend laying out exactly what potential recruits are committing too, most people looking for a job do not already have hundreds of dollars to invest into the licensing courses as well as surviving for the first 3-6 weeks without any pay, strongly advise implementing a structured training process as oppose to throwing as many new agents into the hot hand of an SA/GA as possible, highly unprofessional bringing 3-4 individuals to a door and asking to enter someone's home to sell them insurance when they were under the impression they were getting something free anyway


  10. Helpful (2)

    "GO IN WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agent in Tulsa, OK
    Current Employee - Agent in Tulsa, OK
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You know the schedule before you ever start. it is a 4 step interview and you interview them. They do expect you to work...it is NOT AN ENTITLEMENT program!. YOU MAKE THE BUSINESS WHAT YOU WANT and you only get out what you put in. ASK ANY OWNER OF A BUSINESS! Union members have requested to see you so you are not cold calls and annoying people. They need the support of your family because you are going to work long hours. I don't know why anyone would expect anything less of a new business owner.

    Cons

    People spreading lies about the company. If you go in with your eyes wide open and knowing you are starting a business you will be ok! GO INTERVIEW PEOPLE THAT HAVE STARTED THERE OWN BUSINESS. THEY LIVE, BREATH AND DIE FOR THAT BUSINESS!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work and never ever ask an agent to lie for you or mislead because that is punishable by law.


  11. "Agent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They will only give you a little info at a time. If you are able to invest at least a month of time without compensation and like sales, this is a good job for you.

    Cons

    They will only give you a little info at a time. If you are uncomfortable with being at strangers homes late at night alone, or generally value your personal free time, this may not be a good choice for you.



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