A National Council of Insurance Legislators resolution today revealed a rift with state insurance commissioners that threatens efforts to address systemic racism in insurance. NCOIL members say they just want to keep lawmaking decisions in the hands of lawmakers.
Selling life insurance products in a pandemic is difficult, but longtime life insurance pro Marv Feldman reminds agents not to abandon the important techniques that connect them with clients. And there may be new opportunities to get life insurance to people who need it.
Signum Global Advisors is warning clients in a new alert to be ready for a blue wave in November that gives Democrats control of government. The research firm has previously maintained that at least the Senate will remain in Republican control.
The Center for Economic Justice today challenged insurers and insurance regulators to match their public statements condemning systemic bias and inherent racism with concrete actions to address inherent racism in insurance.
The Florida Legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk Wednesday that would prohibit insurers from using customers’ genetic information in changing, denying or canceling policies. It is not known if Gov. Ron DeSantis, R, will sign the bill, which is generally opposed by the insurance industry.
The lawsuit focuses on a 10-year, $500,000 term life policy issued in 1999 to Kelly Douglas Couch, who hid his HIV-positive status and died in June 2005. Later in 1999, Couch transferred ownership of his policy to an investor in viatical settlements.
When the COVID-19 pandemic chased everyone indoors an insurance industry that relies on face-to-face contact suddenly had to change course. What happened is insurers, middlemen and agents all learned they can rely on technology to forge a new way of selling insurance products.
According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, insurers have made across-the-board improvements in clarity of information, but many still struggle with the balance of too much information and a minimalist approach.
In its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, the central bank said Friday that the COVID-19 outbreak was causing “tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world.”
MetLife Inc. has agreed to pay $84 million to settle an eight-year-old class-action lawsuit filed by shareholders who claim the insurer underreported its liabilities via claims to deceased policyholders. Plaintiffs claim that MetLife failed to include data from the Social Security Administration’s “Death Master File” in tabulating its reserves.
On a year-over-year basis, May 2020 index was up 5.2% with two less business days than in the 2019 comparative period. As carriers and agents adjust to the new normal and society returns, MIB cautioned against identifying any trends given the impact of the COVID-19 exogenous event.
Under current SEC rules, registered index-linked annuities must be registered using forms that are designed primarily for equity offerings and therefore require extensive information that is not relevant to prospective annuity purchasers.
Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill Friday that requires financial professionals to act in the best interests of the consumer. Arizona becomes the second state to adopt best-interest rules modeled on a proposal the National Association of Insurance Commissioners sent to the states earlier this year.
A state regulator task force took another step Thursday toward agreement on rule changes designed to rein in index universal life insurance illustrations. In a straw poll vote, Life Actuarial Task Force members voted 13-3 to affirm that any changes will only apply to new IUL policies.
First-quarter non-variable universal life sales totaled $770.3 million, down 2.5% over the first quarter 2019, according to Wink’s Sales &…
More fee-based products, new channels and growth in direct-to-consumer sales are some trends Chip Roame expects in the coming years. Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, characterized insurance products as being in a natural transition phase.
Department of Labor officials alerted the White House Monday that is has completed work on a reworked rule to regulate investment advice to workers and retirees. Known the “DOL fiduciary rule” when proposed by former President Barack Obama’s DOL, an appeals court tossed out the rule in 2018.
Several life insurance groups joined to release a statement this afternoon addressing racism, the George Floyd death and resulting protests across U.S cities.
Only one in 44 cases of elder fraud is actually reported, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association.
Life Actuarial Task Force members voted 15-2 in a “straw poll” to proceed with language put forth by the American Council of Life Insurers. The language is designed to shore up Actuarial Guideline 49 and bring IUL illustrations more in line with actual returns.
The Arizona House of Representatives this week approved and sent to Gov. Doug Ducey a bill to adopt a model regulation for annuity sales that requires financial professionals to act in the best interests of the consumer.
Term life insurance premium increased 8% in the first quarter, the highest since the second quarter 2007, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. Sixty percent of term life writers reported positive growth.
Despite COVID-19, deferred annuity sales remained strong in the first quarter at $52.7 billion, a slim 1.1% decline, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report. The pandemic affects came late in the first quarter, industry sources note, and its impacts might be seen in second quarter results.
The over-60 age group had been the largest group of life insurance applicants, but carriers have had to restrict new coverage for older consumers because of COVID-19.
A new rule published today by the U.S. Department of Labor today will permit private-sector employers to post retirement plan information online or send by email.
A wide rift opened Thursday among industry and consumer factions over changes to indexed universal life illustration rules, with anti-trust charges lobbed at the American Council of Life Insurers. Regulators hope to complete a new Actuarial Guideline 49 by their fall meeting.
A London insurer gave hints of how the industry will fight a series of lawsuits in one of the first responses to business interruption insurance claims related to COVID-19. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, a defendant in a Florida lawsuit brought by Prime Time Sports Grill, argues physical loss must be present.
Brighthouse Financial executives celebrated a successful first quarter Tuesday driven by a 15% increase in annuity sales year over year, and a 33% increase in life insurance sales.
The Iowa Insurance Division adopted a best interest rule applying a new standard to the sale of annuities and other insurance products. The new rule is based on a best-interest model rule adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Annuity sales fell to $705 million, down 43% from the total for the year-earlier quarter, American Equity reported. A leading provider of fixed indexed annuities, the company will be making changes to its product portfolio and approach, CEO Anant Bhalla said today.
Prudential Financial reported adjusted operating income of $373 million from its individual annuities segment, a 21% decline from the first quarter 2019. The insurer is adjusting quickly to products that are less reliant on interest rates and the equity markets.
Genworth reported a first-quarter loss of $66 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. The quarterly report comes two days after Fitch Ratings downgraded Genworth’s financial strength ratings from CCC+ to CCC.
American International Group is budging for COVID-19 catastrophe losses that exceed Hurricane Katrina, an executive said Tuesday morning. The insurer set aside $419 million for catastrophe losses in the quarter with $272 million of that estimated to be for losses related to COVID-19. And the worst is yet to come.
A comment period closed Thursday on draft changes to Actuarial Guideline 49 proposed by the American Council for Life Insurers. The Life Actuarial Task Force is scheduled to discuss the draft and comments during a May 14 conference call.
The property & casualty insurance industry is facing numerous class-action lawsuits related to denials of coverage for business interruption. Insurers are treating the pandemic as an exclusion, while businesses claim they should be covered.
Stress from COVID-19 was a slight drag on Principal Financial in the first quarterly. One of the bright spots was an uptick in term life interest and activity.
With $210 billion in federal funding on the way to replenish the small business emergency loan program, advisors in need of the money are being advised to move quickly and keep good records.
Six insurers were hit with class-action suits against in federal courts Friday over their denials of coverage for businesses shut down because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is expected to delay collection of key insurer mortality data until 2021.
A new assessment of insurers’ financial strength ratings by DBRS Morningstar finds that capitalization will be the first area of impact if the recession continues. Insurers are going to lose the flexibility that comes with a strong capital cushion, the report concluded.
New legislation is needed to further ease rules to enable retirement savers to retain and restore their nest eggs, said the Insured Retirement Institute. The IRI sent its “five-point plan” to President Donald Trump and members of Congress this morning.
Three insurers agreed to pay more than $2 million in restitution and penalties to New York for annuity replacement transactions that violate the state’s new best-interest standard. Regulation 187 went into effect for annuity sales on Aug. 1, 2019 and life insurance on Feb. 1, 2020.
Many businesses had hopes their commercial business interruption insurance would reimburse them for COVID-19 losses. But this insurance generally contains exclusions for war, flood and pandemics. Some state lawmakers are trying to apply retroactive coverage to those policies.
Prudential Financial Inc. will temporarily suspend taking applications for 30-year term life insurance policies, effective April 13, a spokeswoman confirmed today. The insurer cited “unprecedented market volatility over the past month and the anticipated low interest rate environment.”
Billionaire insurance magnate Greg Lindberg’s lawyers filed a motion Thursday for acquittal and for a new trial in the Western District of North Carolina. His attorneys submitted a 69-page document, claiming court errors, the government failed to meet the standard of “beyond reasonable doubt,” and that Lindberg was entrapped.
Sixty percent of Medicare insurance agents say their income declined over the past month as COVID-19 shut down businesses and forced Americans indoors. The online poll was conducted by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
The U.S. economy could get back on track quickly for very strong growth in the fourth quarter. The key is to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control by mid-summer, if not before, said Ben Ayers, senior economist for Nationwide.
Insurers are required to delay collecting premium on life insurance and annuity contracts written in New York for 90 days under an emergency regulation adopted today. The directive covers consumers experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Department of Financial Services said.
Many clients are scared, nervous and simply filled with anxiety over their portfolios, said Anders Smith, national sales consultant with Delaware Life Insurance Company. “During times like these, unfortunately, our jobs as financial professionals become a lot harder,” Smith said.
The U.S. markets will remain open while the country battles to control the spreading COVID-19 virus, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. He responded to a smattering of calls for the battered markets to take at least brief holiday.
With President Donald Trump expected to sign a $2 trillion economic rescue package this week, advisors and clients have a lifeline to recalibrate financial plans. The legislation steers aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a new lawsuit filed in North Carolina, Greg Lindberg accuses Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey — who wore a wire and cooperated with the FBI — of “abuse of power and breach of the public trust.” Lindberg was convicted on bribery charges March 5.
Former life insurance agent Christopher Dougherty, 47, pleaded guilty to several fraud charges this week, partly related to a phony marijuana farm investment he successfully pitched to unknowing investors.
Overall 2019 indexed annuity sales were $73.2 billion, a record-setting year that ended with a slowdown, reports Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Indexed annuity sales for the fourth quarter were $17.1 billion, down 8.1% when compared to the previous quarter, and down 10.6% when compared with the same period last year.
A federal court judge in North Carolina warned billionaire insurance magnate Greg Lindberg and his team today to stop contacting jurors in his recently completed bribery case.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners are hosting a webinar Friday to discuss pandemic information and readiness, along with its impact on the insurance industry.
New York regulators adopted a new emergency regulation requiring New York State insurance companies to waive cost-sharing, including, deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance for in-network telehealth visits.
The federal government filed a motion today in a North Carolina court for forfeiture of nearly $1.5 million seized from insurance magnate Greg Lindberg, who was convicted on bribery charges last week.
February saw a 5.6% increase in life insurance application activity from that of January, MIB reported, an increase not seen for this period in the composite index since 2015. However, the persistent coronavirus is likely to dampen activity in the coming months, MIB added.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is cancelling its spring meeting March 21-24 in Phoenix, the latest concession to the growing coronavirus threat. The meeting is one of three major conferences the NAIC holds annually and draws hundreds of regulators, insurance executives, consumer advocates and media members.