American National Insurance Company is the umbrella body that oversees the group of affiliated companies that form the American National family of companies. It is one of the largest and most trusted firms that deal with insurance products, annuities, property and casualty insurance. The company also known as, NICO, is headquartered in Galveston, Texas and is licensed to do business in all states except New York. In New York business is undertaken by American National Life Insurance Company of New York, (Glenmont, NY) which is a subsidiary of ANICO.
Annuities are one of the most popular products that are offered by American National to cater to the growing number of people seeking to retire safely. Annuities are offered as a part of the life insurance policies and are packaged to ensure that the annuitants and their benefactors are able to access the benefits of a life insurance while simultaneously enjoying the income received in their principal as part of the retirement scheme. Their annuities products are divided into the variable and the fixed type to cater for the investment and retirement needs of any prospective annuitant.
The fixed type of annuity is the most preferred and the most accessed by customers of the American National. This is largely as a result of the low risk that is involved in such an investment; the banking crisis and financial meltdown have also seen more and more people go for the less risk retirement investment options. As the name of the annuity contract implies, the fixed type requires that the annuitant make a principal deposit with American National whose growth is then subject to a fixed interest rate. This means that the annuitant will receive a certain amount of money from the insurer based on the investments on the company’s own assets. So over the course of one’s lifetime the annuitants receive reimbursements of a certain amount which may not go beyond their lifetime.
On the other hand American National also deals in the variable annuities. These are the riskier of the two options yet the high risk also means a good chance for high investment returns for the annuitant. More often, the annuitant who chooses to purchase a variable annuity contract bears the burden of risk than does the insurer. Once an annuitant makes his principal, it is invested in a series of portfolios that he chooses and that the insurer deems suitable. The investment returns are therefore determined by how well the underlying investment portfolios perform in the market. So there is no fixed amount of income that the annuitant gets at any given time of disbursement.
Given the risk involved in purchasing a variable annuity contract, investors are urged to read and understand the prospectus used by American National. These will ensure that the annuitant is able to make out their insurance objectives, the fees and expenses involved as well as assessing the risk involved. Variable annuities are sold through registered representatives and are distributed by the Securities Management and Research, Inc., a subsidiary broker-dealer of American National Insurance Company.