By Cyril Tuohy
Call it the battle of the Minnesota-based life insurance giants.
Securian Financial Group, based in St. Paul, Minn., has refreshed one indexed universal life (UL) product, and launched three indexed UL insurance products and a term life insurance product for sale in the state of New York.
In addition, the company has added three distribution networks in that state.
In a separate announcement, Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, based in Minneapolis , has launched a new indexed annuity, the company has announced. The annuity is branded as Allianz Signature 7.
Each of these two companies made their announcement within 24 hours of the other.
“We will keep looking for opportunities to grow our product offerings and distribution in New York,” said Bob Ehren, senior vice president of life product manufacturing for Securian Financial. “These launches are guided by a carefully developed strategic plan that we started implementing with our successful 2010 launch and will carry us well into the future.”
In New York, Securian Financial sells policies underwritten by the Securian Life Insurance Co.
The indexed UL refresh is an upgrade to Securian Life’s Eclipse Indexed Universal Life, which has been available in New York since 2010.
The three other new products include Eclipse Protector Indexed UL, which has an interest crediting feature tied to indexes; Eclipse Survivor Indexed UL, which features a survivorship benefit; and Eclipse Survivor Pro Indexed UL, a “budget-friendly” version of Eclipse Survivor and one with a guaranteed death benefit, Securian said in a statement.
In addition, Securian has replaced a term life product called Advantage Elite with Advantage Elite Select, the company said.
Indexed products have become more popular. They are seen as a way to limit downside risk which many consumers, particularly those with a curtailed time horizon, believe is important in the wake of losses during the Great Recession.
Allianz’ Signature 7 annuity, designed with a seven-year decreasing surrender charge period, is available only to advisors and other financial professionals connected to the Allianz Preferred platform, the company said.
Investors and retirees can allocate funds to changes in the S&P 500, the Russell 2000 and the Barclays US Dynamic Balance indexes, or any combination of these indexes, the company also said.
Sales of indexed annuities in the second quarter hit $9.1 billion, an increase of 17.1 percent over the first quarter, according to Beacon Research. Sales of indexed annuities are up 3.1 percent from the second quarter in 2012, Beacon said.
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 protected].
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