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HSAs likely to be under fire in next Congress: Will their loss be LTC's gain under Democrats?

November 20, 2006

NEW YORK - Floundering health savings account legislation in a Democratic-controlled Congress might affect long-term-care insurance, industry observers say. One scenario is that LTC sales could go up if people decide to buy the insurance instead...

India is becoming a hiring hub for cost-cutting insurers

November 20, 2006

NEW YORK - Insurers in the United States and Europe are hiring more employees in India to perform administrative jobs, according to recent studies and company announcements. The Principal Financial Group Inc. has announced plans to expand its...

LTC specialist brokers seek more adviser business

November 13, 2006

NEW YORK - Insurance brokers that specialize in long-term-care coverage increasingly are seeking to partner with financial advisers, according to industry observers. Such relationships - which often involve a fifty-fifty commission split or...

Lincoln to revamp retirement strategy

November 13, 2006

NEW YORK - Lincoln Financial Group last week announced the formation of a retirement income security ventures group charged with obtaining more business from advisers' soon-to-retire baby boomer clients. The decision is the result of a yearlong...

Life settlement providers eye broker commission disclosures

November 13, 2006

NEW YORK - Life settlement providers are scrambling to avoid becoming embroiled in broker compensation abuses similar to those that have been alleged against one of the industry's leading companies. A lawsuit filed last month in Manhattan Supreme...

Insurers seen as targets by private equity

November 6, 2006

NEW YORK - Private-equity firms increasingly view insurance brokers and companies as lucrative acquisition targets, according to industry observers. Acquisition announcements can be expected in the next few months, said John Marra, a partner...

Allianz enters market for boomer retirement

October 30, 2006

NEW YORK - Allianz Income Management Services - a late arrival to the baby boomer retirement market - promises to shake up product offerings and producer compensation. But the newcomer faces a chilly reception from most competitors already in...

EIA insurers weigh FMO ties

October 23, 2006

NEW YORK - Life insurers that use field marketing organizations to distribute equity index annuities eventually may follow the industry leader and start dealing directly with more broker-dealers, according to industry observers. However, most...

Insurance industry wrestles with poor reputation

October 23, 2006

NEW YORK - Familiarity breeds contempt when dealing with people, but it breeds favorability when dealing with insurers. People have little regard for the insurance industry as a whole, but they generally don't have anything against individual...

SEC approval of Hancock VA funds seen as uncertain

October 16, 2006

NEW YORK - Advisers don't seem to like John Hancock Life Insurance Co.'s plan to substitute its own mutual funds for outside funds in its variable annuities, and the Securities and Exchange Commission might not either, industry observers say....

Pension reform law jump-starts hybrid LTC products

October 9, 2006

NEW YORK - Many insurers are jumping on the long-term-care hybrid-policy bandwagon thanks to the recently passed Pension Protection Act's tax advantages, according to industry experts. Money taken from an annuity's or life insurance policy's...

Banks seek to refine number of annuity insurers

October 9, 2006

NEW YORK - One-fourth of large banks thought that the number of their annuity insurers was too big, another fourth thought the number was too small, and half thought it was just right, according to a survey to be released this week by ING US...

Allianz OKs broker end run around FMOs

October 9, 2006

NEW YORK - Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America is changing the way it sells equity index annuities from a model based exclusively on "independent" wholesalers to one in which large broker-dealers may access EIAs directly. Starting...

Life insurers starting to focus sales on the middle market

September 25, 2006

NEW YORK - Most rich people have life insurance, and most poor people can't afford it, so policyholder-starved insurers are homing in on the middle market. Among the reasons that new policyholders are being sought is to make up for lost revenue...

Term life and VAs top advisers' Rx list

September 11, 2006

NEW YORK - The vast majority of financial advisers recommend term life insurance instead of whole life to clients, and those who recommend annuities prefer variable over fixed. Those were among the findings of the second annual "Use of Insurance...

New way for individuals to invest in hurricane risk

September 5, 2006

NEW YORK - Weather-related investing, now dominated by hedge funds, has been made available to the masses. HedgeStreet Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., announced in August the opening of its online retail market for trading Atlantic Ocean hurricane...

Banks become hot target for insurers' annuity sales

September 5, 2006

NEW YORK - Life insurers are adopting a "no annuity gets left behind" strategy in selling through bank branches, according to industry marketing executives. Not only are insurers getting their foot in the door at additional banks, they are also...

Weather risk investors breathing sigh of relief

August 28, 2006

NEW YORK - As we mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, hedge funds and private-equity firms that invest in weather risk are giving thanks for the benign - at least so far - Atlantic hurricane season. But there is still...

War of words ensues over equity index annuity

August 28, 2006

NEW YORK - An annuity marketing group is demanding that a rating firm retract damaging statements about the group and its new equity index product. The Annexus Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., which comprises a dozen "independent marketing organizations,"...

Fear of family financial ruin is a potent LTC weapon

August 21, 2006

NEW YORK - Financial advisers trying to convince clients to purchase long-term-care insurance are learning what mothers have known all along: Guilt can be an effective form of persuasion. More than two-fifths of respondents to a survey by Mutual...

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