At I&E we do our best to stay on top of the best life insurance companies and annuity providers in the country. One insurance company that recently appeared on our radar was American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company based on the insurance provider’s great product line of annuities. In the following American Equity review, we will focus on the history of the company, its financial strength and annuities offered.
Review of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company
About American Equity
American Equity Investment Grp
P.O. Box 71216
Des Moines IA 50325
American Equity’s financial ratings are middle of the road. While they are not a member of the top rated life insurance companies in the U.S., they still maintain good financial ratings. We at I&E tend to prefer companies that have an A- rating or better with A.M. Best Company.
American Equity Financial Ratings*:
- A.M. Best rating: A-
- S&P rating: A-
- Fitch rating: N/A
- Moody’s rating: BBB+
- Comdex ranking: 59
*Ratings last updated November 2018.
American Equity Annuities
American Equity focuses on annuities. There are many benefits of annuities. Among the primary benefits are:
- Guaranteed Income,
- Tax-Deferred Growth and
- Protection of Your Principal
Among the annuities offered by American Equity are immediate annuities, traditional fixed annuities and fixed index annuities.
Fixed vs Index Annuity
A traditional fixed annuity is a contract with the insurance company based on guaranteed rate of return and preservation of principal. It is similar to whole life insurance that offers guarantees based on the performance of the insurance company and not the stock market.
An fixed index annuity is linked to the stock market, so interest rates can vary based on the performance of the market the annuity is linked to. It is similar to indexed universal life, which features a cap and floor to help preserve principal, while also taking part in the gains of the market the product is linked to.
Immediate annuities allow you to make a one time payment and receive income for life, or for a set number of years (period certain). There is a $10,000 minimum premium required.
American Equity’s Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA) is available for ages 18-90. You can choose to receive income for a period certain of 5-25 years, Life Only, Life with Period Certain, Joint and Survivor and Joint and Survivor with Period Certain.
Traditional Fixed Annuities
American Equity’s Rate Shield fixed annuities are available for ages 18-80. The company’s Guarantee Series is available for ages 18-85.
The Rate Shield annuity has a minimum premium of $5,000. The Guarantee Series annuity has a minimum payment of $10,000.
Fixed Index Annuities
American Equity has quite a few different fixed index annuities to choose from. Among its different fixed index annuities offered are:
- Asset Shield Series
- Income Shield Series
- Bonus Gold
- Choice Series with MVA
- Choice Series without MVA
- Retirement Gold
- Foundation Gold
- Benefit Gold
- Advantage Gold
The majority of the fixed index annuities allow annual 5-10% penalty free withdrawals, starting in year 2. Minimum premiums range from $5,000 to $10,000.