Today, LIMRA celebrates its 95th anniversary and the wealth of research and knowledge it has provided to its members worldwide for nearly a century.
In a sea of acronyms in the life and health insurance industry, many have pondered the age-old questions: “What’s a LIMRA” or “What does LIMRA stand for?”
In honor of its recent birthday, LIMRA’s staff shared the following story of the organization’s evolution over the years. Now you know the rest of the story.
- In 1916, a group of life insurance executives met in Chicago and voted to establish an organization focused on training and development for the life insurance industry. They called it the Association of Life Agency Officers (ALAO). The following year the organization represented 81 life insurance companies. Its first publication as well as first training program — Special Army Course in Life Insurance and Insurance Salesmanship, An Outline for Teachers’ Use — was published by the ALAO in cooperation with the U.S. government in order to help returning servicemen “go into gainful occupations.”
- In 1921, the Education Committee of the ALAO released a report detailing plans to establish what eventually became the Life Insurance Sales Research Bureau (LISRB). This organization would be responsible for conducting reliable, independent research for insurers. Thirteen charter member companies underwrote a budget of $7,000. That year, the first selection and statistical reports were published and distributed to members.
- Fast forward to 1945, the ALAO and LISRB convened at a joint meeting in Chicago and voted to merge the two organizations into the Life Insurance Agency Management Association (LIAMA), which would be located in Hartford, Conn. LIAMA had 160 members as of Jan 1, 1946 when the merger took effect.
- In 1971, LIAMA changed its name to Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA), signifying its commitment to study all distribution systems of life insurance. Over this period, membership grew to 304 companies in the United States, 60 in Canada and 176 international members in 39 countries and developed a robust portfolio of research and training programs.
- A little over a decade later (1982), Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA), changed its logo and name to be LIMRA International in an ongoing effort to recognize the importance of its international members.
- In 1994, the organization adopts LIMRA International as its official name, dropping “Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association.” The organization continues to experience strong international growth while maintaining its comprehensive domestic marketing and sales research.
- In 2008, LIMRA International merges with LOMA under the umbrella of LL Global, combining the strengths of LOMA’s back office expertise and educational programs with LIMRA’s wealth of knowledge in marketing and sales. This provides the combined membership, totaling more than 1200 members, a holistic organization to help them compete and grow market share.
- In 2010, LIMRA International dropped “International” from its name becoming simply LIMRA.
Today, LIMRA offers a wide variety of research and services to its members — from benchmarking, industry performance, consumer and strategic research to state-of-the-art training and development programs for producers, managers and executives. It also has distinguished itself through its extensive retirement research and accompanying services to help its members capture this fast-growing market. LIMRA is an industry thought leader in issues surrounding use of social media in the financial services industry, including topics in marketing, compliance and training; and continues to expand its knowledge and understanding of markets throughout the world.