The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service released new guidance that is “designed to expand the use of income annuities in 401(k) plans.”
By Cyril Tuohy
Minnesota Life, the life insurance unit of Securian Financial Services, announced it has joined the list of life insurers making it possible for policyholders to enroll for term life using their mobile devices.
MyLife Select offers up to $250,000 of coverage for up to 20 years with level premiums. Signing up via mobile devices complements direct mail and online marketing services offered by the company, Securian said.
Insurance companies are quickly adopting the mobile channel to make it easier for consumers to buy simple life insurance coverage using smartphones and tablets.
Not only are mobile devices ubiquitous and quickly supplanting desktop computers, but their form factors have forced developers and distribution technology to offer uncluttered, simple and elegant graphical user interfaces.
Mobile devices have forced insurance carriers and many other financial services companies from banks to broker/dealers to retirement companies to think about selling products based on an experience that is faster and more intuitive than before.
“MyLife Select provides good value with an intuitive enrollment site that consumers can use with their mobile devices,” Barb Baumann, second vice president of Securian Financial Group, said in a statement.
MyLife Select, offered through simplified underwriting, offers an accelerated death benefit rider for policyholders diagnosed with terminal illness, a whole-life conversion feature, and the opportunity to renew the policy annually after the original term expires, the company said.
Mobile sales channels represent new opportunities for the life industry, which is looking for new ways to penetrate a consumer marketplace.
As many as 41 percent of U.S. adults have no life insurance, according to LIMRA, and as many as 56 percent of adults between the ages of 25 to 45 have no life insurance.
Consumers generally claim to be receptive to term life insurance products, which are among the most simple and stable products offered by life insurers.
LIMRA research also shows that 70 percent of customers interested in buying life insurance through their financial institution look for simplified term life, Securian said.
Selling insurance through mobile devices is the latest channel through which to sell life and retirement products.
Later this month, hundreds of insurance professionals will converge on Wesley Chapel, Fla., to attend LIMRA’s 2014 Distribution Conference for Financial Services, where experts will explore new facets of insurance distribution.
For the first time, the conference will feature a direct-to-consumer track where experts will address how innovation, technology and analytics are creating new experiences for customers, LIMRA said.
“As our industry strives to better understand changing consumer preferences, we must also understand the larger impact on distribution,” said James Kerley, president of LIMRA Services.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
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