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Life insurance industry suffers - and so do consumers

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Life insurers have struggled as much as anyone in our recent recession due to low interest rates and poor product pricing, which ultimately translates to a number of repercussions for policyholders. Some words for wise advisors: Encourage your clients to avoid putting all their money into annuities at once; they should save part of their investment for post-2014, when rates may well have gone up. Equally, help them be smart about buying long-term care coverage during a time when rate increases are common. They should buy coverage from a highly rated insurer who is visibly invested in this market — and they should prepare for rate hikes (sometimes substantial ones) down the road. Last but not least: Stay apprised of tax changes, and think twice if your primary motivation for buying a product is its tax shelter. Those benefits may not be in place for much longer.