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IUL and the need for clones in New Orleans

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Remember the 1996 film “Multiplicity,” where Michael Keaton’s character never has enough time in the day and finds a sort-of solution by cloning himself?

I’d like to have three clones with me at this week’s 2013 LIMRA Life Insurance Conference in New Orleans. That way I, or at least a representative of me, could be in four places at once, and I wouldn’t miss all the concurrent sessions I would like to attend. Heck, while I’m at it, I may as well add a fourth clone who can just wander around Bourbon Street and sample Cajun cuisine and catch some live jazz.

A conference with too many great choices is a good problem to have, but lacking clones, it forces you to prioritize and focus in on key subjects that you think will provide the most benefit. Therefore, I’ve decided to go into this conference with a focus on learning all I can about indexed universal life.

As life insurance producers know, IUL is hot. According to LIMRA, it has brought in the most additional new life insurance premium over the past few years and is one of only two products able to increase its sales each year of the recent recession. Individual life insurance premium sales had a strong finish in 2012. Thanks in large part to IUL, a 12 percent increase in the fourth quarter of the year bumped sales growth by 6 percent compared with 2011. The upcoming July issue of Life Insurance Selling will be taking a closer look at indexed products, which is another reason I’m anxious to find out all I can.

In advance of this week’s conference in New Orleans, LIMRA released a podcast interview with Carolyn M. Johnson, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Protective Life and president of West Coast Life Insurance Company. Johnson will be providing an executive outlook on the life insurance industry during the conference’s opening general session on Tuesday morning. In the LIMRA podcast, she talked about the rising popularity of IUL.

“I think certainly the indexed products have created a really nice way for consumers to enjoy upside potential without all of the downside risk that is found in variable products and particularly in the low interest rate environment, a lot of consumers are reluctant to commit to a product at such a low rate, and they want to have some upside potential, so certainly the indexed products provide that,” Johnson said.

She added that many companies are devoting additional resources to training their sales groups on IUL products, and some are adopting more simplified IUL products with fewer moving parts, making them easier to understand.

I’ll be interested to hear what else she has to say about indexed universal life on Tuesday, and I also plan to attend a breakout session about IUL on Tuesday afternoon.

I’m also hoping to learn more about multi-channel distribution strategies, new ways to reach the elusive middle market, the increase in social media usage, predictive analytics and electronic applications. And how could I not attend a session simply titled “How to Sell More Life Insurance”?

It’s going to be a busy week in the Big Easy, which may force me to scale back my nocturnal exploration of the French Quarter. Stay tuned to LifeHealthPro for lots more info about IUL. And if you want more right now, check out these articles:


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