President Donald Trump’s use of executive orders to make sudden federal policy changes has raised questions about whether the congressional and judicial checks and balances of the past will have much effect on his administration’s actions.
But analysts from New York-based S&P Global Ratings are operating under the assumption that the regulatory environment for life insurers will look about the same. The analysts spoke Tuesday at a presentation on how S&P sees the insurance industry.
Deep Banerjee, an S&P director, said that while the life sector has faced regulatory changes, it’s been fewer than many other sectors the company tracks.
“There’s uncertainty in terms of the tax code,” Banerjee said.
He and his colleagues said life insurers will also face continuing changes in conduct and capital standards.
But Banerjee added that the U.S. life insurers it rates are strong enough to adapt to almost any conceivable change, if they are given some time to adapt.
S&P analysts’ views on insurers can have a significant indirect effect on agents and brokers, by affecting how much insurers pay investors for capital, and by affecting how much insurers can charge for access to their financial strength.
S&P analysts have assigned a stable outlook to the life sector.
Rising interest rates, strong capitalization levels and strong demand for blocks of in-force life and annuity businesses should all help the sector players S&P rates do well, the analysts said at the conference.
S&P analysts have assigned a stable outlook to the life sector. (Photo: iStock)
The analysts acknowledged, for example, that product design changes and concerns about federal fiduciary standard rule efforts have hurt sales of annuities.