Conventional Fixed, Not Variable, Products Plus A New Generation Of “Wealth Transfer”
Products Invigorating Life Insurance Business
(Hartford, CT) February 4, 2002 — In the months since the
World Trade Center disaster, there has been and will likely continue to be a big ramp up
in applications and sales for life insurance products. And much of this business, in
keeping with a more intense security focus across the country, has been written for fixed
life insurance products such as universal life, whole life and term versus variable
annuities or variable life insurance products.
These findings are among those now being reported by
Conning & Company in its latest strategic study, “Life Insurance Environment: Key
Challenges Facing the Industry.” The study provides a broad overview of the major
legal, regulatory, economic and political issues that were impacting the life insurance
industry prior to September 11, and the changes in focus following that day.
“In addition to growing sales of traditional fixed
benefit products, we’re seeing a whole new generation of wealth transfer products aimed at
the estate planning market,” said George McKeon, assistant vice president at Conning
& Company and editor of the study. “This is another area in which life insurers
are seeing some traction. While competition and regulation, both state and federal, could
slow growth in this area, all in all, the life side of the industry looks like it will
make some progress in 2002.”
McKeon notes that there has been some other fallout from
9/11 as well. Life insurers that had been using two or three reinsurers are now thinking
to use as many as twelve in order to spread the risk more broadly. As a consequence, there
could be a life reinsurance capacity shortage next year.
In addition, life insurers have begun to think more
carefully about the geographic concentration of potential loss risk. Executive level group
life policies, for example, are particularly vulnerable to localized risk such as
presented in the World Trade Center situation. This, coupled with the belief that the next
“attack” could be a life event (biological agent as weapon of mass destruction)
rather than a property event, makes these issues among the most problematic facing the life industry.
Using the memonic “the 4 Cs”, Conning has
identified four areas of challenge facing the industry: Heightened Customer Expectations,
Intense Competition, Regulatory Constraints and Pervasive Change. Conning reveals the
sources of these challenges and discusses methods that successful companies can employ to
aggressively respond to the opportunities that these challenges represent.
The Conning study, “Life Insurance Environment: Key
Challenges Facing the Industry,” is available from Conning & Company for $950.00
by calling toll free (888) 707-1177 or (860) 520-1521. A complete listing of all Conning
Strategic Studies can also be found by visiting the company’s Web site at
About Conning & Company
Conning is one of the largest asset managers specializing in insurance company investments
in the United States, a leading source of private equity capital to financial services
companies and a nationally respected provider of research publications on the insurance
industry. Conning & Company is located at CityPlace II, 185 Asylum Street, Hartford, CT 06103.