What Is Aflac Insurance?

Famed for its commercials featuring a comical personification of a duck, the insurance company AFLAC has established itself as a major contender in both domestic and international insurance industries. A number of businesses and individuals around the world rely on AFLAC insurance to provide income in the event of an accident or illness, and the company’s advertisements center on its unique form of supplementary insurance.

Line of Business

AFLAC is an American insurance company and insurance underwriter. According to press releases stored in the company’s website archives, AFLAC issues life insurance, supplemental medical insurance and a special type of insurance, known as payroll deduction insurance, designed to provide cash when a policyholder becomes unable to work or collect a paycheck from an employer.


According to the AFLAC official website, the company began operations as American Family Life Insurance Company on Nov. 17, 1955. Founders and brothers John Amos, Paul Amos and Bill Amos launched the company from Columbus, Georgia. AFLAC continues to maintain a significant presence in that town. During the first year of operation, AFLAC wrote 6,426 policies and acquired more than $388,000 in assets. As the company grew, it added several types of insurance and adopted a business model of independent sales associates that allowed the company to quickly expand. By the end of the 20th century, according to a press release archived on the company’s website, AFLAC had become a leading supplemental insurance carrier and gained a spot on the Fortune 500 list of successful businesses.

Payroll Insurance

The main focus of AFLAC, according to its website, is a type of supplemental payroll insurance that ensures policyholders continue to receive income when unable to work. According to a description of the plan offered to employees of the federal government’s National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, AFLAC insurance provides cash income to policyholders who are unable to work because of accidents that range from bee stings to broken bones. When the policyholder loses a source of income due to a covered event, AFLAC provides compensation the policyholder can use to pay medical bills, buy groceries, pay bills or cover day-to-day living expenses. Though a description of AFLAC payroll insurance offered by the insurance website HealthQuote360.com describes the service as “most unusual,” the website points out that other companies like Assurant and United Health Care may offer similar services.

Other Types of Insurance

In addition to its signature payroll insurance, AFLAC directly offers and underwrites a number of more traditional policies. According to a website set up for AFLAC clients, prospective policyholders may select from traditional life insurance, dental insurance that covers dentist-related expenses, supplemental health insurance and hospital confinement insurance. In addition, the company offers a number of additional payroll insurance policies designed to provide cash income in specific situations like cancer, stroke, heart attack and transplants operations.


As of July 2010, AFLAC serves more than 50 million policyholders in numerous countries around the world. The AFLAC Japan organization serves 89 percent of companies listed on that country’s stock exchange, and AFLAC Japan has issued policies to at least 25 percent of all Japanese households. At the end of 2009, the company reported $84 billion in assets with more than $18 billion in revenue. Worldwide, the company maintains affiliations with more than 75,000 independent insurance agents in the United States, the only nation for which the company publishes agent information. Like many other insurance organizations, AFLAC treats each agent as an individual affiliate and does not consider its agents as direct employees of the company.