History Of American Savings Life Insurance Company

American Savings Old Office

On April 6, 1954, after years of dreaming, planning, calculating, and organizing, American Savings Life Insurance Company came to be.

Frihoff Allen, dreamer, creator, and founder of the company, had spent his early professional years as a life insurance agent and general agency manager, all the while putting aside funds in hopes of starting a local store. However, after attending the National Convention of Life Underwriters in 1949, he decided he quite liked the life insurance industry and would rather put his savings into building a life insurance company. Frihoff spent the next five years learning all he possibly could about life insurance and preparing for his solo foray into the world of life insurance management.

The company began in Frihoff’s home and thrived off of both insurance policy and stock sales. About three years following the grand opening of American Savings Life, the company had finally grown enough to move into an actual office space. The building, while lacking in glamour, worked for the young company, and was even outfitted with a total of two desks, one large table, and a makeshift work table fashioned out of plywood perched atop screw-on wrought iron legs. Okay, so maybe the space was less than ideal, but it was practical and allowed the employees there to work closely with one another, becoming a tight-knit team. Plus, it saved them some serious dough.

Especially for such a small start-up, American Savings was doing swimmingly; they were selling policies and stock shares successfully with low enough overhead (enter the plywood table) that they were making a pretty decent profit and investing that revenue carefully and intelligently. One of those investments was a shiny new IBM 360 computer that took up two whole rooms, and was key in making policy sales by mail, which became a lucrative aspect of the company’s business.

In the late 60s, after a few years of vicious grumbling from stockholders, the company began making investments in their stockholders, if you will, by paying out annual cash dividends, effectively cheering the grumpy shareholders. A few years later, the company also invested in a new office space, this one plywood desk-free. In this new home office, the company developed their “Inflation Beater” life insurance policy that sold an insurance policy coupled with company stock that had the potential of increasing both in investments and in earnings. This policy’s popularity and sales skyrocketed, selling so much that American Savings Life became one of the top ten producers of new life insurance in Arizona.

In 1986, Frihoff stepped down as president of the company and handed the position over to his son, David Allen. David responsibly ran the company for 18 years before handing the reigns to his own son, Byron Allen. Byron is the company’s current president, having been so for 13 years now, and has been working diligently to expand the company’s different programs and products, including the creation of American Life Financial Corp, the lending arm of American Savings. This company was founded in 2007, putting a more professional face on the Not So Hard Money loans American Savings had been originating for over 60 years. Now with a company and an entire hardworking team dedicated to originating, closing, and fulfilling loans, the business is experiencing much success and growth and anticipates even more success and growth in the years to come.

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Annie Allen

About the author: Annie is a student at Brigham Young University, an entrepreneur, and an avid ice cream eater. She has happily been a team member at American Life Financial for two years now and loves learning about the ins and outs of real estate and lending, as well as the economics that affects the real estate market today.