According to LIMRA international research released in 2006, the chief deterrent to buying a life insurance policy was cost. Even among the affluent, the research found that a third of affluent households felt they needed more life insurance. (Another interesting finding–when the affluent do purchase life insurance, they tend to do so not through insurance agents but through financial planners.)
The Hartford announced an “updated” version of its Hartford Advanced Last Survivor Universal Life policy in October that offers 20% lower rates for purchasers over age 65. The policy insures two people. It also offers no-lapse death benefit protection, as well as both an Estate Protection Rider (paying an additional death benefit if both insureds die within four years of the policy issue date) and an optional Estate Tax Repeal Rider, which allows policyholders to surrender coverage without paying charges if the federal estate tax is repealed in 2011. The Estate Protection Rider’s charges stop after the fourth year; there is no charge for the Estate Tax Repeal Rider.
The policy also offers three different death benefit options. One offers return of premium; the second provides return of account value; and the third is level.
According to LIMRA, last-survivor policy sales are rising in popularity as more people work on estate planning. Sales rose by 13% in the second quarter of 2007 and were up 7% for the first six months of the year.