All articles by Charles Davis

Charles Davis

US country survey: On an uncertain road to recovery

Progress along the US life industrys road to recovery presents a mixed picture Major positives are a desire by consumers to obtain life cover and the industrys strong profit recovery in 2009

Combo products come into their own

Products combining permanent life insurance and long-term care benefits have been around in the US for many years, but had generated relatively low interest This has changed in the wake of the financial crisis with the products finding eager takers, even among younger consumers

Lincoln rides high on combo offering

While most US life insurers struggled to achieve sales growth in 2009, Lincoln Financial hit the jackpot with MoneyGuard, its product featuring a combination of life and long-term care cover US life insurer Lincoln Financial Group has used its signature universal lifelong-term care combo product (see Combo products come into their own) to thrive in tough times, as its customers enter their retirement planning phase in the midst of a tumultuous market

Reaching out to a new growth market

Aged between 16 and 33, Generation Y makes up a quarter of the US population and represents a huge opportunity for life insurers Joan Cleveland of Prudential Individual Life Insurance discusses with Charles Davis the findings of study highlighting the needs and demands of this major market segment. Most American consumers born between 1977 and 1994 members of the so-called Generation Y know little about the intricacies of life insurance

Canadian insurers face big changes

Having proved resilient during the financial crisis, Canadian life insurers will be hoping the outcome of current stress tests do not lead to imposition of tougher capital requirements

MassMutual in quest for originality

Charles Davis talks with US insurer MassMutual about the different approach of its new campaign, emphasising the need for expert guidance in financial planning. Among the time-honoured challenges in marketing life insurance is conveying stability and expertise without coming off sounding dull.

Rising life expectancy sees women take retirement planning lead

Women are consistently outliving men, often by years and even decades, giving rise to new concerns with outliving their savings in the midst of a wildly unpredictable equities market. Enter fixed immediate annuities a tried-and-true retirement product that fell out of vogue only to be revived as insurers begin to address women directly on the issue of longevity Because of increased life expectancy, US women are faced with financing a substantially longer retirement than men a healthy 65-year-old woman has a 50% chance of living beyond age 88 and a 25% chance of living beyond 94.

US individual life sales on the rise

Hopefully marking the beginning of a sustained upturn, sales in the US individual life market recorded a solid recovery in the first quarter of the year Also on a rising trend, and setting all-time high records, are insurance sales through bank holding companies

Fee-based annuities start to make their mark in US market

Allianz Life Insurance of North America became the latest insurer to move in that direction, filing a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the launch of a fee-based variable annuity, the Retirement ProSM Variable Annuity

Settlement industry spreads net wider

Viewed as targeting older policyholders, the US life settlements industry has begun looking to younger baby boomers as a source of supply of policies This comes at a time when the life settlements market is recovering from the impact of the recession that curtailed available capital, reports Charles Davis. As the US market for life insurance settlements continues to grow, producers conducting the transactions are continuously looking for new ways to attract advisers and encourage them to include life settlements among their offerings.