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Insurers said to steer reps to in-house wares

March 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Many insurers are providing incentives to their advisers to sell proprietary products, despite claiming to have “open architecture” platforms, according to industry observers. MetLife Inc. in January was sued for allegedly providing...

Innovative policy targets wealthy clients

March 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Advisers with clients who need life insurance for tax minimization and wealth transfer may want to consider a new policy geared to that market. The policy — which combines the tax-free death benefits of life insurance with the tax-deferred...

Class action litigation looms as new hurdle for EIA insurers

February 26, 2007

NEW YORK — Add class action litigation to the regulatory controversies, bad press and other woes plaguing insurers that sell equity index annuities. A magistrate for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii in Honolulu this month...

John Hancock ups the ante in cash value guarantees

February 19, 2007

NEW YORK — John Hancock Life Insurance Co. of Boston this month introduced a policy that guarantees cash values to a greater extent than other types of whole life insurance. But some financial advisers need convincing that the product is the...

MetLife accused of coercing advisers to sell its products

February 19, 2007

NEW YORK — A securities law firm is seeking class action status for clients who may have been financially damaged by an insurer’s threats and commission incentives designed to skew adviser judgment in favor of proprietary products. The case...

Investment choices in HSAs expanding

February 19, 2007

NEW YORK — When banks and brokers first started offering health savings accounts, clients could choose any investment they wanted for their account funds — as long as it was a certificate of deposit. But that is changing, according to industry...

Lawmaker changes horses on income stream comments

February 5, 2007

NEW YORK — A congressman who raised eyebrows last month when he seemed to imply that annuities are the answer to the need for lifetime retirement income claims he was misunderstood. “To paraphrase James Carville, it’s the annuities, stupid,”...

Home-invasion policy may calm client fears

February 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Recent reports of an uptick in home invasions in many parts of the United States may increase the popularity of a policy that covers medical and other costs of the invasions. So far, this type of policy is available only from Chubb...

RiverSource unveils new universal life policy

January 30, 2007

RiverSource Life Insurance Co. today launched a new survivorship universal life insurance policy called "Succession Protector," which insures two lives and pays out at the second death, according to a statement by the insurer, which is part...

Insurer’s CEO tries to win agents over

January 29, 2007

NEW YORK — James Hohmann — who became chief executive of Allstate Financial Group this month — said he will confer with the insurer’s agents in the next few weeks to solidify relationships and discuss possible initiatives. His main goal...

Citigroup to acquire Egg Bank

January 29, 2007

Citigroup Inc. has agreed to buy Prudential PLC's Egg Bank PLC, an online bank, in a deal worth $1.13 billion. The sale, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by April. The deal will give New York-based Citigroup an additional...

Allianz subsidiary names CEO

January 29, 2007

Allianz Life Insurance Co. has named Gary Bhojwani its new chief executive, according to bizjournals.com. Mr. Bhojwani was formerly the president of the commercial division at Novato, Calif.-based Fund Insurance Co., a property and casualty...

Banks’ foray into life insurance stymied

January 29, 2007

NEW YORK — While some bank advisers are successfully selling life insurance to middle-market clients, many are running into the same low-commission and burdensome-underwriting roadblocks that plague their non-bank counterparts. New life insurance...

VA critic’s new take on pricing called just as wrong as his first

January 22, 2007

NEW YORK — Some variable annuity providers disagree with a prominent academic gadfly who this month attacked the investments as underpriced — just as many of them disagreed with him a decade ago when he said they were overpriced. The now-ubiquitous...

Allianz Life Insurance girds for annuity battle on its home turf

January 15, 2007

NEW YORK — To some industry insiders, a lawsuit filed last week against Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America is political opportunism; to others, it’s a regulatory coup. Lori Swanson, a Democrat sworn in as Minnesota’s attorney...

INVESTMENT OUTLOOK: Bigger life insurers, smaller premiums?

January 8, 2007

NEW YORK - There is no such thing as being too big in the life insurance industry. So more consolidation - and the premium savings it often brings - is likely this year, according to industry analysts. The "ultracompetitive" life insurance market...

New laws may boost HSA popularity among wealthy

January 8, 2007

NEW YORK - Legislation signed by President Bush in the waning days of the Republican-controlled Congress may make health savings accounts more appealing to advisers' wealthy clients, industry observers say. Wealthy clients couldn't get excited...

Sales of VAs bloom, fixed annuities fade

December 18, 2006

NEW YORK - Demographic and economic trends that favored variable over fixed annuities during the first three quarters of this year probably will continue in 2007, most industry experts say. The stock market%A0;is expected to continue to rise...

Gulf Coast clients may snub their insurers

December 11, 2006

NEW YORK - Gulf Coast clients fighting with insurers over hurricane-related damages may not want to have anything else to do with those insurers, according to advisers in the region. "I doubt that clients who have had so much trouble getting...

Insurers wary of NASD/NYSE regulator

December 11, 2006

NEW YORK - Life insurers are concerned that a combined NASD/NYSE regulator will promulgate rules without sufficient proof that additional regulation is necessary or without regard for compliance cost burdens, industry observers say. "Life insurers...

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