Question: What is the top selling life insurance product line in your brokerage general agency this year and why?
“My biggest selling product line is whole life. It has been this way for three of the past five years. These are meaningfully large cases, worth millions of dollars in premium, because the sales are in the multi-life institutional market. The appeal is the guarantees, safety and predictability that whole life offers. It is seen as a complement to other assets and investments, but with a death benefit and tax-advantages. We also offer indexed universal life and guaranteed universal life. Whole life is not as glamorous as the other products but it is always there.”
— Jim Meaders, president, National Insurance Brokerage, Marietta, Ga.
“My answer is indexed universal life. There are three reasons for that: 1) It is tax-free 2) It is tax-free and 3) It is tax-free. Where else can clients go to accumulate money tax free with a tax-free benefit at the end (at death), and tax-free use of the money while still alive (through liquidity features)? With riders for critical illness and chronic illness in the package, the client has a bullet-proof retirement plan too. These products are selling in various face amounts to millennials, Generation X, baby boomers and businesses.”
— Mary Ann Lacy-Gray, president, Underwriters Marketing Service, Mount Laurel, N.J.
“The products with the greatest success this year are universal life policies with chronic care riders (also called long-term care riders). This has strong appeal in the middle market. Most people in this market who are considering buying life insurance will buy this product — especially if the policy has a no-lapse chassis with a guaranteed premium and guaranteed death benefit for whatever horizon the customer selects. Couples will buy these to replace the Social Security income that goes away when the first spouse dies. This is compelling, especially for those who believe they will never need long-term care even though they do believe that they will die. They like the idea that, live or die, the policy will help them. That appeals to people who don’t want to buy a policy from which they may never get a benefit. Also, the incremental cost of the rider is not that expensive, especially for people age 60 and younger.”
— Bob Merz, owner, The Merz Agency, Bellevue, Wash.