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Insurers and banks become wary bedfellows

July 24, 2006

NEW YORK - With the financial-supermarket concept once championed by New York-based Citigroup Inc. now dead - or at least dormant - insurers and banks are looking for new ways to get into each other's businesses. That is the essence of "The...

Senate holds powwow on insurance regulation

July 17, 2006

WASHINGTON - The Senate Banking Committee last week held the first of a series of hearings this year on modernizing insurance regulation, looking particularly at whether insurers should be given the option of being federally regulated. The committee...

Nearly 70% ill-prepared to meet LTC needs, survey shows

July 17, 2006

NEW YORK - Despite the recent publicity surrounding rising nursing-home and other long-term-care costs, nearly 70% of Americans refuse to buy LTC insurance or adequately plan for future care. That was a key finding of a survey of 1,000 U.S....

Insurers on prowl for deals

July 17, 2006

PHILADELPHIA - The race for baby boomers' retirement assets soon may ignite a pickup in deal making between insurance companies and asset managers. The Mutual of Omaha Cos. is on the prowl for an asset management company, possibly one that runs...

Sideways-market study: EIAs top stock indexes

July 17, 2006

NEW YORK - Some equity index annuity advocates are attempting to bolster EIAs' shaky reputation among potential clients and regulators by back testing to show their allegedly superior investment performance in a sideways market. A consultant...

Insurance brokers seek advisers as producers

July 10, 2006

NEW YORK - For financial advisers who have been mulling getting more involved in insurance sales, now may be an excellent time to pull the trigger. Many full-service insurance brokers, which sell employee benefits and life, health and property-casualty...

Policy replacement binge for term life may be at hand

June 26, 2006

NEW YORK - Competition, longer life spans and Internet sales of term life insurance are lowering premiums to the point where it might make sense to replace older policies with new ones, according to industry observers. For instance, a 50-year-old...

As E&O costs rise, advisers 'going bare'

June 19, 2006

DETROIT - After doing the math on the rising cost of errors and omissions liability insurance, a growing number of independent financial advisory firms are "going bare," shunning the coverage designed to protect advisers against client lawsuits....

Push for 100% excise tax roils life settlement arena

June 19, 2006

NEW YORK - Premium financing for policies destined to be sold in life settlements is either a legitimate service for the cash-strapped elderly or a wily scheme that should be taxed to death, depending on which trade group you believe. In these...

Critical-illness insurance is group product champion

June 19, 2006

NEW YORK - Group insurers have crowned critical-illness insurance the new growth champion, but former group champ universal life still is going strong on the individual side. Critical-illness insurance - covering medical and living expenses...

Financial services industry addresses climate change issue

June 19, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - Concerns about global warming are changing the way financial services firms do business. But critics say the industry, in addressing greenhouse gas emissions, is caving in to pressure groups. Even some in the environmental movement...

Asset manager offers health insurance to indie reps

June 12, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO - A turnkey asset management company is raising the bar by lowering the barriers independent representatives face in getting health insurance. Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel Inc. of San Diego is making the benefit available...

Debate over UL reserves nearer a resolution

June 12, 2006

NEW YORK - Industry observers, commenting on a recommendation that states determine whether lapse rates can be used when calculating reserves for universal-life policies with guaranteed death benefits, say that using them can lower premiums....

Variable annuities continue to get no respect

June 5, 2006

NEW YORK - If an investment is known by the company it keeps, then the variable annuity needs to hang out with a different crowd. In an announcement last month by the Kentucky Office of Financial Institutions in Frankfort listing 13 common investment...

Rising interest rates steer some clients away from fixed annuities

June 5, 2006

NEW YORK - Steadily rising interest rates and a flattening yield curve are causing some types of fixed annuities to lose sales steam, according to industry observers. Meanwhile, certificates of deposit, universal life insurance and rate-sensitive...

Coughing up smoker's rates for children

May 30, 2006

NEW YORK - AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. could face a class action involving more than 100,000 policyholders who may have bought insurance policies for children, including babies, at rates reserved for smokers. "Most logical-thinking Americans...

Some indies starting to add group benefits

May 22, 2006

NEW YORK - In a dramatic shift in the way independent-contractor broker-dealers treat their affiliated registered representatives, some leading firms are beginning to offer benefits such as health insurance. The firms making the moves, which...

Consolidation, risk management key life insurer trends

May 22, 2006

NEW YORK - Mergers and acquisitions - as well as increased attention to enterprise risk management - will be among the key drivers of life insurer profitability and survival for the remainder of this year and beyond, according to research released...

Many boomers don't buy insurers' annuity pitches

May 22, 2006

NEW YORK - Annuity pitches that try to win baby boomers' retirement wallets with scare tactics will fail, some insurance marketing experts say. Boomers require a gentle touch; they don't respond to the painting of grim retirement pictures, said...

Annuities lack uniform standards, NASD CEO says

May 15, 2006

WASHINGTON - Investors don't understand that they get different types of protection when buying various types of annuities, NASD chairman and chief executive Robert Glauber said at a recent annuity round-table discussion. Suitability standards,...

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