Life insurance company product development teams have seemed a little quiet so far this month.
They may still be digesting the effects of low interest rates, new U.S. and non-U.S. accounting rules, and the fine print in the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
But New York Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Financial Group and AXA Equitable have all come out with major new products and product features this month.
Here’s a look at what those companies have put on the shelves.
New York Life
New York Life has introduced the Value Whole Life policy.
The policyholder-owned mutual insurer says it held down premiums for the policy by lowering the cash value growth potential.
Policyholders do get guaranteed cash value, and eligibility to receive dividends.
Alex Cook a senior vice president at New York Life, said in a statement about the product that New York Life believes the product could be especially appealing to people in their 50s and 60s who wanted to leave a death benefit, but who may also need to come up with cash to make mortgage payments or pay for their children’s education.
In a form filed with District of Columbia insurance regulators in November, the company said the current issue age for an applicant can range from 0 to 90.
All of the whole life policies cover the insureds up to age 121. Value whole extends the premiums to age 121. For the traditional whole life policies, the policy owner pays premiums to 100.
The minimum death benefit amounts available range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the age of the insured and the insured’s underwriting class.
The usual maximum death benefit is $40 million for insureds age 0 to 60; $30 million for insureds ages 61 to 65; $20 million for insureds ages 66 to 75; $10 million for insureds ages 76 to 85; and $7.5 million for insureds ages 86 and older. New York Life may be able to offer higher maximum amounts in some cases, if it can find reinsurance to help cover the amount over its own risk retention limit.
The list of riders available with the policy includes an accelerated death benefit for chronic care rider.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article described the Value Whole Life policy payment period incorrectly.
The Lincoln National Insurance Company, a Lincoln Financial unit, has introduced the Lincoln WealthPreserve IUL indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policy.
The policy offers an index account tied to the performance of the S&P 500 Index, and a 1% guaranteed minimum interest rate.
In the first 10 policy years, the growth cap will be at least 8.75%, Lincoln Financial says.
Stafford Thompson Jr., a senior vice president at Lincoln Financial, said in a statement that consumers like the idea of being able to benefit from increases in the S&P 500 without suffering losses when stock prices fall.
“We believe IUL is an underutilized asset to address a client’s wealth transfer and death benefit protection needs,” Thompson said.
The IUL policy is available to consumers ages 20 to 80.
The death benefit can last for up to 40 years, or to age 90, whichever comes first.
Purchasers of the IUL policy can get an accelerated benefits rider that pays for care for an insured who has a permanent chronic or terminal illness.
Consumers can apply for the policy by filling out a questionnaire, on paper or online, and going through a telephone interview. Some applicants will have to submit to lab tests.
AXA Equitable’s AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and MONY Life Insurance Company of America units have added an extra interest credit feature to the company’s existing IUL Protect IUL policy.
Holders of the policy already benefit from any increases in a designated investment index.
The new feature will add to a purchaser’s total policy income if the interest rate available through the policy’s guaranteed interest account rises above 3.5%. The crediting rate boost would amount to the guaranteed interest rate minus 3.5 percentage points.
AXA Equitable is a New York-based unit of AXA S.A.
Ron Herrmann, head of life insurance and employee benefits at AXA U.S., said his company believes the new extra interest credit feature can help clients prepare for a rapidly changing, unpredictable environment.
— Read Help Millennials Understand, and Use, the New Life Options on ThinkAdvisor.