American Income Life Reviews | Glassdoor

American Income Life Reviews

Updated May 25, 2018
1,818 reviews

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3.6
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American Income Life Chief Executive Officer, AIL Agency Division Steven K. Greer
Steven K. Greer
37 Ratings

1,818 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Agents have the opportunity to make a lot of money and go very far in the company (in 82 reviews)

  • A lot of opportunity to make a lot of money (in 69 reviews)

Cons
  • long hours don't work for everyone (in 202 reviews)

  • Bait and switch to obtain an appointments under false pretenses (in 33 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Honest review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Canonsburg, PA
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Canonsburg, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I’ve been in the Canonsburg Office for over a year now. At first , like many, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A year later I can say it was the right move for me. This group of individuals not only helped me grow in business but also in life. This is the first company I was ever a part of that made and kept me a priority. I personally wasn’t a quick learner in the business and they certainly were not quick to give up on me. Also this is the first company I been a part of where the culture is very upbeat. There is always good music and fun stuff like cornhole being played in the office. For me personally it was the right fit and I’m very happy with the career change.

    Cons

    Initial training hours are more of an adjustment than a con.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for the support and the belief in me. For those reasons I was able to grow and succeed

    American Income Life Response

    May 25, 2018 – HR Manager

    We truly appreciate your feedback. We're built on hard work and promises kept and we're glad you are part of our AIL team to help share this message to our current and future customers. Thank you... More


  2. Helpful (1126)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

    American Income Life Response

    May 15, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your thorough review of the AIL opportunity. We appreciate you taking the time to help others understand the uniqueness of our Independent Agent position. We enjoy seeing our agents... More

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Center Manager in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Financial Center Manager in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Income Life full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Structure and hierarchy/ the ability to interact with upper management daily.

    Cons

    The benefit structure could be a bit better.

    Advice to Management

    Stronger scripting

    American Income Life Response

    May 24, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your review and for your time at AIL. We continually try to improve our Agent experience and feedback like yours will help make that possible. Best of luck in your future endeavors!


  4. "Great place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at American Income Life full-time

    Pros

    Compensation, Flexibility, Environment and, Income Potential

    Cons

    This work is not for everyone. You have to have a great personality and be motivated. If you need someone to tell you what to do or motivate you, you should probably look else where.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Be sure to read Everything In this Review before a decision"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervising Agent in Hamilton, NJ
    Former Employee - Supervising Agent in Hamilton, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Leads are provided to you out the gate that you do not have to purchase, often times recycled leads but leads to call nonetheless. Would have to earn the right to receive fresh new union leads for an initial contact with a prospect.
    Schedule for new rep:
    Monday - 10-11 am (Agency meeting In Edison,NJ) 12-7pm (Booking appts.)
    Tuesday - 12-9pm (Field hrs, yes the 9pm appts are the best time, at least @ AIL)
    Wednesday - 12-9pm (Field hrs, '' '' '')
    Thursday - 12 - 7pm (Booking day)
    Friday - 12-9pm (Field Time)
    Saturday - 8-3pm (yes the 8 am appt is the best)
    * Keep in mind that while these hours are tech not mandatory, don't expect to receive any special favor from managers if you consistently dip out of the field prematurely, managers keep track of this and will attempt to hawk your supervisor (my job at time), and in turn the supervisor will hawk you for it until the point that you choose fight or flight at AIL. These hrs DO work as they worked for myself, however I did not have a family nor any other obligations for my time during my stint with AIL so with that being said this position is not for everybody. It is VERY lucrative if you are strong willed, and dedicate time to master your craft. As for compensation structure check out Con's.

    Compensation structure (New Agent-as of 2016 when I departed) -
    Term or Whole life Policy - 40 % Commission with a 75% advance*
    World's Greatest Bonus (This applies when you sell $1,800 ALP/week) -*
    7.5 % of $1,800 - (First week)
    12.5% of $1,800 - (Second week consecutive)
    17.5% of $1,800 - (Third week consecutive)
    * The 'ALP' stands for Annualized Life Premium, so for example if someone you sell pays exactly $150/mo for their policy, that would qualify you for this bonus which in the first week case would be an extra $135 on your 75% advance for a grand total of $675 for that week. However I have not addressed the 'training salary', so just tack on an extra $200 to this amount as well which leads me to the next part of this structure.
    'Training Salary' - Do not be fooled by the phrase salary, as this position is 100 % commission based, the reason why it's advertised this way is because within your first 2 weeks of passing the NJ state producer's exam, it is your supervising agent's responsibility to 'code' or write business for you. Their job is to simply write a minimum of $1,200 ALP/ week, NOT $1,800 for the bonus, the 1,200 ALP is to ensure you receive that extra $200 training bonus. Keep in mind this training bonus only lasts for 90 days after you pass the exam, after this period, you're best shot is to aim for that $1,800 every week to survive financially.
    Recruiting Bonuses-
    The most lucrative thing you can do to promote your future not only at AIL but in the life insurance industry is bringing others along for the ride with you. As of 2016, the payout for recruiting others into AIL is:
    WITHIN first 6 months of contract assignment:
    $500 per person (AFTER they pass exam and write first piece of biz) *
    5% of override for biz written in first 6 months under same agent's name
    AFTER first 6 months of contract assignment:
    $250 per person ('' '' '')
    5% of override for biz written in first 6 months under same agent's name

    While some of the entry level benefits seem attractive, the big payouts are much more appealing when promoted up the hierarchy. I only made it to the SA position due to my college schedule often conflicting with my field time but it's entirely possible to soar to the Master General Agent position within your first year at the company, those guys often average between 150k-300k/ yr as long as you have a moderately motivated team underneath you writing good biz. That term good biz is used loosely because writing poor business that constantly falls off the books (stops paying), will negatively affect your retention rating which if it ultimately dips below (I believe 72% if I recall correctly?), your commission payout of the 40% will be reduced accordingly and you can be sure you just lost your lifeline of the bonus privileges as well, so yea start job hunting ahead of time if it comes to that point.

    Cons

    Promotion Structure - To be honest the promotional structure at this place changed 3x within my first year while I was there, mainly due to managers having their retention ratings (because they are based off their writing team), being massacred by a few bad seeds that are looking for a quick payout and do not care about their retention, or their tie downs just need some work. With that being said the opportunity is absolutely there for advancement but be sure to really absorb your local office's atmosphere and the culture that you are surrounded with because you don't want to be working toward your success with a MGA, GA, SA, and local agents all in a bad mood because nobody is making money. As of 2016, the promotional structure looked relative to this:

    Entry level to SA - Write 24k of ALP w/in first 90 days of writing first biz app
    SA-GA - Have 2 reps on your team write 24k each and both be promoted to SA
    GA-MGA - Promote 2 SA's to GA with both each meeting min. req in step 2

    There is also a 'RGA' and 'SGA', which stands for Regional General Agent and State General Agent above the MGA, forget how you get there but from my recollection you better be sure to have built a solid rep and team to be promoted that high up.

    Interview Process - All of the managers recruit on a daily basis, that is our #1 job function aside from developing our existing team, mainly because the turnover ratio in this business is about 90% last I checked due to the commission only payout. As of 2016, this was the recruiting process:

    First Stage - Manager/recruiter likely calls you to setup a group interview (group because only 30 % of group are expected to accept the offer)

    Second Stage - All of the members of stage 1 are called back for a second individual interview (yes it sounds desperate because it is), and are then offered the position if they have a pulse, no criminal record, a driver's license (note how I didn't mention if it was valid or not), and the $250 'tuition' payment that is needed to 'enroll' in thein house pre-licensing training class which last I checked is still being held ONLY in the Edison, NJ location under a seasoned instructor named Steven Liberto, it last about 2 weeks.
    To give you a headsup, DO NOT expect to be paid a dime until you are licensed and submit your first piece of biz under your name (Typically your SA's job, wasn't the case for myself as my SA quit right after i got done with class, it was a good thing for me in the long run of things anyway)

    To recap this opportunity has the potential to be extremely lucrative or it is simply just not the right gig for you and you got some good experience out of it. If you plan to pursue a career in sales regardless of the industry I guarantee that the recruiter will immediately identify your insurance position as a key experience builder. But again if you get skiddish with cold calling, door knocking, or in home appointments with clients, these are all traits you would need to master to survive financially at this gig. From my personal opinion alone, I would recommend the West Orange office managed under a guy named Corey Helley, he receives an abundant amount of resources/support due to his leadership as well as the potential for strong business economically speaking in the area. Be sure to consider everything I've written if you are serious about this opportunity because reflecting back on it now I likely would have dropped out of school and pursued a higher position due to the infrastructure my local office held.

    Advice to Management

    I know you can't be upfront about compensation to avoid scaring away talent but at least give examples that allude to the fact that potential agents would be in good hands if they signed on. MGA's HAVE to have a salary, I understand the structure that keeps everyone running together, but if you have people in leadership positions that constantly fret over their next payday it is likely to assume that mentality/attitude will trickle down the hierarchy, this is what resulted from a turnover fallout before i departed myself. Besides that the harassment of clients is completely necessary and was fine by me, this product should be mandatory at the federal level as oppose to healthcare. With that being said keep up the great pay opportunity to entry level agents, but also be sure to reinforce Supervising Agents, they are the BACKBONE of an agency's growth potential, they perform the bulk of recruiting, training, and sales.

    American Income Life Response

    May 17, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your extremely thorough review of the AIL opportunity. We’re glad you were on our AIL team and disappointed that it didn’t work out long term. We'll use your feedback to continue to... More


  6. "Life changing opportunity"

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

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

    Pros

    Residual income
    Growth
    Family like environment
    Lucrative pay
    Annual convention (vacation)
    Lots of competitions with prizes
    Weekly bonus
    Getting to build your own team
    Amazing leadership and management
    Teaching others how to be successful

    Cons

    Hard work. Plain and simple. If you don’t like to work hard, if you’re not coachable, if you’re not driven, if you’re not competitive, this isn’t for you.

    American Income Life Response

    May 17, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your positive review of the AIL opportunity. We're glad you agree that a hard-working agent tends to be a successful agent and we truly appreciate all you do for AIL and our clients.... More


  7. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Producer Agent in West Orange, NJ
    Former Employee - Producer Agent in West Orange, NJ

    I worked at American Income Life full-time

    Pros

    -unlimited earning potential
    -flexible schedule
    -relaxed culture

    Cons

    High turnover, commuting all over NJ

    American Income Life Response

    May 17, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your positive feedback regarding your time with AIL. We wish you the best of luck in your future career endeavors.

  8. "Great Place to grow and find yourself"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Trainer in Troy, MI
    Current Employee - Corporate Trainer in Troy, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Have been with the agency since 2006 and have always been treated with respect. Everything I have been promised has come through for me

    Cons

    I can't spend more time at the office

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work

    American Income Life Response

    May 17, 2018 – HR Manager

    We truly appreciate your feedback. We are built on hard work and promises kept and we're glad you are part of our AIL team to help share this message to our current and future customers.


  9. "Best Place I have ever worked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Front Desk Receptionist in South Bend, IN
    Current Employee - Front Desk Receptionist in South Bend, IN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Everything about this company is great! The money is great, the atmosphere is wonderful and everyone you work with is like family. Agents have the opportunity to make a lot of money and go very far in the company.

    Cons

    I really have no cons about this company.

    Advice to Management

    You guys are wonderful!

    American Income Life Response

    May 14, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your feedback and for your hard work and dedication to AIL. We enjoy seeing our agents succeed and enjoy the success that hard work produces.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mid Level Executive in Troy, MI
    Current Employee - Mid Level Executive in Troy, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing company surrounded by great individuals. Plenty of room to grow within the agency. Top workplace!

    Cons

    None! You cannot be lazy.

    American Income Life Response

    May 9, 2018 – HR Manager

    Thank you for being a part of our AIL family. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to our current and future customers.


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