The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), a mutual life insurer, and through its subsidiary Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, a provider of individual disability income (DI) insurance, announced the introduction of Guardian DI QUICKQuote. This industry-first mobile sales tool allows financial professionals to access current product information and pricing, enabling them to provide on-the-spot quotes for individual disability income insurance to current and prospective clients. According to a press release, Guardian DI QUICKQuote decreases the response time for current quote requests from days to seconds, using interactive and easy-to-use configurations. In addition to implementing Guardian DI QUICKQuote, Berkshire has completed its initial rollout of a new, advanced underwriting system and is the only individual DI carrier to offer a student loan rider. Guardian and its subsidiary’s disability income insurance products include group disability, individual disability, small business protection, and supplemental disability income protection. This full suite is positioned to help meet the income protection needs of employers, professionals, individuals, and small business owners.
In other Guardian Life news, the company announced the start of construction for a new facility for its employees located in the Hanover Township area. The new building will comprise 281,680 gross square feet of space and will be built on a thirty-one acre site. The new facility is set to open in 2016 at 6255 Sterners Way in Hanover Township and will replace Guardian’s current regional headquarters in the area located in three buildings in Bethlehem and one in Allentown. “This is an exciting step toward our goal of making our employee workspaces as open, safe, and adaptable as they can be. The new facility will create innovative workspace arrangements, leverage technology enhancements, and accommodate flexible work arrangement options,” stated Scott Dolfi, COO of Guardian. In addition to the Bethlehem location, Guardian has regional offices in Appleton, Wisconsin; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and Spokane, Washington. Guardian is headquartered in New York City.
Adding to their extensive disability and income protection insurance catalogue, Petersen International Underwriters announced the recent launch of the Graded Benefit Disability Insurance Plan, an exclusive program designed to better serve the substandard-risk disability insurance marketplace for clients with less-than-perfect health histories. Prospects traditionally declined or limited by disability insurance carriers can now be covered without harsh medical exclusions at graded benefit levels predetermined by the client at the time of application. This new disability product allows for underwriting flexibility, to the extreme benefit of the consumer, seldom achieved in the market.
Prudential’s Individual Life Insurance business has enhanced its PruLife® Founders Plus (Founders Plus) and PruLife® Index Advantage UL (Advantage UL) products. New to Founders Plus, is the Plus 100 Account that credits interest based on 100 percent participation in the performance of the S&P 500® subject to a cap and floor, creating a broader range of interest crediting options that offer cash value growth potential in the policy. The Plus 100 Account complements the Plus 50 and Fixed Account options. “We enhanced Founders Plus in response to feedback asking for affordability and flexibility while allowing for a greater range of account options,” said Mark Hug, executive VP, product and marketing, Prudential Individual Life Insurance. “The flexible nature of Founders Plus allows consumers to increase or decrease premium payments based on their financial needs and the product’s performance.” The BenefitAccess Rider, currently available on Founders Plus, is now also available on Advantage UL. This optional rider allows for the acceleration of the death benefit due to a chronic or terminal illness and has been well received in the marketplace according to Hug.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (Security Benefit) announced the addition of 1-year and 2-year interest crediting options based on the BNP Paribas High Dividend Plus Index (HD Plus Index) for its Total Value Annuity (TVA). “The Total Value Annuity has, since its introduction in 2012, been a critical piece of an elite team of financial advisors’ toolkits by offering growth potential along with the ability to create a guaranteed stream of lifetime income, or to leave a legacy for others,” said Doug Wolff, Security Benefit’s president. “The addition of both 1 and 2-year interest crediting options based on the BNP Paribas High Dividend Plus Index further enhances one of the industry’s leading fixed index annuities and provides advisors with additional tools to secure successful retirement outcomes for their clients.” For more information about the Total Value Annuity, including the BNP Paribas High Dividend Plus Index and other innovative features, please call Security Benefit at 800-888-2461.