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Life Health > Life Insurance > Permanent Life Insurance

Tax Code Changes Should Buoy Life Sales: OneAmerica's Dennis Martin

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Dennis Martin is president of individual life and financial services at OneAmerica.

He’s in charge of the Indianapolis-based company’s efforts to help individual clients and families protect themselves against mortality and longevity risk, and to use permanent life insurance in long-term financial planning arrangements.

The University of Manitoba alumnus has a bachelor’s degree in statistics and actuarial science. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries. He started out as an actuarial associate at Great-West Life and later moved to Western & Southern Financial Group.

Martin joined One America as a vice president for financial operations in 2009. He later worked in product development roles, then assumed his current title in 2018.

Via email, we asked Martin a set of questions that touch both on his professional knowledge and on what he does off the clock.

1. What market indicator, industry statistic, regulatory change or advisor trend are you watching most closely right now and why?

Interest rates continue to be the most watched market indicator for me due to the impact and headwinds of historically low interest rates on our business.

2. How has it been changing recently, and how do you expect it to change this year?

The landscape is experiencing accelerated change.

First, the general expectation for rates is to increase in 2022, and at the same time, regulatory changes to Internal Revenue Code Section 7702 have allowed companies to update (reprice) their life insurance products for the low-interest-rate environment.

This relieves some pressure for many companies and allows them to “play offense,” and focus on growth and adding more value for advisors and their clients.

For us, that is the accelerating impact of the pandemic on advisors and financial professionals — in particular on ease of doing business through digital enablement and automation.

3. What would you suggest advisors do now or consider doing in the future about it?

I have timeless advice here. This is a long-term business. I think it’s important for companies and advisors alike to align with partners that are committed to the business and have a long-term perspective.

4. Are you changing any of your work habits at this stage of the pandemic? Why/why not?

Yes, I’m going to the office more! At this stage of the pandemic, I think we can clearly recognize the benefits of hybrid work environments in a work/life balance context, and also have reinforced the importance of in-person interactions, especially in a relationship business like we are in.

5. How about your latest community/charitable activity/event/cause?

My wife and I are on the board of the Circle City Curling Club, and we’re proud to play a part in the recent announcement to create a dedicated curling facility to the Indianapolis area.

6. Any other update/fact about you or piece of advice/wisdom you’d like to share with our advisor audience?

Be optimistic. The insurance industry and its’ distribution systems are resilient by nature. The products and services we provide give clients greater certainty and confidence in a world of increasing uncertainty. People will always value that!


Dennis Martin (Photo: OneAmerica)


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