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Equity index troubles spark Allianz layoffs

August 21, 2006

NEW YORK - Broker-dealer anxiety over complying with NASD regulation is causing once-highflying equity index annuities to lose some of their luster, prompting layoffs at the industry's largest EIA insurer. Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance...

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...

Equity index issuer pins slump on NASD

August 14, 2006

NEW YORK - The nation's third-largest seller of equity index annuities is pointing a finger at NASD for a 32% drop in annuity sales during the second quarter. Sales of annuities at American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. plummeted to $517.7...

Premium cuts stifled on HSA-linked plans

August 14, 2006

NEW YORK - Even with a high deductible, insurance plans sold in conjunction with health savings accounts often are too costly, industry observers say, as hoped-for premium cuts of 50% or more have failed to materialize. Premium cuts from switching...

Canadian insurer sues U.S. firms for $5 billion

August 14, 2006

OTTAWA - A Toronto-based insurance company is seeking $5 billion in damages from a number of U.S. hedge funds and investment bankers, alleging that they participated in a short-selling scheme that "severely harmed" the company. On July 14, the...

Life insurance biz spawns 'superadvisers'

August 14, 2006

NEW YORK - The life insurance discipline is spawning a new breed of "superadviser" for the rich, according to the head of an adviser consulting firm. "People look at me like I'm from Mars when I tell them that the best advisers are those with...

NASD amends controversial deferred VA rule

August 7, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - Although NASD has amended a controversial proposal that would boost standards involving the sale of deferred variable annuities, some industry interests continue to put up a fight. In comment letters filed last month, more than...

Equity index risk may sour AmerUs deal

July 24, 2006

NEW YORK - The largest British insurer may acquire a king-size regulatory headache as a side effect of buying a major U.S. equity index annuity provider, according to several industry analysts. Aviva PLC, based in London, announced this month...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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....

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