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Insurance Industry News Roundup: Week of October 31, 2016

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Aflac expands its permanent life insurance product portfolio

Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the United States, today announced the expansion of its Group Life portfolio, which will now include a new Universal Life Plan with Long-Term Care (LTC) benefits and an enhanced Group Whole Life Plan. Brokers asked Aflac for a full suite of permanent life products, and Aflac responded. The new insurance offerings help brokers serve as a true one-stop resource for affordable voluntary benefits.

“With the expansion of our Group Life portfolio, we are broadening the scope of our voluntary solutions. Now brokers can offer a complete portfolio of benefits that include high guaranteed-issue limits so that our customers have the protection they need,” said Stephanie Shields, vice president of Product Innovation and Marketing at Aflac. “We call it ‘quality of life’ insurance — whether the need is to pay off current bills and debt, cover funeral expenses, send children to college or create a scholarship in their loved one’s name, life insurance is the tool to deliver peace of mind and financial stability for all employees.”

See also: What Aflac’s U.S. sales chief sees coming up next

New Northwestern Mutual plans target part-time workers, stay-at-home spouses

Demographic shifts and changing economic realities are redefining the work world with a growing number of Americans opting for the flexibility of freelance or part-time positions. In response to these evolving dynamics, Northwestern Mutual has added two new types of coverage to its suite of disability income insurance solutions designed to reflect the expanding definition of employment:

    • Stay-at-home spouse/companion coverage — recognizes the important economic value of contributions made by a stay-at-home partner in providing elder, minor or special needs care. This feature is intended to protect the unique family dynamics and lifestyle benefits facilitated by a stay-at-home spouse or caregiver.
    • Part-time employee coverage — protects individuals who work between 15-29 hours a week. To align with the fluid nature of people’s career paths and personal priorities, Northwestern Mutual is the first provider offering the option to expand coverage if employment status changes to full time. Coverage is also portable between jobs.

 ”Today, the opportunity to shape one’s personal or professional journey has become increasingly important,” said Steve Stribling, vice president, disability income, Northwestern Mutual. “Our new solutions extend an affordable safety net to people employed outside of traditional positions with paid sick leave and other benefits, enabling them to relieve the pressure of the unexpected while pursuing their aspirations.”

Related: Northwestern Mutual on hiring spree

Customer insights inform new MetLife global brand platform

MetLife, Inc. has launched its new global brand platform under the tagline “MetLife. Navigating life together.” The brand brings to life MetLife’s role as a trusted partner to its customers as they navigate life’s twists and turns and includes an updated visual identity, logo and tagline. The company says this will mark the most significant change to the MetLife brand in over 30 years.

 “To adapt to our changing world, we are re-thinking how we do business. We are moving away from a traditional product-development model to one driven by customer insights,” said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of MetLife, Inc. “Our new brand reflects our company’s transformation and differentiates us in the marketplace, ultimately driving greater value for our customers and shareholders.”

Related: MetLife files for spinoff of U.S. unit after weighing IPO

Accenture updates its life insurance and annuity platform

Accenture has released an updated version of the Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) new business and underwriting component, a platform that enhances productivity levels for underwriters and case managers through a new workbench that streamlines navigation and centralizes information.

The new workbench delivers one simple management tool and view of policies for underwriters and case managers. “The improvements to our new business underwriting and case manager component is another example of how we continue to invest and deliver smart solutions that meet our customers’ needs,” said Mitch Ludwig, product line lead for Life & Annuity Software at Accenture.

Related: Insurance consumers: We’ll give up our data for personalized service

World Series spurs Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Midwest Division

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Midwest Division recently announced a World Series-related fundraising effort benefitting their regional Community Grants Programs. IICF Midwest Division Board members have stepped up to the plate in a friendly competition to raise funds and help support those in need.

Members of the IICF Midwest Board of Directors, based in Chicago, and the Cleveland-based Ohio Chapter Board of Directors are making major league contributions to the IICF Midwest Division as their hometown teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians – two giants of Midwestern baseball — compete in this historic World Series.

“With our friends, neighbors and colleagues rooting for one team or the other, it was a natural next step to capitalize on the friendly competition and generate funds to help those in need,” said Mary Cummins, IICF Executive Director Midwest Division.  “We are so thankful for the generous support of our board members, and for their enthusiastic and creative fundraising on behalf of the IICF Community Grants Programs, and as we all have some fun cheering on our teams.”

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Mutual Trust Introduces Horizon Value™

Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company, a Pan-American Life Insurance Group Stock Company, has introduced Horizon Value™ participating whole life insurance, a leader in early, fast, guaranteed cash growth. Horizon Value’s guaranteed cash values and competitive, non-guaranteed dividends grow rapidly and tax deferred, producing one of the best early cash value guarantees in the industry. Policyowners have access, liquidity and control of this money throughout their lives through policy loans and by withdrawing values generated by dividends. “Following the announcement in late September that A.M. Best upgraded Mutual Trust’s financial rating to ‘A’ Excellent with a stable outlook, the introduction of Horizon Value is the next exciting chapter for the company,” explains Luke Cosme, Mutual Trust’s Senior Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.

Related: The value of cash value life insurance

Allianz Worldwide Care garners Cover Excellence Award

Allianz Worldwide Care, a division of Allianz Worldwide Partners, was awarded the Best International Private Medical Insurance title at the 2016 Cover Excellence Awards in London. The award is the third of its kind that the organization has won this year. “We take great pride in developing a comprehensive suite of products and services designed to meet the needs of our clients, providing world-class healthcare support and services, and making the claims process as fast and easy as possible,” Ida Luka Lognoné, CEO at Allianz Worldwide Care, said in statement about the award.

Related: Allianz Life: A tale of transformation

Soltis’ executive elected Utah Retirement System Board presidentImage result for Bill Wallace CFA

Soltis Investment Advisors‘ William (Bill) Wallace, CFA®, has been elected to serve as President of the Utah Retirement System’s (URS) board for the 2017 term.

The System, founded in 1910 as the “Teachers’ Retirement System,” serves Utah public employees with retirement and insurance benefits. It currently serves almost 209,000 employees and manages more than $29 billion in assets. Bill Wallace (seen here) has served on the Board, which is appointed by the Governor, since 2013.

Indiana executive ascends to top of MassMutual Agents Association

Scott Eckart, of Zionsville, Indiana, recently became president of the MassMutual Agents Association, an independent organization that works with company management to represent the interest of over 9,000 financial professionals across the country and the policyowners and customers they serve.

Eckart, 53, is an advisor with MassMutual MidWest, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in Indianapolis and WestPoint Private Client Group in Zionsville.

“This is an exciting time for a company and an important moment for our organization,” Eckart said. “MassMutual’s larger sales force magnifies our association’s voice for the company and the industry. Together we are going to help more families and business owners secure their future and protect the ones the love.”

As president, Eckart represents financial professionals on significant regulatory and product issues with MassMutual’s senior management. Eckart has been involved with the Agents Association for a decade and has helped launch the company’s social media platform to help them reach more underserved people in their local communities.

Industry veteran releases book aimed at today’s women

Juli McNeelyJuli McNeely (pictured at right), LUTCF, CFP, CLU, president of McNeely Financial Services in Wisconsin, a 20-year veteran of the financial services industry and a past NAIFA present, recently released her first book, “No Necktie Needed: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Services.” The book poses the following questions to today’s women:

    • Does someone else define and measure success for you, instead of you deciding what gives your life purpose?
    • Can you imagine being a highly valued part of an industry that lets you use the skills and attributes that come naturally to you as a woman to earn an exceptional living and spend ample time with your family — all by helping others find more security and greater peace of mind for theirs?

Why? As McNeely says: “With 85 percent of consumer purchasing decisions being made by women today and only 22 percent of all advisors begin female, the need is significant for more females to serve this important group of decision makers.  It is my hope that more and more women choose this amazing career and that this book can give them a glimpse of how rewarding it can be.  It is also my hope that this book can encourage those that have already chosen this as a career to push through those defining moments and find success beyond their imagination.” Get your copy at

See also:

Insurance Industry News Roundup: Week of October 10, 2016

Insurance Industry News Roundup: Week of September 19, 2016

Insurance Industry News Roundup: Week of September 12, 2016

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