Pros: Portable; Pay you directly; Offers many services
Cons: Higher premium prices; Inconsistent service
Insurance can offer peace of mind but, unfortunately, many standard insurance services do not offer enough protection when a crisis strikes. For those who could use a little more protection than usual, the financial services world brings you AFLAC Insurance, a company with dozens of different insurance policies for greater financial security.
AFLAC Insurance offers insurance services such as:
Disability Income Protection
Long Term Care
AFLAC also has services offered for certain specific illnesses or procedures, such as strokes, organ transplants, heart attacks, etc. The company will disburse a lump sum payment to policyholders in case of these and other health events.
AFLAC Insurance is a well- known insurance provider that many have grown acquainted with through their place of employment. This company's name is an acronym, and the full name is American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Georgia). AFLAC's duck mascot and television advertisements featuring the talking and quacking ducks are familiar to many and these ads have helped grow AFLAC Insurance into a household name.
I have held several different accounting and financial roles during my working career and AFLAC Insurance is a company I have grown to know quite well. I have served as the administrator of my company's AFLAC insurance plan in past job positions and I have dealt directly with AFLAC representatives, both on a sales level and on a customer service level. My experiences have been generally positive, but the overall picture with AFLAC Insurance does reveal a few blemishes, which is typical of many insurance companies.
First, let's talk about the positive points. AFLAC Insurance is intended as an insurance service that offers protection above and beyond traditional insurance and its services span a wide range of insurance offerings. Even if you are already covered by a policy for health, disability, life, etc., AFLAC Insurance will still be more than happy to sell you an additional policy. Unlike other insurance providers, AFLAC Insurance pays you directly. At your request, AFLAC will send the money directly to your medical provider. Otherwise, AFLAC sends the money directly to a policyholder.
Another positive aspect of AFLAC Insurance is that its services are portable. Most people obtain their AFLAC coverage through their employer, but the nice thing about AFLAC is that if you change jobs, you don't forfeit your AFLAC coverage. It is your policy, and it stays with you as long as you continue to pay the premiums, which, by the way, do not increase just because you are now separate from your employer. This portability is nice because it provides added peace of mind. It also makes AFLAC Insurance certainly fit the mold of a modern insurance company, since the trend toward portability with employer- offered financial services has been growing in popularity for many years.
AFLAC claim forms are simple to complete and they are available directly through the company web site. They usually take only a few days to process and AFLAC Insurance will even pay the costs of certain preventative health measures, like physical examinations, eye exams, and the like. AFLAC Insurance realizes that prevention of disease is important to both the customer and the company, so it is willing to spend a little extra money to help keep its customers in good health.
AFLAC Insurance has an online presence, which isn't surprising. However, one surprise is the fact that AFLAC Insurance doesn't sell its products online. You can make inquires through the online site, AFLAC.com, but you cannot make a purchase. Instead, AFLAC Insurance asks that you contact them via their toll- free phone line or request additonal information and they will have one of their representatives contact you. AFLAC claims they restrict sales because they want a rep to contact a potential customer, for the best possible service. I think it has more to do with having a trained representative try to talk you into purchasing more services, but the official tag line from AFLAC is that they want to make sure you know what you're buying and only a direct conversation with an insurance rep can accomplish this.
Now, let's talk about some of the more questionable aspects of AFLAC Insurance. As for helpfulness, AFLAC Insurance scores a mixed rating from me and this is due to my experience as both an administrator and as a potential customer. When AFLAC Insurance has tried to sell me its services, I have found that the representatives are very helpful and very careful to explain things as well as possible. However, when I have dealt with AFLAC Insurance as an administrator of the plan, my experiences have been negative. I can remember one occasion when I tried over and over again to convince an AFLAC Insurance sales representative to make an appearance at my place of employment for the purpose of explaining the different products that AFLAC offers. The rep refused and instead would send brochures in the mail to hand out to employees. This greatly surprised me because not only did it show disrespect and poor customer service, it also made no sense from a sales perspective. The potential commissions the rep could have earned would have easily made the visit worthwhile, but the rep refused to help us (and herself) out.
As for the price of the premiums, the costs with AFLAC Insurance are generally higher than those of other, similar providers. Whether it's dental insurance, vision, life, or most other products and services, AFLAC Insurance charges more than the competition, and this an important consideration when evaluating AFLAC with other companies. On the other hand, obtaining policies from AFLAC Insurance is easier than with other companies. Take the term life insurance, for example. AFLAC Insurance doesn't require a physical exam, so it makes a good choice for some individuals, namely those who cannot pass a physical or those who fear that a physical exam will result in very high premium costs with traditional carriers. AFLAC Insurance charges higher rates, but they approve most anyone.
AFLAC Insurance makes premium payments easy. If you obtain an AFLAC product through your place of employment, the premiums will be calculated and taken directly from your paycheck. There is nothing more for you to do. If you purchase AFLAC Insurance on your own, you will have to mail in your premiums each month or you can setup automatic withdraws taken from your checking account.
Overall, AFLAC Insurance is a mixed bag and it's a company with which I have had a good, but not always predictable relationship. I like the portability of AFLAC Insurance and I like the number of products offered, as well as the fact that AFLAC Insurance pays you directly. However, the customer service experiences over the years and the higher than average prices are certainly strikes against this company. Thus, when everything is taken together, AFLAC Insurance ends up an average company overall, with an almost equal number of good and bad points.