DALBAR Recognizes the Best Websites in Life Insurance & Annuities

New York Life and American General Hold Tight to Number One; New Year Brings Financial Resolutions

(Boston, MA. – March 2010) New York Life captured first place in DALBAR’s Quarterly Ranking of consumer websites in the financial services industry, followed closely by AXA Equitable, Pacific Life, MassMutual and SunAmerica.

In the financial professional arena, American General again claimed the number one spot, however AXA Distributors took a very close second after redesigning their advisor site in late 2009. Both firms received an “Excellent” designation. Lincoln Financial, SunAmerica, The Hartford, and MassMutual also earned an “Excellent” designation for their professional websites,
the highest honor DALBAR awards.

Fourth Quarter Rankings, 2009: Movers and Shakers

John Hancock Annuities advanced three places in the consumer rankings to number seven after redesigning their contract information page. Visitors to their site can now view their account details all on one page with easy access to perform transactions, view transaction history and year to date rate of returns. A message center along with print icons, a text size adjuster and drop-down navigational menus have improved functionality and ease of navigation.

The Hartford’s financial professional website made a significant move to 5th place, soaring 6 positions from last quarter. The Hartford enhanced their market outlooks section by introducing Dr. Bob and his weekly expertise on market related issues and ways advisors can help their clients. The firm is now also offering compliance updates for professionals to stay up to date on ever changing regulations.

Fourth Quarter Rankings, 2009:

Top-ranked websites, as of the end of the fourth quarter, 2009, are:

Web Ranking Consumer Financial Professional
# 1 New York Life* American General*
# 2 AXA Equitable* AXA Distributors*
# 3 Pacific Life Lincoln Financial*
# 4 MassMutual SunAmerica*
# 5 SunAmerica The Hartford*

*Earns DALBAR’s “Excellent” designation

Trend: New Year Resolutions and Reviewing 2009

While 2009 began to wind down, investors and professionals alike were preparing to review the struggles in 2009, evaluate current financial statuses and set new goals and resolutions for the New Year. As many individuals have high hopes to get back on track with their finances in 2010 and leave the worries of 2009 behind, advisors have every intention of helping them succeed with their new ventures.

  • New York Life caught consumers’ attention thanks to a homepage banner advertisement headlined “Manage Your Finances for the New Year: An Annual Review.” New York Life encouraged clients to schedule an annual review with their advisor to evaluate personal/professional changes, life insurance plans, and new financial goals.
  • Thrivent reached out to clients and provided them with recommended New Year steps. With a list of 5 basic rules to investing, along with related links to tools and resources regularly found on their website, Thrivent helped consumers prepare for the upcoming year.
  • State Farm introduced a list of 10 ways to kick off the New Year right and guided investors to useful website tools and materials to get started.

The complete WebMonitor Life Insurance & Annuity quarterly updates for the Fourth Quarter, 2009, are available from DALBAR at WebMonitor Quarterly Rankings or 617-723-6400.

About DALBAR, Inc.

DALBAR, Inc., the nation’s leading financial-services market research firm, is committed to raising the standards of excellence in the financial-services industry. With offices in both the US and Canada, DALBAR develops standards for, and provides research, ratings, and rankings of intangible factors to the mutual fund, broker/dealer, discount brokerage, life insurance, and banking industries. They include investor behavior, customer satisfaction, service quality, communications, Internet services, and financial-professional ratings. www.dalbar.com.