Do What’s Right
At American National Insurance Company (ANICO) our code of business conduct is simple: “Do What’s Right.” We apply this philosophy to all aspects of our daily business, including our beliefs about distributor relationships and product offerings, which continues to serve us well. ANICO had a phenomenal 2017, receiving numerous accolades such as being named to Forbes’ 2017 “Most Trustworthy Financial Companies” list—joining a small group of insurers who have been rated A or higher for more than 75 years by rating agency A.M. Best and surpassing $100 billion of life insurance in force. Apparently we are doing what’s right.
In addition to the accolades during the year, the Independent Marketing Group at American National Insurance Company had another very successful year. Not only did we have production success with double digit growth in annuity sales, but we also experienced double digit growth in life sales. Consistent growth over a number of years has now become the norm, but we do not take that growth for granted as we know we have to earn each and every application we receive in order to continue to receive additional business from our business partners.
Each year we reassess what constitutes the definition of “success” so we can develop a course of action for the future. In 2017 success for ANICO wasn’t just based on production growth. Success also meant reaffirming relationships with existing business partners while growing additional relationships with individuals and groups which share the ANICO philosophy of “Do What’s Right.” Like many other carriers ANICO is going through an underwriting and systems evolution, implementing programs to decrease turnaround time and pay commissions faster. Unlike many other carriers, ANICO is not going through an evolution process when it comes to relationships. Evolution defined is the gradual development of something from a simple to a more complex form. Although evolution is good in many areas of business, such as underwriting and systems, evolution can be detrimental to other areas of business such as relationships. Business evolution can take the personal aspect out of relationships. At ANICO, we keep relationships simple, straightforward and uncomplicated. Our relationships are not just about production success. Our relationships are built on mutual respect for our partners and a shared vision of future opportunities while we do what’s right. Here is what some of our customers are saying:
“ANICO is a relationship company just like I had in the old days but with the technology of today.”
“We can grow with ANICO because they listen, understand and adapt to what we need as a customer.”
“I appreciate the fact that with ANICO’s full product portfolio I can satisfy the needs of 80 percent of my clients with one carrier. This means I have a primary carrier so I know one set of forms and get to have a one- on-one relationship with my underwriter.”
You may ask yourself what the statements above have to do with looking forward to 2018 and beyond. ANICO has a simple three step approach to continuing success in the future all linked to the “Do What’s Right” philosophy:
- ANICO will continue on the current path of making relationships a top priority in 2018 and beyond. We like to do business with partners. A true partner understands that both sides must win in order for a relationship to withstand the test of time. An insurance company can solve distribution challenges with the right distribution business partners. We have proven this with our mix of business and our access to a wide variety of markets including the underserved middle market. Some would say seeking a partnership relationship is the old way of doing business, but we say it is doing what’s right. The right relationships are crucial for long term, sustained success.
- ANICO will continue to respond to customers’ needs by building customized platforms where necessary to expand market opportunities. A true partner must adapt to the customer’s way of doing business. Because our partners asked for it in 2017, we segmented life new business and underwriting teams to match the way our partners process business. We began paying commissions daily on all products. We also built an untethered e-app as our partners needed a way of entering an application in front of a client without requiring a connection to the internet. In 2018 we will introduce drop ticket as an option for submitting applications as our partners need this capability. We will also make available marketing materials in Spanish as our partners have requested. We plan to make many more exciting enhancements making it easier to write business with ANICO.
- ANICO will continue to promote a complete, consumer oriented product portfolio with living benefits on all life products, term conversion options to all permanent products and fair compensation for our distribution partners. We don’t restrict consumer benefits by production type and we don’t subject consumers to inadequate conversion options. ANICO won’t have the cheapest rate on a spreadsheet, but ANICO will have competitive products which anyone would be proud to offer their clients. We believe that doing what’s right for the consumer is the ethical way to run a business. Our sustained growth shows that our distribution partners agree with this philosophy.
ANICO is an insurance company which places a priority on doing what’s right for our distribution partners, agents and policyholders. ANICO will never be the answer for everyone, but ANICO is and will be a great partner for some who understand the simple three step approach above. If you feel you share the same values, please reach out to one of our distribution partners or national sales managers for more information. At ANICO, we are proud of our past, energized by the present and excited about our future.
American National Insurance Company wishes everyone a happy and prosperous 2018. [CK]