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Genworth taking new LTCI increase approach

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Genworth Financial Inc. is applying for rate increases on some Privileged Choice and Classic Select long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies sold from 2003 to 2012.

The increases could range from six percent to 13 percent and affect policies that now generate about $800 million in premium revenue per year.

In the past, LTCI issuers and their regulators strongly emphasized the need to hold rates steady.

In recent years, many issuers have ended up asking for increases of 30 percent or more after finding that consumers were much more likely to keep policies than they had expected, and interest earnings on invested assets were much lower than expected.

The Genworth policies affected by the new round of rate increases have been generating positive operating earnings to date, Genworth said in a statement.

But the increases would help offset the effects of greater-than-expected improvements in life expectancy and lower-than-­anticipated lapse rates, the company said.

Pat Kelleher, president of Genworth’s U.S. life unit, said the company believes seeking smaller rate increases earlier in the product lifecycle will be better for consumers and regulators than imposing much larger increases later.

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