The only people more enthusiastic about private long-term care insurance (LTCI) than LTCI agents, brokers and wholesalers may be the LTCI policyholders themselves.
One of the lessons of the latest round of first-quarter earnings reports is that, in terms of sheer, dogged loyalty and determination, LTCI policyholders are the kinds of people you would want at your side if you were ever planning to take a walk through Hell.
Unum Group Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn. (NYSE:UNM), is reporting $214 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.6 billion in revenue, compared with $224 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2011.
The company’s closely watched U.S. group disability arm increased premium revenue 1% to $513 million, and sales of fully insured group long-term disability (LTD) coverage 21%, to $36 million.
“The company has seen some moderation of the intense price competition in certain market sectors…as well as a slight increase in premium resulting from higher employment and wage increases in our in-force cases,” the company says.
Unum has, of course, recently discontinued sales of group LTCI coverage.
Instead of running for the hills, LTCI customers have increased the company’s LTCI premium revenue 3.1%, to $155 million. Group LTCI sales were also higher.
“While the company announced in the first quarter of 2012 that it would discontinue sales of new long-term care business, there were several group cases which were already in the quoting and/or underwriting process for which policies have now been issued,” the company says.
Because of an increase claim incidence rates, Unum has increased the interest adjusted loss ratio for the LTC block to 91.2%, from 83% a year earlier.
LTCI premium persistency — the likelihood that business on the books would stay on the books — increased to 95.9%, from 95.6%.
Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va. (NYSE:GNW) — a company that is still in the LTCI market — is reporting $80 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.4 billion in revenue, compared with $93 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2011.
The Genworth U.S. life unit generated $35 million in earnings on $48 million in individual and group LTCI sales, compared with $36 million in earnings on $48 million in LTCI sales for the comparable quarter in 2011.