Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
Nov. 21--Madison-based CUNA Mutual Group plans to spend $200 million over the next three years on a new marketing campaign aimed at selling more insurance and financial products directly to credit union members nationwide.
More than 60 full-time jobs have been added in Madison to support the campaign, which is focused around a new consumer brand known as TruStage. The brand will be an umbrella label for the company's existing insurance offerings, plus an investment annuity product that had not been sold directly to members before.
The campaign includes a new website, direct mail, email, digital media and call center agents. CUNA Mutual previously marketed to credit union members through direct mail only, company spokesman Rick Uhlmann said.
Sales under the program also will benefit credit unions, which, as before, get a slice of any revenues that CUNA Mutual earns by selling to their members. CUNA Mutual hopes credit unions will earn an extra $30 million through the program over the next four years as the company tries to boost its sales to credit union members.
CUNA Mutual now ensures about 14 million members, but wants a bigger slice of the total market, which numbers 95 million.
"We and credit unions see this as a tremendous opportunity ... to gain a significantly larger share of that national membership, thus deepening (credit unions') relationships with members," Uhlmann said.
The campaign officially began Aug. 1, but had been rolled out as a pilot program for several months before that. The company has seen a 30 percent increase in new direct-to-consumer policies from a year ago, Uhlmann said.
CUNA Mutual has been selling home, auto, life and accidental death insurance to individual credit union members by direct mail for the past nearly 30 years.
The company also sells protection such as bond coverage, property and casualty insurance to credit unions themselves as part of its core business.
But continuing consolidation of credit unions around the nation means the bigger opportunity going forward is in selling to credit union members.
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