Founded in 1907 as the Automobile Insurance Company of America, Amica Mutual Insurance was based in Providence, Rhode Island, and offered automobile, theft, and fire insurance. Owned by policyholders rather than stockholders as a mutual company, the company expanded its insurance portfolio to include umbrella, home, condo, renters, marine, motorcycle, wedding and event, pet, small business, flood, retirement, and life insurance. With its present-day headquarters presently located in Lincoln, Amica Mutual Insurance has 44 branches across the United States. For those who cannot visit a location in person due to COVID-19 restrictions or other reasons, customers and future customers are encouraged to use the Amica website where all services are available online or by phone. All online and telephone services are also provided in Spanish for those who may feel intimidated purchasing insurance in English.
Here, in this article, we will focus on one product: life insurance. We will explore a few critical aspects: types of life insurance offered, riders, unique features of the company, financial ratings, and customer reviews. The application process will then be described, followed by a round-up of all the information so that you can make an informed decision about life insurance.
Types of Life Insurance Offered by Amica
Before getting into the types of life insurance offered, here is a brief explanation about why life insurance is necessary. Basically, it protects your family and their financial situation if the unexpected should happen; life insurance protects your income so that your family and those you care about are not economically devastated.
At Amica, there are two types of life insurance offered: whole life and term life. Whole life insurance protects an individual for as long as they live while the premiums are paid, and term life protects an individual for a specific amount of time.
In more detail, whole life insurance with Amica is a permanent form of financial protection that will last an individual’s entire lifetime. Interestingly, the premium rate is fixed and guaranteed, meaning it will remain the same no matter your age or state of health. What makes whole life insurance of particular interest is that cash value is accumulated—and you can borrow against that cash value during your lifetime.
There Are Three Whole Life Insurance Plans Available at Amica:
Whole Life 20
Premium payments are complete after twenty years, and applicants must be 80 years old or younger at the time of purchase. This option may be convenient for those who wish to finish paying their premiums before retirement, those who wish to leave something tangible and significant to charity, or those who wish to insure younger members of their family.
Whole Life 65
Available to those aged 50 and under, premium payments are completed by age 65, when most people retire or start to think of retirement. As with the previous plan, coverage is for life. If you want a fully paid policy by the time you retire, want a guaranteed cash value, and want no unpleasant financial surprises in your “golden years,” this plan may be of considerable interest if you fall within the age limit.
Whole Life 100
For those who are looking for affordability, this plan may be the best. Premium payments are completed by age 100, and the plan is available to individuals aged 80 and under. Lifetime coverage is provided at the lowest annual Whole Life premiums. This is a plan for those who need to keep premium costs low and who need their plan to help pay their financial obligations and funeral costs.
For all three Whole Life plans, the minimum coverage amount is $25000, while the maximum can go over one million dollars. However, the amount you need depends on a variety of factors, such as debts, future funding requirements, and income. While you can determine how much coverage you need yourself, Amica strongly recommends contacting an agent online or by phone to help you determine which whole life insurance policy is best for you.
With the above said, whole term life insurance may not work for everyone, so Amica also offers term life insurance, which is also known as level term insurance. These policies have no cash value, generally speaking, but do offer good value for families that need substantial protection for a specific amount of time. A word of caution, however; unlike life policies where coverage lasts the lifetime of the individual insured, cash benefits are only paid out if death occurs in the period covered. If you stop paying your premiums, your term life insurance ends as well.
Level-term life insurance is available in 10-,15-,20-,25-, and 30-year premium policies. Minimum and maximum amounts of coverage are not mentioned on the website because the insurer needs more information from the client to calculate premiums. Therefore, it is best to speak in person with an agent or use the website to contact a representative who can help.
At Amica, term life insurance rates and protection are guaranteed for the life of the policy, regardless of the individual’s age or health.
Riders Available at Amica
Before discussing the riders that are available, it is necessary to explain what a rider is. In a nutshell, a rider is a provision in an insurance policy that amends the terms of a basic policy to add a benefit or additional coverage. It is usually added to the policy at the time of purchase: riders generally cannot be added to an insurance policy later in the life of the product.
Amica life insurance products, both whole life, and term life offer a terminal illness rider. This is also known as an accelerated death benefit rider. This means that the person insured can receive a portion of their benefits if they become terminally ill and have a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months. However, the terminal illness rider is subject to restrictions and is not available in all states; this makes a bit of research on your part critical before signing a policy.
Many insurance companies offer life insurance in the United States, so what makes Amica unique in this field? For one, it has been in business for over a century, making it one of the older mutual insurance companies in the country. This long track record is important for policyholders because it signals that the company is sound and the client can count on their policy being funded when they need it. Second, it covers a lot of territory with its 44 branches and online presence. Finally, Amica has a good reputation, as seen in its financial ratings and mostly positive customer reviews.
Amica’s Financial Strength Ratings
AM Best, an insurance company credit rating agency based in New Jersey, awarded Amica an A+ Superior rating, its second-highest financial strength rating. A+ Superior is awarded to insurance providers that have proven a higher quality ability to carry out their continuous obligations in the insurance field. The company is stable, and highly unlikely to go under. In fact, AM Best has been providing ratings for Amica since 1922. There are not many companies that have been in business for over 99 years!
Amica’s Customer Reviews
While financial strength ratings are important when deciding where to buy a policy, it is also necessary to see what actual customers have to say. Are they satisfied? Delighted? Or worse – are they disgusted? In Amica’s case, the reviews tend to say that the century-old business is solid when it comes to customer service. Most reviewers enjoy the ease with which they can contact representatives, the paperwork is straightforward, and in most cases, life insurance premiums are affordable. The only downside for the life insurance side of the company’s business is that the eligibility criteria are tough. Those who take certain medications, or smoke, or recently quit smoking may find themselves turned down for insurance. And while auto insurance is not being reviewed in this article, the majority of customer complaints come from the auto insurance arm of the company.
In all, though, a brief search of customer reviews shows that the majority give Amica five stars out of five and appreciate the mutual insurance company’s human touch.
Applying to Amica
The application process is simple enough: a potential client starts by requesting a quote online. There are a few questions to answer concerning income, health, and smoking status. Once you get a quote, you contact an agent directly where the full application process will take place with underwriting. Medical testing may also be required, but it will be at Amica’s expense. The online application is not available in all states, so if there are public health measures in place where your branch is located, you may have to apply over the phone or select another insurance provider.
The application and approval process may take anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks or months, depending on the individual case. While information about the time it takes to process an application is not available on Amica’s website, only one customer review mentioned that approval took a long time. However, this appeared to be an exception rather than the rule. In our experience customers applying to Amica can expect a fairly quick turnaround as long as they have submitted a complete application that does not require additional information to be follow up on, or the application is not incomplete or missing signatures.
The Verdict: Is Amica Legit?
With all the above discussed, it can be safely said that Amica is no fly-by-night outfit. It is not one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, but it has a rock-solid financial strength rating, good reviews, and has been in business for over a century. Amica is legit when it comes to life insurance and is a solid choice for an informed consumer.