Matrix Direct was a huge innovation when it launched back in 1995. It was one of the first attempts to harness the internet to connect more people with quality life insurance coverage.
Today, Matrix Direct lives on as AIG Direct, a subsidiary of American General Life Insurance Company.
For many shoppers, AIG Direct can provide a seamless insurance shopping experience. Other shoppers will need a more nuanced approach.
Let’s take a closer look to see whether you should get life insurance quotes from AIG Direct.
In this review:
About AIG Direct (Formerly Matrix Direct)
Matrix Direct is now AIG Direct, an online life insurance agency that has helped more than six million people find and secure life insurance coverage.
As an online agency, AIG Direct can save customers time by eliminating the need to meet in person with a life insurance agent.
Though it’s connected to AIG, a huge insurer, AIG Direct will not necessarily sell you coverage from AIG.
AIG Direct sells insurance from a variety of top-rated life insurers, including:
- Voya Financial
- Gerber Life Insurance Company
- Fidelity Life
- Globe Life
- Legal & General (Banner Life)
- Mutual of Omaha
- American General Life Insurance Company
Some of the life insurance plans offered through AIG Direct require traditional underwriting, but others will not require a medical exam.
AIG Direct Reviews & Ratings
Because AIG Direct is not itself a life insurance company, it is not rated by agencies such as A.M. Best, Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, or Standard & Poor’s.
But the insurance companies AIG Direct works with do have company ratings from these insurance business watchdogs. All of AIG Direct’s partner companies have earned ratings of A- to A+ from A.M. Best which measures a company’s financial strength.
This means that these insurers have earned one of the three highest ratings out of 15 possible total.
These ratings include the following:
- American General Life Insurance Company: A
- Gerber Life Insurance Company: A
- Fidelity Life Association, A Legal Reserve Life Insurance Company: A-
- Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company: A+
- Prudential Life Insurance Companies: A+
- Transamerica Life Insurance Companies: A+
- Legal & General America, Banner Life Insurance Company: A+
- Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company: A+
AIG Direct Insurance Services, Inc. of San Diego has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since September 4, 2009. The BBB has given AIG Direct a grade of A+.
This doesn’t mean customers don’t complain about this insurance agency. It does mean AIG Direct works to resolve the complaints.
In the past three years, Matrix Direct has closed out a total of 11 customer complaints. Three of these complaints has been closed out within the past 12 months.
Life Insurance Products
Matrix Direct, now AIG Direct, offers quite a few insurance products, including term and permanent life insurance plans.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance provides only a death benefit; the policy will not gain cash value. Because of this, a term life insurance policy should be a lot cheaper than a comparable permanent policy.
Because it’s simpler, term life is also easier to buy from an online insurance agency such as AIG Direct.
This is especially true for applicants who are young and in good health at the time of application.
Term life insurance is offered for a set amount of time, or “term.” These terms can be five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, and sometimes even more. You can also find one-year renewable term life insurance coverage.
Because Matrix Direct / AIG Direct works with so many life insurance carriers, shoppers can search through a wide array of term life insurance coverage options to find the best rates.
These products include:
Renewable Term Life Insurance
A renewable term life insurance policy will typically stay in force for between one and five years. When it expires, the policy can be renewed without a medical exam or providing evidence of future insurability.
But as the policyholder renews the coverage, the premium will increase based on the insured’s current age and health condition.
Level Term Life Insurance
With level term life insurance, the amount of life insurance coverage, as well as the premium price, will remain level throughout the entire term of the policy. These policies may remain for a number of years, or they may last until the insured reaches a certain age, such as 65.
Convertible Term Life Insurance
A convertible term life insurance policy will provide the insured with the option of converting the coverage over into a permanent life insurance policy at or before a certain date. This can allow the insured to lock into a policy that can remain in force for the remainder of his or her life (provided that the premium is paid).
It can, however, also result in the policyholder having to pay a higher amount of premium for the permanent coverage.
Return of Premium (ROP) Term Life Insurance
As its name suggests, a return of premium life insurance policy gives the policyholder the option of getting back the premiums once the policy expires — assuming the insured outlives the term of the policy.
(If the policy is canceled before the end of its stated term, however, premiums will not typically be returned.)
Permanent Life Insurance
Matrix Direct / AIG Direct also offers permanent life insurance coverage. A permanent policy will provide both the death benefit protection and a cash value component. The cash value grows slowly over time and should accrue interest as it would in a savings account.
This can allow the funds within the cash value to increase exponentially over time.
Matrix Direct / AIG Direct offers several different types of permanent life insurance protection including:
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is the most basic type of permanent life insurance coverage.
With these policies, the death benefit and the premium amount are typically locked in and guaranteed not to change. This is the case even as the insured gets older, as well as if they develop a chronic health condition.
Some types of whole life insurance policies will pay the policyholder a dividend. This dividend (while not guaranteed), may be taken as cash, or alternatively, it can be used to purchase additional life insurance coverage.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another form of permanent life insurance protection.
A policyholder with a universal life policy may, within certain guidelines, change the time and the amount of the premium payment to best fit their changing needs. The death benefit may also be adjusted.
Accidental Death Benefit
Matrix Direct / AIG Direct also sells accidental death insurance. With an accidental death policy, a benefit will be paid out if the insured dies as the result of a covered accident.
This payout could supplement other life insurance coverage.
Accidental death may also pay out if the insured is involved in an accident and he or she loses a limb, suffers blindness, and/or is paralyzed as a direct result of that accident.
This type of coverage does not require a medical examination to qualify, regardless of your current health condition.
Other Products and Services
AIG Direct doesn’t provide only life insurance policies. You can also shop for:
Disability Insurance Coverage
If an insured becomes disabled due to a covered illness or accident that renders him or her unable to work, disability insurance can provide an alternative form of income. This can help pay everyday living expenses, protecting savings, and preventing a premature return to work.
A good estate plan can be an essential part of your overall financial plan in order to ensure that assets are distributed according to your wishes. Having life insurance within this type of plan can also help to ensure that funds are available for paying estate taxes that may be due.
AIG Direct Insurance Rates
Because finding the right company and the right policy can be difficult, AIG Direct makes it easy to directly compare the policies and premium rates from numerous different companies.
That’s really the entire point of this kind of online insurance agency: a way to meet your insurance needs without spending weeks comparing policies and reading company reviews — or hiring an independent agent to work on your behalf.
AIG Direct does not charge additional fees to customers for evaluating and/or purchasing life insurance coverage. The company earns its profits through the life insurance policies that it places.
Is AIG Direct The Best Option for You?
When you are looking for the best rate on life insurance coverage, working with an agency that has access to a variety of insurance companies and policy options makes a lot of sense.
AIG Direct can meet this need for many life insurance shoppers. Shoppers who are young and healthy can visit the company’s site and choose from a variety of insurance products. This is especially true for term life insurance and accidental death benefits.
But shoppers who need a more sophisticated approach to meeting their insurance needs should not necessarily get life insurance quotes from AIG Direct. When you have a dangerous job, a chronic health condition, or another specific insurance need, you’ll need a more human approach to shopping.
In that case, we recommend working with an independent insurance agency like ours. Like AIG Direct, independent agents also work with a wide variety of insurance companies. But rather than relying on algorithms to generate quotes, we use our decades of personal experience to connect you with the right company.
If you would like to discuss life insurance options in more detail, we are also available to chat via phone call. Just call our toll-free phone number: 1-800-712-8519.