The ever-changing needs of the marketplace require life insurance companies to provide innovative solutions. One of those needs recently solved by Nationwide Financial Services, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, is to provide higher retention limits on its permanent life insurance products, especially to meet the specialized needs of high-net-worth clients.

“Retention, which is the amount of risk retained by the insurance company that is not reinsured, has been a hot issue recently, and we’re responding to our customers’ needs by doubling our retention across our individual life policies, as well as nearly doubling our retention on survivorship policies,” said Peter Golato, senior vice president for Nationwide Financial. “By increasing our retention limits, producers with clients who require very large amounts of life insurance can do all their business with Nationwide. This means fewer policies for the producer to manage and a simpler underwriting process.”

Specifically, Nationwide’s retention limits for individual life products have increased from $5 million to $10 million, and have increased from $8 million to $15 million for survivorship life products. Additionally, Nationwide will automatically bind a policy up to $50 million for individual life products and up to $60 million on survivorship life products, with a jumbo limit of up to $65 million. The increases do not apply to term contracts.

“Larger cases are complex, and often require tailored, customized solutions,” Golato said. “It can be difficult and time consuming for producers to contact all of the life insurance companies to get their client’s desired amount of insurance. Some producers with ultra high-net-worth clients want more control of where the life insurance policies are placed, so that they have fewer insurance companies to manage on behalf of their client. The higher retention limits means we’re providing producers with a simpler way of managing a complex case.”

This underwriting initiative is the latest in a series of improvements made by Nationwide Financial. In the past several years, the company:

o developed a Placement Improvement Program (PIP), which established a Table C to Standard initiative
o instituted competitive Preferred criteria and a Preferred Tobacco class
o created the “Celebratory Cigar” Program for the occasional cigar smoker
o offered standard rates to cancer survivors and for certain coronary conditions, and
o liberalized the stress tests requirements and chest X-ray guidelines.

“Our goal is to provide simpler solutions for our producers and customers,” Golato said. “We want to help advisors grow their business by meeting their clients’ needs. Increasing our retention limits and providing innovative underwriting are just two ways that Nationwide is doing that.”