Industry Updates 

Important news and updates from insurance carriers, financial institutions, and solution providers for brokerage professionals and agencies. 

Please send announcements, press releases, or noteworthy developments to Jordan Foster for review and consideration.

2022 Industry Update Archive    2021 Industry Update Archive

FEBRUARY 2023

The companies of National Life Group expand suite of living benefits, adds Alzheimer’s and a fertility journey rider
The companies of National Life Group are expanding their suite of living benefits, adding Alzheimer’s Disease and a new fertility journey rider beginning Jan. 28. These expansions have the potential to support many, as more than 6.5 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s dementia, and the average cost of one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is more than $12,000.

North American and Annexus Continue to Define Industry with Launch of North American Secure Horizon Choice Fixed Index Annuity
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® (North American), a member company of Sammons® Financial Group and one of the largest issuers of fixed index annuities (FIAs) in the U.S.,1 has once again joined forces with Annexus, a premier independent designer of FIAs. The new North American Secure HorizonSM Choice (Secure Horizon Choice) fixed index annuity offers shorter 5- and 7- year terms and is designed to help clients reach their financial goals by offering growth and protection for their retirement savings.

Lincoln Financial Group Offers Faster Route From Planning to Protection With New, Fully Automated Life Product
As the world becomes more digitally focused, consumers expect ease and accessibility from their financial products. Lincoln WealthAccelerateSM meets those changing consumer expectations through a streamlined product with the advantages of indexed universal life insurance – access to a cash value component in addition to a death benefit – and the ease of a fully electronic process guided by an experienced financial professional.

Advisors Excel Raises Nearly $1.1 Million for Folds of Honor
The gift will help fund more than 216 scholarships for families of fallen and disabled military heroes and first responders across the country.

CFP Board to Split Into 2 Nonprofit Groups
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards says it is setting up a separate nonprofit organization to promote careers in financial planning and the public image of financial planners.  The new 501(c)(6) organization will be called CFP Board of Standards, while the existing 501(c)(3) organization will be renamed the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning — which is a program the group set up in 2015.

JANUARY 2023

French Named Chair of National Association of Insurance Commissioners Life Insurance and Annuities Committee
Ohio Department of Insurance director Judith L. French was named chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Life Insurance and Annuities Committee, highlighting the selection of department staff to 20 NAIC committee and task force leadership roles in 2023.

Wink hosting Virtual Career Fair for February’s Insurance Careers Month
Wink will be supporting the annual Insurance Careers Month during the month of February with a virtual career fair for the life insurance and annuity industry.

AmeriLife Announces Key Organizational Changes on Heels of Strong Growth & Expansion
Following three years of record-breaking growth and expansion, AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”) today announced a strategic, organizational restructuring with the creation of two new, distinct distribution groups – Wealth and Health – an evolved structure designed to deliver more focused growth along with the resources needed to continue to grow AmeriLife’s industry-leading partners.

Will ChatGPT, artificial intelligence replace financial professionals any time soon?
Will artificial intelligence replace financial professionals any time soon? No. Even ChatGPT says so. But even artificial intelligence might have a difficult time accurately answering that. 

Insurers (mostly) successful on COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits
Insurers were mostly victorious in the initial business interruption lawsuits filed in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns that began in March 2020. Those rulings mainly came from federal courts. Now class-action lawsuits are wending their way through state supreme courts, where insurers are getting more good news. “Insurers had a fair amount of success in defeating these claims in federal court,” said Ali I. Haque, partner at BakerHostetler, a national law firm.

Top FINRA Exam Priorities in 2023
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s just-released Examination and Risk Monitoring Program report gives broker-dealers insight into findings from recent oversight activities of FINRA’s Member Supervision, Market Regulation and Enforcement programs.

Fractional Shares, Fixed-Income Pricing to Get Watchdog Scrutiny
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said how fractional-share trades are reported will be a focus of its examinations in 2023. The industry-backed regulator said supervisors will also look at compliance with fair-pricing rules for fixed-income trades, according to a report released on Tuesday.

U.S. Life Application Activity Gets the Chills
U.S. individual life insurance application activity dropped in December, MIB Group reported Tuesday.  The Braintree, Massachusetts-based industry organization said overall application flow fell 4.2% when compared with application flow for December 2021.

NAFA Elects 2023 Board of Directors
The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, approved the slate of candidates presented for its 2023 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in Santa Monica, Calif. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates were vetted by the current board before being proposed during the association’s 14th annual Annuity Distribution Summit.

Nearly two-thirds of women are delaying their retirement due to inflation
Inflation has shaken women’s retirement security and confidence, according to a Nationwide Retirement Institute® survey of employer-sponsored retirement plan participants and sponsors. The study found that 62% of women are either expecting to retire later than originally planned or don’t believe they will ever be able to retire because of inflation, compared to 47% of men. This is a significant jump from 2021, when only one in four women expected to postpone or cancel their retirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These 22 Life Insurers Just Saw Over 10% Growth in Premiums
National Life, the industry’s top seller of indexed life insurance according to research firm Wink, saw a doubling of renewal premiums over the last five years, according to an investor update presentation released in June. Life insurance premiums accounted for more than two-thirds of the 2021 total.

Young, brash and wrong: FINRA study profiles investing risks
Hiring in the insurance industry continued chugging forward in December, as insurance companies, brokers and related businesses added another 3,800 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.  The hiring increase in the last month of the year matched hiring numbers in November, as the industry continued to rebound from the pandemic-driven downturn that began in 2020 (BestWire, Dec. 2, 2022). Over the course of the past 12 months, insurance hiring increased by an estimated 39,600 jobs to 2.84 million jobs, the BLS said.

Pan-American Life Insurance Group Completes Merger of Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company into Pan-American Life Insurance Company
Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG), a leading provider of life, accident and health insurance throughout the Americas, today announced that it has completed the merger of Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company®, a Pan-American Life Insurance Group Stock Company, into Pan-American Life Insurance Company (PALIC) as a fully integrated division named Mutual Trust Life Solutions, effective December 31, 2022.

Best’s Special Report: Rising Interest Rates Suppress Debt Appetite for U.S. Life/Annuity Insurers
Publicly traded U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers are taking a more-cautious approach to issuing debt given rising interest rates, and instead have put a greater focus on strengthening their enterprise risk management, corporate governance and stress testing capabilities. according to a new AM Best special report.

Transamerica Unveils Financial Choice IUL
Transamerica announces today the availability of the Transamerica Financial Choice IULSM, a new index universal life insurance policy to protect beneficiaries while providing flexibility and opportunity for tax-advantaged supplemental income. The Transamerica Financial Choice IUL offers life insurance protection and a variety of index options and policy features to help customers maximize accumulation potential and access to cash value.

All the New Secure 2.0 and RILA Deadlines You Need to Know
The enormous new spending bill Congress has sent President Joe Biden could create a mountain of financial services law implementation work for federal agencies over the next 10 years.  The heart of the new Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA, 2023) consists of appropriations provisions needed to keep the federal government running. At press time, the White House had not yet announced the signing of the bill or arrangements for a signing ceremony, but the president had expressed strong support for the bill and indicated that he would sign it.

Technology Impacting Insurance Sales Through AI Leads, Digital Sales STP, And Illustration Workflow
What’s the latest innovation in technology for insurance sales? Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used for lead generation, lead follow-up, strategic marketing, customer retention, and client support. Leveraging AI gives you more control over the sales cycle, helping clients identify hot leads earlier and faster. Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming the most sought-after technology solutions for businesses in every industry.

Changing financial tides could hit IUL cap rates
Indexed universal life (IUL) cap rates have reached low tide, which makes long-term projections much less attractive for current and future policyholders.  It is not hyperbole to say “every IUL policy sold in the last 10 years illustrates lower today than it did when it was sold,” assuming maximum illustrative rates. Some will argue this, but that does not provide answers about the future of permanent products, including whole life, IUL and universal life (UL).

A fraud-filled 2022: Scammers and lawsuits fill the news
The year included plenty of high-profile fraud incidents and trends. COVID-19 fraud cases consistently drove strong traffic to InsuranceNewsNet.  Some of the incidents included significant settlements and impacts. Such as a May settlement by Allianz, which agreed to pay $6 billion to settle charges that its investing division defrauded clients by hiding losses and risks that led a hedge fund to collapse during the 2020 market meltdown.

2022 Industry Update Archive  2021 Industry Update Archive