American income life

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the history of american income life

American Income was founded under the name American Income Insurance Company in Indianapolis, Indiana in May 1951 with capital of $25,000 borrowed by Harold Goodman and Goodman's nephew Bernard Rapoport.  Rapoport's Russian immigrant father had sold blankets on the streets of San Antonio, and the younger Rapoport had discovered his own talent for sales when he signed on with Pioneer American Insurance in 1949 (Goodman sold the successful Rapoport on the idea of running American Income).  Initially American Income sold low-cost hospital insurance plans, and took in about $95,000 worth of premiums in its first year. Annual premiums had mushroomed to $1 million by 1953, and by 1954 American Income was receiving 6,000 policy applications a month.

In September 1954 Goodman and Rapoport formed a new company called American Income Life Insurance Company (AIL) with $200,000 of capital and $400,000 of premium income.  American Income Life reinsured the policies of American Income and was transformed from a mutual reserve company (one owned by its policyholders) to a stock company (one owned by its shareholders) with ambitions of taking the company national.

Within the next year, AIL's assets doubled, its net reserve tripled, and it came to have $15 million of insurance in force.  By the end of 1956, AIL was operating in 13 states with 300 salespeople working in the field out of 96 agencies. In March 1958, AIL's home offices were moved from Indianapolis to Waco, Texas (Rapoport was originally from central Texas).

In 1961, AIL began providing supplemental insurance to labor union members and catered to the union market in innovative ways, like waiving payment of premiums during an authorized strike.  AIL also developed a college scholarship program for children of union members, and contributed to union strike funds. The company positioned itself as the only 100% union insurance company and coined the phrase "Be Union - Buy Union."  By 1973, AIL's income had risen 400% from ten years before to $31.5 million.

In June 1966, the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) organized AIL's Waco staff, making AIL the only insurance company with all union employees.  In October 1973, AIL was officially designated as a Union Label company by the AFL-CIO, one of only two insurance companies in the US to have such a designation.

In 1994, AIL was sold to Torchmark for $563 million. AIL's executive offices have been located in Waco since the move in 1959.

American Income was once listed on NASDAQ under the symbol AINC, and is described on Wikipedia as "providing supplemental life insurance to labor unions, credit unions, and associations."

American Income is licensed in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, and is "registered to carry on business" in New Zealand.  AIL has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, in the State of New York (National Income Life Insurance Company or NILICO) and the Republic of Ireland (Union Heritage Life Assurance Company Limited).  AIL had more than two million policyholders as of June 2013, has assets (when combined with NILICO) of more than $2.6 billion, and has, per our latest mandatory read-off letter, more than $50.4 billion of life insurance in force.  American Income is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torchmark Corporation, a company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TMK and based in McKinney, Texas two hours north of Waco and on the other side of Dallas.