|Traded as||NYSE: AFL S&P 500 component|
Paul Amos † (died 2014)
Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
|Key people||Dan Amos
and life insurance
|Revenue||$22.171 billion (FY 2011)|
|Operating income||$2.992 billion (FY 2011)|
|Net income||$1.964 billion (FY 2011)|
|Total equity||$13.506 billion (FY 2011)|
|Employees||8,572 (December 2011)|
Aflac Incorporated // is an American insurance company and is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia. In the U.S., Aflac underwrites a wide range of insurance policies, but is perhaps more known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage, which pays cash benefits when a policyholder has a covered accident or illness. The company states it insures "one of four Japanese households" and is "the largest life insurer in Japan in terms of individual insurance policies in force".
In 2009, Aflac acquired Continental American Insurance Company for $100 million; this enabled Aflac to sell supplemental insurance on both the individual and group platform . As of June 30, 2012, Aflac was represented by approximately 19,300 sales agencies in Japan, and 76,900 licensed sales associates in the U.S.
The company was founded by brothers John, Paul (died 2014 ), and William Amos in Columbus, Georgia, in 1955, as American Family Life Insurance Company of Columbus. In 1964, the company name was changed to American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. The company, in 1990, adopted the Aflac initials, although the official name of the underwriting subsidiary remains American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.
The company signed 6,426 policyholders in its first year. Aflac pioneered cancer insurance in 1958. Beginning in 1964, the company decided to focus sales on worksite settings, eventually through policies sponsored by employers and funded through payroll deductions. By 2003, more than 98% of Aflac policies in the United States were issued on a payroll deduction basis, making the company a leader in that approach to policy distribution. In 1973, Aflac established a holding company, the American Family Corporation.
Aflac operates in the United States and Japan, and has its worldwide headquarters and corporate offices in an eighteen story tower just east of Downtown Columbus, Georgia in an area known as MidTown. The Aflac tower is the tallest building in the city. As of September 30, 2012, the corporation's total assets were more than $124 billion, and the company insured more than 50 million people worldwide.
Aflac is the largest provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the largest insurance company overall in Japan, when measured by individual insurance policies in force. Aflac launched a campaign in 2001 to promote their first accident policy in Japan, which The Wall Street Journal rated as one of the "ten most effective campaigns of 2000."
The company now offers several types of insurance policies in the United States, including the following:
- Cancer/Specified Disease
- Hospital Confinement Indemnity
- Hospital Confinement Sickness Indemnity
- Hospital Intensive Care
- Lump Sum Cancer
- Lump Sum Cancer Critical Illness
- Specified Health Event
- Short Term Disability
Aflac also offers un-reimbursed medical, dependent day-care, and transportation flexible spending accounts. The company also offers human resources services for HIPAA and COBRA administration. From 1979 to 1997, the company owned several television stations, most of them in small and medium markets. It sold the broadcasting division to what became Raycom Media in 1997.
Critics of cancer policies
Consumer groups and some government officials say that cancer insurance returns fewer premium dollars to policyholders than standard insurance. A U.S. General Accounting Office study found that the policies paid back as little as 35% of premiums (Aflac said its cancer insurance paid back 62.4%). In comparison, New York State requires most major-medical policies to pay back 82% and group policies to pay back 75%. New York State does not allow stand-alone cancer policies. In 1997, AFLAC spent $175,000 on lobbyists and campaign contributions to change the law. New York State lifted its ban in 1998, for purchasers who already have basic coverage. Consumer Reports recommended that policyholders use the money instead to buy lower-deductible insurance.
The Aflac Duck
Since December 1999, the company's identity and brand has become more widely recognized in the United States as the result of TV commercials featuring the Aflac Duck, who frustratedly quacks the company's name to unsuspecting prospective policyholders. The duck concept and all of the commercials to date have been created by Kaplan Thaler Group, an advertising agency based in New York City. Metzer Farms, a Gonzales, California goose, duck, and gamebird hatchery, supplied them with the initial ducklings that each grew into the famous duck. Struggling to come up with a concept to make the big but relatively obscure insurance company's name memorable, one of the agency's art directors stumbled upon the duck idea while walking around Central Park at lunchtime uttering, "Aflac, Aflac." He soon realized how much the company's name sounded like a duck's quack. The Aflac Duck character has now starred in more than 30 commercials. In many of these commercials, character actor Earl Billings also appears. The Aflac Duck is enshrined on Madison Avenue's Walk of Fame as one of America's Favorite Advertising Icons.
In April 2009, Aflac introduced a new marketing campaign called "Get the Aflacts", designed to educate consumers about the specific benefits of the insurance products the company sells. The Aflacts campaign gave the Aflac Duck "a more prominent role", designed to "help potential customers learn the Aflacts, er, facts about policies and other products", according to The New York Times.
Celebrities have starred in the Aflac ads, including Chevy Chase (2003); Yogi Berra; Yao Ming; Donald Trump's wife, Melania Trump; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (2008–); the United States Olympic synchronized swimming team (2004); and Wayne Newton playing at Stardust Hotel and Casino for the 2003 commercial. The duck even appeared with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In 2005, the company logo was changed to incorporate the duck. The first commercial using the new logo featured Gilbert Gottfried at a pet store because the duck kept saying, "Aflac!" and he had to trade in the duck for a parrot, saying, "If you're hurt and can't work."
The duck was voiced by comedian Gilbert Gottfried. After 11 years as the voice of the Aflac duck, Gottfried was dismissed on March 14, 2011 due to postings on Gottfried's Twitter account referencing the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The company's chief marketing officer stated that "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor, and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac."
On March 23, 2011, Aflac announced that the company was taking applications for the new voice of the Aflac Duck through QuackAflac.com until April 1. Commercials requesting the submissions, first aired in 2006 but updated, resemble a silent movie. On April 26, 2011, it was announced that Daniel McKeague, a television advertising sales manager from Hugo, Minnesota, would be the new voice of the Aflac duck. The first Aflac commercial featuring the duck's new voice aired on May 1, 2011.
The company states that through a partnership with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Aflac has contributed more than $79 million to childhood cancer research and treatment.
Aflac's stated objectives include the decrease of its environmental impact, for which the company is into a partnership with the Clean Air Campaign to encourage employees to engage with greater frequency in alternate commuting methods.
The Jackie Robinson Award is given to the high-school player who is entering his senior year and who best displays character, leadership, and the values of being a student athlete in academics and community affairs. The award is presented at an annual All-American Awards banquet, which was first held in 2003. The banquet follows the annual All-American Baseball Classic, an East-West all-star game featuring the 38 best players from around the nation who are entering their senior year of high school. First held in 2003, the game is played at PETCO Park, San Diego, California. Proceeds from the game and banquet are donated to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego and its fight against childhood cancer.
In 2011, the name of the all-star game was changed to the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Awards and honors
Aflac has been the recipient of several awards:
- Aflac was on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 15 consecutive years.
- Aflac has appeared on Fortune's America's Most Admired Companies list for 12 years.
- Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as a World's Most Ethical Companies for seven consecutive years.
- Aflac has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for two consecutive years.
- In August/September 2012, Latina Style magazine placed Aflac in the top five of the 50 Best Companies for Latinas to work for in the United States. Aflac has been on this annual list for 13 of its 15 years.
- In July 2012, Black Enterprise magazine included Aflac in its list of the Top 40 Best Companies for Diversity for the ninth consecutive year.
- "Aflac, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 27, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Annual Report Form 10-K". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 27, 2014.
- "Aflac Profit Rises 20% on Japanese Currency Strength" Bloomberg, 29 April 2009
- Corporate press release, July 29, 2004.
- "Aflac, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date July 29, 2009". secdatabase.com. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
-  from Aflac.com
- "Aflac, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date August 3, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- Aflac History from Aflac.com
- "Aflac, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 23, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- Williams, Mary Elizabeth (2011-03-15) Sympathy for Gilbert Gottfried, Salon.com
- When the Policy Covers Only One Disease, By Carol Marie Cropper, New York Times, April 20, 1997
- Sally Esteb Cureton, CPA and Dave Cureton "Cancer Insurance: Is It Right For You?", cancerpage.com; accessed July 6, 2014.
- About Aflac, Aflac.com; accessed July 6, 2014.
- "Not Daffy or Donald, but Still Aflac's Rising Star", The New York Times, April 21, 2009.
- Looney Tunes Aflac Commercial (YouTube); accessed July 6, 2014.
- "The AFLAC Duck Selected as One of America's Favorite Icons, Aflac.com; accessed July 6, 2014.
- "Gilbert Gottfried fired by Aflac over Japan tsunami jokes" Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2011.
- "Are you annoying? Aflac needs new duck voice". MSNBC. Associated Press. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- Elliott, Stuart (2011-03-22). "Aflac and Monster Team Up to Find a Duck's Voice". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- Peterson, Kim (2011-04-26). "Aflac duck gets Minnesota accent?". MSN Money. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- "Children's Healthcare of Atlanta" info, Aflac.com; accessed July 9, 2014.
- "Community Involvement". American Family Life Assurance Corporation. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- "Aflac: Saving money and the environment". The Clean Air Campaign. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- "The 2010 Aflac National High School Player of The Year Nominees Announced". Satellite Television. August 9, 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-10. "The seventh annual Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year Award will be presented at the Aflac All-American Awards dinner to be held at the San Diego Hall of Champions on August 14."
- See also: Baseball awards#U.S. high-school baseball.
- "FOX Sports Network's Live coverage of 2010 Aflac All-American Baseball Classic on August 15: 2010 Aflac All-American Baseball Classic Roster Announced". Satellite Television. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-10. "The Aflac All-American Baseball Classic is ... part of Aflac's ... commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, with ticket proceeds benefiting Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Since 2003, the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic has generated nearly $805,000 for charity."
- "2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic Rosters Announced". Satellite Television. July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-10. "Perfect Game All-American Classic alumni have had a significant presence in Major League Baseball's first-year player drafts. Since the game's inception in 2003, 98 alumni have been selected in the first round.... The game has also produced over 40 players that are currently on a Major League Baseball roster. A record 18 Perfect Game All-Americans were taken in the first round of the 2011 draft, 13 of which played in last year's game."
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