February 26, 2009

Liberty Mutual Enhances Wealth Transfer Product

Estate Maximizer restores asset value loss, helps increase legacies to families

In a period of economic uncertainty and continued financial market turbulence, Boston-based insurance giant Liberty Mutual has released an enhanced version of its flagship wealth transfer product, the Liberty Series Estate Maximizer, that can not only help repair and restore some of the asset value loss that investors have experienced, but also help them leave increased legacies to their families.

The product, whose target market are those aged 50 and above, is well suited for wealth transfer because its single premium immediately purchases a death benefit that is larger than the original payment, thereby resulting in an enhanced legacy that passes to beneficiaries income tax free, under current law, says Richard Hotham, VP of financial institutions for Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, the insurance and annuity arm of Liberty Mutual.

"Customers are steeped in responsibility and they appreciate products that can make them more responsible," he says. "Banks and financial reps also appreciate products that can help them help their clients."

According to Hotham, insurance products like the one offered by Liberty Mutual are likely to play a far greater role going forward. Insurance should always be an integral part of a wealth management plan, he says, but in recent years, it had fallen by the wayside as advisors found simpler products that they were more comfortable with and that were easier to explain to their clients.

"As customers are being faced with new decisions based on the new environment, insurance offers both opportunities and solutions to some of their needs that they are not aware of, and as reps become more comfortable in explaining some of these options, I think we will see insurance being used more in a holistic way," Hotham says.

Liberty's enhanced wealth transfer product provides clients with a return of principal guarantee; a continuous tax advantage and emergency access to funds should they require them. It also features a more streamlined application process and an underwriting decision that Liberty Mutual promises will be made in less than ten minutes.

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