DALBAR Recognizes the Best Universal Life Statements in the Insurance Industry

Insurance companies have taken strides to improve their statements in an attempt to dismiss the belief of complexity relating to universal life insurance products.

TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2004 – Manulife Financial, Standard Life, Canada Life and Transamerica Life Canada are the best at providing policyholders with statements that are informative, appealing and straightforward, according to DALBAR’s 2004 Universal Life Policyholder Statement Analysis. These four statements were the only ones to earn DALBAR’s
‘Very Good’ statement designation.

The Universal Life Policyholder Statement Analysis examined statements from 12 Canadian insurance companies and used DALBAR’s criteria to assign each a score out of 100.

The top-ranked Universal Life statements for 2004 are:

                         Ranking   Insurance Company
                          No. 1    Manulife Financial
                          No. 2    Standard Life
                          No. 3    Canada Life
                          No. 4    Transamerica Life Canada
                          No. 5    Empire Financial Group

In an attempt to dismiss the belief that universal life products are
complex, leading firms have enhanced their statements by incorporating two significant improvements. The first involves the language reported on the statements. Firms are trying to make them as easy as possible to read and understand for the average client and are accomplishing
this by replacing industry jargon with more laymen’s language and by replacing acronyms with entire words.

The second improvement involves the disclosure of all relevant information about the policy. Although this area can still be enhanced, it is one in which DALBAR has witnessed much
improvement since it last conducted this analysis in 2002. In 2004, more statements displayed information such as the policy’s rate of return and the policy’s primary beneficiary.

“While these improvements are encouraging,” said Mark McDonald, Client
Relationship Manager of DALBAR’s Toronto office, “there are still others that can be made.” He lists the total death benefit as an example, as most statements did not display this value. These features are crucial components of any insurance policy and require regular monitoring to ensure the policyholder’s objectives are being met and should not be overlooked by the policyholder, the agent or the insurance company.

DALBAR, Inc. is a leading financial services research firm with offices in Toronto and Boston, specializing in measuring the performance of institutions and financial professionals in areas such as client satisfaction, service quality, and communications effectiveness.