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Insurer consolidation will benefit advisers

October 24, 2005

NEW YORK - The expected consolidation of life insurers will benefit advisers, because doing business with several large companies instead of many smaller ones reduces administrative costs and product overload, insurance industry analysts said....

'Plannerware' parties used to pitch annuities

October 17, 2005

NEW YORK - A financial services company has developed home-based workshops akin to Tupperware parties to sell variable annuities and other financial products to prospective female clients. In the first wave, female advisers of Minnesota Life...

E&O policies may not cover 401(k) sales

October 17, 2005

CHICAGO - Brokers who sell 401(k) plans and take on a fiduciary role might not be covered under their broker-dealer's errors-and-omissions policy, according to some plan experts. That has been a topic of concern in the industry, and it has left...

Independent broker-dealers are looking good to insurers

October 17, 2005

NEW YORK - Consolidation is picking up among independent-contractor broker-dealers, with three insurance companies again leading the charge to buy. Last Monday, Lincoln National Corp. of Philadelphia said that it will acquire Jefferson-Pilot...

Improved distribution in Lincoln-Jefferson deal

October 17, 2005

NEW YORK - Financial advisers who do business with Lincoln Financial Group and Jefferson-Pilot Corp. expect that the merger announced last week will strengthen the companies' distribution systems and enhance their product offerings. "One of...

Russell lands ex-Schwab exec for wealth management

October 10, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Russell Investment Group has put an old industry hand in a new position to help recast it as a wealth management consulting firm. The Tacoma, Wash.-based money manager hired J. Nicholas Georgis as managing director, wealth management,...

Hedge funds avoid a major hit from catastrophe bonds

October 10, 2005

NEW YORK - Hedge funds that invest in catastrophe bonds have not been significantly affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, although the bonds may have to make payouts related to underlying insurance losses for the first time in their history,...

Study: Nursing home cost tops 74G a year

October 10, 2005

NEW YORK - The average cost for a private room in a U.S. nursing home now exceeds $200 a day and $74,000 annually - up 5.7% from the amount last year. That means the average nursing home stay of 2.4 years runs up a bill of about $178,000. Those...

Raymond James works to push VA price cuts

October 10, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Raymond James Financial Inc. is working with insurance carriers to lower fees on variable annuities its brokers sell. By May, the firm plans to cap upfront gross on variable annuities at 5% and limit trail fees to half a percentage...

Return-of-premium riders seen boosting term life insurance

October 3, 2005

NEW YORK - Several major life insurers are promoting return-of-premium riders to jump-start their term life insurance sales. Riders returning to term life policyholders their premiums - sometimes with interest - at the end of the policy term...

HSAs may be good for banks, bad for insurers

October 3, 2005

NEW YORK - Health savings accounts will flourish and create new income opportunities for banks but could significantly reduce health insurers' premiums, according to a report released last month. About 740,000 people will have an HSA-linked...

Brokers curtail equity- indexed-annuity sales

September 26, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Independent-contractor brokerage firms are taking steps to restrict the sale of equity-indexed annuities in response to pressure from NASD of Washington. Currently, most independent firms allow their reps to sell fixed annuities...

Life insurers bow to VA rule change

September 26, 2005

WASHINGTON - The life insurance industry is backing down in its battle against an NASD rule change aimed at creating suitability sales practice standards for variable annuity sales. In comments filed with regulators last week, the American Council...

Pacific Life gets caught up in VA class action

September 26, 2005

NEW YORK - Litigation over variable annuity sales practices continues to plague life insurers. Notices were mailed last week to a class of 119,352 people who purchased variable annuities within qualified retirement plans - including individual...

NAIC vote on travel delayed

September 12, 2005

WASHINGTON - The likely passage of a resolution opposing denial of life insurance coverage on the basis of potential travel to countries on the State Department's warning list was delayed when state insurance regulators had to cancel their fall...

People more likely to get LTC at work

September 12, 2005

NEW YORK - People are much more likely to buy long-term-care insurance if it's offered as an employee group benefit through payroll deduction as opposed to being sold on an individual basis, according to consultants in the field. But agents...

Spitzer: Ax insurance antitrust exemptions

August 29, 2005

WASHINGTON - New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer wants the insurance industry's antitrust exemptions repealed, a move the insurance industry says would lead to "chaos." In a comment letter filed in mid-July with the Antitrust Modernization...

Detour arrives for key HSA roadblock

August 29, 2005

NEW YORK - Aetna Inc. announced last month that participants in its high-deductible plans linked to health savings accounts will have the option of waiving the deductible for listed preventive medications. The new program, which some industry...

Insurers push annuities in Social Security reform

August 29, 2005

WASHINGTON - The life insurance industry is calling for some form of annuity payments to be required if the government adopts private accounts in Social Security. But the industry has not taken a stand on whether the annuity programs should...

Life agent group supports optional federal charter

August 22, 2005

WASHINGTON - A group of life and health insurance agents is trying to counterbalance the hefty weight of property-casualty agents in the battle over optional federal insurance regulation. The Agents for Change, financed by the Financial Services...

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