Unum Group, Chattanooga, Tenn., reported operating income in the second quarter of $57.3 million for its group life and accidental death and dismemberment line of business, a 10.2% increase over the year-ago period. Premium income for this line of business increased 7.2% to $322.9 million compared to $301.1 million a year ago, reflecting higher sales and premium persistency. The benefit ratio increased to 71.9% from 70.3%. This increase reflects a higher average claim size which was offset slightly by a lower claim incidence rate for group life.

In the last year, sales of group life and accidental death and dismemberment products increased 12.1% to $50.1 million from $44.7 million. Premium persistency in the group life line of business was 91.6% through the first six months of 2012, compared to 87.3% through the first six months of 2011. Case persistency in the group life line of business through the first six months of 2012, at 88.1%, was down slightly from 88.6% through the first six months of 2011.

The supplemental and voluntary line of business reported a 13.5% increase in operating income to $85.0 million in the second quarter of 2012, compared to $74.9 million in the second quarter of 2011. The increase was driven by strong results from both the voluntary benefits and individual disability – recently issued lines of business. Premium income for this line of business increased 5.7% to $276.1 million in the second quarter of 2012, compared to $261.3 million in the second quarter of 2011, primarily reflecting higher sales in the voluntary benefits line of business.

The benefit ratio for voluntary benefits decreased to 46.8%in the second quarter of 2012 from 50.3% in the second quarter of 2011 due primarily to higher premium income, a lower claim prevalence rate, and a lower average claim size for voluntary disability. Also favorably impacting voluntary benefits risk metrics for the second quarter of 2012 was the release of active life reserves associated with a voluntary benefits large case customer who terminated the existing individual contracts and bought voluntary group coverage during the second quarter of 2012. Relative to the second quarter of 2011, sales in the voluntary benefits line of business increased 8.0% in the second quarter of 2012 to $36.6 million.

In other industry news:

Swiss Re, Zurich, Switzerland, entered into a transaction with VITA Capital V Ltd. (Vita V), under which it could receive up to $275 million, in the event of excess mortality in any part of a pre-defined coverage area. Vita V, in turn, has issued Series 2012-I Class D-1 and Class E-1 notes to the capital markets, each of which is linked to extreme mortality risk in the respective covered areas. 

The arrangement covers a five-year risk period starting in the issuance year and ending in 2017. This latest Vita issuance extends the geographic coverage by including Australia for the first time, reflecting Swiss Re’s global mortality business.

This is the fifth Vita securitization over the past three years, which brings the amount of extreme mortality risk protection raised by the program to over $2.25 billion.

The Vita V notes were sold in a private placement pursuant to Rule 144A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and have not been registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws; they may not be offered or sold in the United States except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

The Swiss Re Group provides reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer.

 

Digital Insurance, Atlanta, Ga., has acquired DSG Benefits Group in Dallas, marking the company’s entrance in the Texas market.

The Dallas firm now operates under the banner of Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA), a division of Digital Insurance. David Goldfarb, founder and president of DSG Benefits Group, and his entire staff joined forces with DBA to provide enhanced offerings to their clients.

DBA combines the experience of local market advisors with the technology and resources of a national company. Employers receive access to a broader variety of carriers, dynamic tools, proprietary products and the ability to navigate the complexities of health care reform.

 

ING Financial Partners, the broker-dealer of ING U.S., has updated its ING SmartWorks 2.0— a cloud-based customer relationship management system.

The platform features advanced campaign management, sales tracking, integration with Microsoft Outlook and mobile device access, powered by Salesforce.com. It also integrates with third-party tools, such as Morningstar and the MoneyGuide suite of tools, as well as others that give financial professionals access to market and financial information.

Financial professionals can:

  • Incorporate investment information from their full book of business, including brokerage accounts, retirement plans and life insurance;
  • Stay top-of-mind with their client base through targeted marketing campaigns;
  • Aggregate a client’s household wealth and connect to the underlying administration systems to manage each account with one-click access into the trading platform of a client’s brokerage or fee-based accounts.

LTCI Partners, Lake Forest, Ill., has released the newest version of its Blueprint software, which enables financial and insurance advisors to visually see the benefits of long-term care insurance versus being self-insured. The updated version includes enhanced graphics that illustrate the importance of purchasing long-term care insurance and more customization to include the client’s name and age.

Blueprint provides information specific to the client and outlines the anticipated inflation for the cost of care, which demographics are more frequently buying long-term care insurance and the percentage of applicants who get denied coverage by age. The software also personalizes how much care will cost an individual in the future and provides a visual comparison of the annual investment in long-term care insurance versus self-insuring.

 

IncentOne, Lyndhurst, N.J., a provider of incentive solutions to the healthcare community, has formed a specialized consulting services unit to help customers drive consumer and provider behavior using incentives.

These services will be offered not only to clients using IncentOne’s Health Power platform but to those developing strategies or using their own or a third party incentive platform.

Guidance into existing and emerging consumer and provider initiatives and techniques will focus on:

Consumer

  • Program and platform design, evaluation, recommendations
  • Business Case Development
  • Market Differentiation Recommendation
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Incentive Basic Training
  • Sales and Marketing
  • RFP Development
  • Legal and Tax Evaluation
  • Pricing Analysis
  • Exchange Strategy

Provider

  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • STAR Rating Improvement
  • Safety and Quality Programs
  • HCAHPS Score Improvement
  • HEDIS Programs
  • Pay for Performance