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Another index of hedge funds, but this one has a new wrinkle

January 24, 2005

NEW YORK - The first index that tracks hedge funds used by insurers to invest premiums from insurance products targeting wealthy clients will be available in March. The index will give advisers a way to benchmark performance of the funds backing...

LTC pricing and availability may stabilize in 2005

January 17, 2005

NEW YORK - The long-term-care-insurer shakeout and fine-tuning of the pricing structure are expected to create a more stable market for the coverage in 2005, as well as blunt some of the negative press that has hounded the industry. The carrier...

Cultural divide impedes bank insurance sales

January 17, 2005

NEW YORK - Bank insurance sales are likely to spike significantly if top managers of the banks and insurance companies can resolve their cultural differences - and that's a big "if." "It's as though two individuals from different countries meet...

Vanguard exits term life business

January 10, 2005

NEW YORK - The Vanguard Group Inc. quietly terminated its term life insurance program in November, but don't expect its biggest competitor to follow suit. Fidelity Investments in Boston will continue to offer term life insurance through its...

Value of benefits planning is on the rise, study says

January 10, 2005

NEW YORK - As workers are increasingly expected to assume more of the cost of their health benefits, employers are being pressured to enhance benefits education efforts and be more flexible about plan offerings, according to a study by MetLife...

Optional fed life insurer oversight gets boost

December 20, 2004

WASHINGTON - In its efforts to win the option of being regulated by a federal entity, the life insurance industry may find that it has some allies in the Consumer Federation of America as well as in some Democrats in Congress. And in a demonstration...

Outdated pitches may be stifling sales volume in LTC insurance

December 20, 2004

NEW YORK - Hammering home the asset preservation and tax-saving aspects of long-term-care insurance will help sell more policies to individuals and businesses than talking about policy provisions and the odds of needing extended medical care,...

Improved tax incentives for LTC are receiving scant attention

December 13, 2004

CHICAGO - The tax incentives for buying long-term-care insurance continue to improve, but some think not enough financial planners and accountants are taking notice. The Internal Revenue Service said this month that it has increased deductibility...

Secondary market for VAs is emerging

December 13, 2004

NEW YORK - Advisers with clients who are unhappy with the performance of their variable annuity - or who need quick cash - can advise them to sell the annuity to a gradually expanding secondary market. Insurers and industry observers, however,...

Blended policies may create coverage-commission conflict

December 6, 2004

NEW YORK - Life insurance agents should inform their clients about the potential cost benefits of blended policies, an industry gadfly noted, even though blending can significantly reduce commissions. Glenn Daily, a New York-based consultant...

No new life from push by insurers

November 29, 2004

NEW YORK - September's Life Insurance Awareness Month at first blush seems to have been less than a rousing success, as October new life insurance applications in the United States decreased 2.1% from the level in October 2003, according to...

Probe may force more pay disclosure

November 29, 2004

WASHINGTON - New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer's escalating probe into insurance industry sales practices is likely to lead to more disclosure surrounding how insurance agents and brokers are paid. On Nov. 15, the Kansas City, Mo.-based...

Banks sell more fixed annuities than variables, survey finds

November 15, 2004

NEW YORK - Banks' fixed-rate mindset and shortage of platform employees with securities licenses are among the reasons they sell more fixed than variable annuities compared to other distribution channels, according to bank insurance and annuity...

Brokers win battle in block transfer war

November 15, 2004

NEW YORK - Score a qualified victory for independent broker-dealers. Backing away from an earlier stance, NASD last Monday said that it will allow broker-dealers to continue the block transfers of mutual funds and variable annuities if clients'...

A day in the life of an insurance wholesaler

November 15, 2004

NEW YORK - On a Friday morning, Chris Rosoff was ready to roll. His hair was carefully combed, and he looked sharp in his tailored blue pinstriped suit, crisp white shirt, bright red tie and designer suspenders. He had his Big Gulp coffee, his...

Costs likely to push insurance mergers

November 15, 2004

NEW YORK - Cost pressures and lack luster sales will rekindle merger and acquisition activity in the insurance industry, according to Ernst & Young LLP executives. In addition, noting the profound impact of investigations by New York Attorney...

Spitzer insurance probe impact is uncertain

November 8, 2004

WASHINGTON - The Consumer Federation of America, an opponent of federal pre-emption of state insurance regulation, is using New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer's latest investigation to bolster the case against federal insurance regulation...

Life insurers now face a tricky year in D.C.

November 8, 2004

WASHINGTON - For financial planners, last week's national elections are likely to move life insurance and tax issues to the forefront. In fact, next year may be particularly tricky for the life insurance industry - so much so that the industry...

Insurers expected to meet obligations

November 1, 2004

NEW YORK - Financial advisers and insurance consultants don't appear to be worried about the effects of the burgeoning scandal involving the insurers they use for clients' life/health and annuity business, and they are allaying client concerns...

Securities cops using back door

October 25, 2004

WASHINGTON - Some securities regulators in states that don't define annuities as securities are asserting their right to regulate the sale of the product anyway. They are finding creative ways of bringing enforcement cases involving variable...

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