AIG Direct

Customizable riders that pay out if people get sick and convertible policies make AIG Direct a viable life insurance option.

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InsuranceRanked Score 3.5
Year Founded 1996
Medical Exam Required? In Some Cases

AIG Direct 2024 Review

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

AIG Direct screen shot

AIG Direct Life Insurance Review – Pros, Cons and Coverage

Customizable riders that pay out if people get sick and convertible policies make AIG Direct a viable life insurance option.

You may remember AIG as one of the major players of the 2008 financial crisis. You might also know that AIG sustained the largest corporate loss in history when it lost $99.3 billion in 2008.

After a bailout by the U.S. government, AIG repaid its US debt by 2012.

The company restructured and now has an A.M. Best financial stability A rating. Fortunately, this life insurance provider is on the up and up.

But is AIG a viable option for you?

AIG offers both term and permanent life insurance policies. It also offers a suite of customizable riders that will pay out in case of chronic or terminal illness. There are many reasons why you may want to turn to AIG for your life insurance needs.

AIG Direct: What You Need to Know

AIG Direct offers term and permanent life insurance to customers ages 18-80. The main difference between the two is that permanent life insurance lasts for a lifetime and can be borrowed from in case of emergency.

What’s convenient is that policies can be purchased over the phone, though AIG Direct doesn’t currently have a mobile app.

How Does AIG Direct Life Insurance Work?

AIG Direct Life Insurance is part of the parent company American Insurance Group (AIG). It offers term and permanent life insurance (also called Whole Life).

Term life insurance is a simpler product that simply expires within 10-30 years. Customers can choose the level term option which means premiums won’t change for the life of the plan.

Permanent life insurance is more complicated. The “cash value” of the accrued policy can be borrowed against and treated as a loan.

Policyholders must keep up regular payments. Payments can be made monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.

Another option is Living Benefits. Living benefits are paid out while the policyholder is alive. It kicks in if the policyholder is diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness.

Who Is Eligible for AIG Direct Life Insurance?

Customers aged 18-64 can apply for both term and permanent life insurance plans. Term plans are for a set period of time while permanent plans are for your whole lifetime.

Ages 65+ may want to look into Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance. Ages 50-85 are automatically approved. Plans range from $5,000-$25,000.

Where is AIG Direct Insurance Available?

It is available in all 50 states.

How Much Does AIG Direct Cost?

Premiums depend on which risk class the applicant falls under. High-risk individuals will pay more, while the younger and healthier will pay less.

For example, a 40-year old male (under the Preferred Plus underwriting class) can get a 10-year policy with $250,000 in coverage for $13.81/month.

Applicants who work in hazardous occupations, are traveling to a war zone, who have health conditions, and who have a driving record such as DUIs will have higher rates. Smokers also get higher rates.

AIG requires a medical exam for its term and whole life insurance policies. For coverage options without a medical exam, go with Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance or Accidental Death & Dismemberment.

What Does AIG Direct Life Insurance Cover?

AIG allows policyholders to care for their loved ones after they pass away. It also offers policies that policyholders can tap into while they are alive.

Additional possibilities are Living Benefits that will pay out if policyholders are diagnosed with a serious illness.

The two main types of insurance are term and permanent. Read on for more information about each


Term life insurance

  • 10-30 year terms
  • Premiums usually increase every 5 years
  • Convertible to permanent (within a certain timeframe)

Level term life insurance

  • 10-30 year terms
  • Fixed premiums that don’t increase
  • Convertible to permanent (within a certain timeframe)



  • Covers you for as long as you live
  • Can change premium or coverage amounts
  • Borrow against the “cash value” of the policy

Whole Life

  • Covers you for as long as you live
  • Fixed premiums for the life of the term
  • Borrow against the “cash value” of the policy

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

  • For ages 50-85
  • No medical exam
  • Guaranteed approval
  • $5,000-$25,000 in coverage


Quality of Life Living Benefits

  • Receive payouts while alive if diagnosed with a covered chronic, critical, or terminal illness

Terminal Illness Rider

  • Receive payouts while alive if diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • Receive 50% of your policy at once, not to exceed $250,000

Accidental Death Rider

  • Receive the face amount of policy or $250,000, whichever is less

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Rider

  • Ages 18-80 qualify
  • No medical exam
  • Could pay out 50% of policy in case of accident
  • Guaranteed approval

Waiver of Premium

  • No payments if become disabled

Risk Factors

High-risk activities that are normally not covered (or that incur high rates) are:

  • Mountain or rock climbing with special equipment
  • Learning to fly a plane or operating a plane (except commercial pilots)
  • Scuba diving
  • Automobile or motorcycle racing

Applicants in hazardous occupations may or may not be eligible for coverage with AIG Direct. If they are they will pay higher rates. Driving history such as a history of DUIs will affect premiums.

Medical Exam

A medical exam is required for AIG whole and term life insurance policies. Medical exams usually involve the following:

  • Cholesterol test
  • Checking for diabetes
  • Measuring height and weight
  • Blood pressure check
  • Pulse and heart rate
  • Submitting a urine sample

Applicants are advised not to eat during the day before the medical exam.

Contestability Period

Insurance companies can review policies within the first two years after purchase to make sure the information is accurate.

Applicants must give correct information about their medical issues, lifestyle and hobbies, occupation, and travel plans. For instance, if they are planning to travel to a war zone or go scuba diving, insurance companies such as AIG want to know this.

Coverage Limits

Coverage limits vary according to the policy and the policyholder’s life insurance coverage needs.

AIG Direct Life Insurance Features

  • AIG founded in 1919 in Shanghai, China
  • Founded to serve American servicemen abroad
  • Global insurance company serving 80+ countries
  • Suffered largest corporate loss in U.S. history
  • Received a $182 billion bailout from the U.S. government in three installments
  • Poor track record of handling servicemen’s and contractors’ claims from Iraq and Afghanistan
  • AIG Direct founded in 1996

Pros and Cons of AIG Direct Life Insurance

Here are some pros and cons we found about AIG:


  • Offers both term and whole life insurance policies
  • Global company with a strong financial standing
  • Vast suite of customizable policies and options
  • Support available over the phone
  • Living benefits could come in handy in case of serious illness
  • Can add spouse and children to the policy


  • Provider engaged in high-risk investment behavior (credit-default swaps)
  • No mobile app or sophisticated online tools available
  • Customers report issues filing claim and updating beneficiaries
  • Poor track record of serving veterans (see 2011 lawsuit)
  • Poor company communication about policy status (active/lapsed)

AIG Direct Life Insurance Customer Reviews

According to 2017 data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, AIG incurred a higher than median level of consumer complaints.

AIG Direct has 43 one-star reviews on Customers talk about getting the runaround and not enough follow up. Veterans also talk about their difficulties.

“Since not receiving the check on the 28th, I have spent over three hours on the phone with AIG - most times starting the conversation completely from the beginning because my account notes seem to never get updated by AIG staff. I have been promised return phone calls from claim examiner Caroline **, and an overnighted check from claim examiner Treasure, neither of which delivered on their promises. Staff repeatedly claims that "they cannot transfer me to a supervisor," or "I am the supervisor," or that they cannot give me written proof of our conversations.” - Sara

“I fill out the application and they call, the guy asks me I have a few questions.[..]. "Ok are you a disabled vet", Yes...ok. What for I explain and gets down to anxiety and depression and PTSD, he says, "Oh so sorry you are not eligible... any veteran with PTSD or depression is unable to be accepted for our insurance." - Steve

How to Apply for AIG Direct Life Insurance

Customers can either call the Quote Hotline at 1-800-294-4544 or go to


  1. Go to
  2. Fill out the questionnaire with basic personal information, height, weight, and whether you’re a smoker.
  3. Enter your mobile phone and email. You must consent to receive communications from AIG by text and phone.
  4. An AIG agent will contact you.

How to File an Insurance Claim with AIG Direct

Call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-888-2452, Monday-Friday between 7am and 6pm Central Time.

How to Submit Claims

The following must be submitted to the Customer Service Center as part of filing a death claim. Forms are provided in the Life Claims Kit.

  1. A separate Claimant’s Statement completed by each beneficiary.
  2. Certified Death Certificate
  3. Newspaper account of the death if available
  4. A copy of the policy (explain if not enclosed)

How to Contact AIG Direct

Address: 9640 Granite Ridge Dr #200 San Diego, CA, 92123 Company phone: 1 (858) 309-3000 Quote hotline: 1 (800) 294-4544 Customer service: 1 (800) 254-4933 Website: Facebook: Twitter: @AIGInsurance

Does AIG Direct Offer Other Kinds of Insurance?

AIG, the parent company of AIG Direct, offers auto, home, and travel insurance, plus annuities and mutual funds.


AIG Direct through its parent company AIG is the embodiment of what people fear about life insurance companies.

Premiums must be paid on time or AIG will cancel the policy. Over 10, 20, or 30-year terms, mistakes can happen. Beneficiaries talk about being shocked to learn that a plan has been canceled without any prior notification.

Life insurance isn’t something most people want to think about, but they want it to work if they have it.

The product that we think is most interesting is AIG’s Quality of Life Insurance. With this plan the policyholder gets to see benefits during his or her lifetime, not only after.

For customers comfortable with traditional providers and looking for customizable options, AIG Direct has a lot to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’m denied coverage?

If you are denied coverage because of your health, occupation, or other risk factors, there are some other options

The first is Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance. AD&D Insurance is available to anyone aged 18-80. Approval is guaranteed and there’s no medical exam required. It will pay out in the case of a fatal or disabling accident no matter your occupation.

It may also pay out Living Benefits in the case of disability.

The second option is Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Coverage. Anyone 50-85 will be approved for up to $25k in coverage.

Why was I denied coverage?

AIG considers risk factors such as health, occupation, travel plans, driving history (DUIs) and more. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are also a factor.

What if I get a chronic illness? Can I get paid out sooner?

Yes, with AIG’s QoL Insurance or additional QoL riders, you can get paid Living Benefits. This means you can receive an accelerated payout of your policy if you are diagnosed with a covered chronic or terminal illness.

Will my premiums go up if I am diagnosed with an illness?

When you choose the Level Term option, your premiums will remain the same for the life of your plan, no matter what.

What happens if I miss a payment?

It is important not to miss a payment. If you miss a payment, AIG Direct may cancel your policy.

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