Life insurers need to find ways to improve distribution or face the possibility of extinction, LIMRA President Robert Kerzner said today.

Kerzner spoke in Washington at LIMRA’s annual conference.

LIMRA helps life insurers study the insurance market and improve their marketing strategies.

“Many of the fundamentals of our business are out of balance,” Kerzner said, according to an account of his speech provided by LIMRA, Windsor, Conn. “In the animal kingdom, failure to adapt means extinction. In the same way, companies need to significantly transform their thinking and adapt their business models in order to remain competitive.”

Challenges that confront the life insurance industry include fear of risk, low interest rates, looming increases in capital requirements, and increases in operating costs, Kerzner said.

The pace of mergers and acquisitions likely will increase, Kerzner said.

“We have not added adequate new distribution,” Kerzner added.

Kerzner recommended that one solution will be using technology to do a better job of reaching consumers who have not yet bought adequate life insurance but know they need more.

- ALLISON BELL