By Robert Dixon
On Feb. 28, some 140 insurance agents from across the U.S. will descend on the nation’s capital for the second industry-wide fly-in, according to Americans to Protect Family Security. The group is a coalition of six insurance industry trade groups that conducted its first fly-in in 2010, according to Jack Dolan, spokesman for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), one of the sponsoring groups.
There are no hot-button issues that the agents will be stumping for – or against, Dolan said in an interview with InsuranceNewsNet. Rather, the event’s objective is to make sure that new members of the House and Senate, especially those with seats on relevant committees, are aware of the importance of the life insurance industry to all Americans.
The coalition partners aim to educate policymakers about the role life insurance companies, trusted agents and wealth advisors play in helping American families protect their financial futures with products such as life insurance, annuities, long-term care and disability income insurance.
“Fly-in participants also will stress to Congress that at a time of strained federal entitlement programs, as well as state and local programs, industry products represent solutions to Americans’ financial and retirement security concerns,” according to a statement.
Lawmakers are often unaware of just how significant a role the insurance industry plays, Dolan said.
Some 75 million American families count on life insurance products for peace of mind, long-term savings and a guarantee of lifetime income when it’s time to retire, the coalition said in a statement. The life insurance industry pays out $1.5 billion every day on life insurance, annuities and other retirement products, long-term care insurance and disability income insurance.
Savings in permanent life insurance and annuities represent more than 20 percent of Americans’ long-term savings. “That’s one in every five dollars saved,” Dolan said.
With public entitlement programs under greater and greater scrutiny and often mentioned as a target for tax cuts, retirement-related insurance products provide a sort of “private-sector safety net,” Dolan said.
So with no current issues on the table except some possible tax issues as Congress is urged to consider tax reform, why conduct the fly-in now?
After last fall’s election, many new faces are on Capitol Hill, and they need educating, according to Dolan. “Nothing brings a story home better than an agent” relating real-life experiences, he added.
In an uncertain economy, with such rapid change taking place across the global financial landscape, American need structure to help them plan for retirement, Dolan said.
Americans to Protect Family Security includes the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), GAMA International, Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).
Additional information can be found at www.securefamily.org.
Editor's note: After 100 years of fighting to keep favorable tax treatment of life insurance, industry advocates are arming for a battle they say could change everything. Read more in "The Taxers Are Coming!" in the March edition of InsuranceNewsNet magazine.
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