I got a Matrix Direct email today that may shed a little more light on one of the reasons AIG isn’t cutting it. AIG’s American General Life owns the big on line agency Matrix Direct. Not a bad idea for a company that has done so well on line to have their own mega agency!

The thing that kind of threw me with their advertising was when you click on the tab for “companies” and get a list of notables such as ING Reliastar and Prudential. At the top of the list is American General and at the bottom of the page in the fine print section is a note saying that Matrix Direct is a subsidiary of American General.

Now there’s certainly nothing illegal about the whole deal. I’m not even sure there is anything overtly stupid about it. It was just one of those things that struck me as truly odd. Here is an agency that is wholly owned by a life insurance company. So the life insurance company is claiming the profits of this agency on their books. The agency is selling for a lot of companies and therefore American General if profiting from the sale of insurance for other companies.

Bottom line. I guess I think it’s a good idea if it will help AIG make a little money that they can throw toward their debt

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