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LIMRA News

Total annuity sales increased 12 percent year-over-year to $88.6 billion in the second quarter 2023, driven by record-high registered index-linked annuity (RILA) and fixed indexed annuity (FIA) sales, according to preliminary results from LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey.

“Double-digit equity market increases and stable interest rates have prompted investors to seek out greater investment growth opportunity through RILAs and FIAs,” said Todd Giesing, assistant vice president, LIMRA Annuity Research. “Economic conditions continue to be favorable for the annuity market. LIMRA is forecasting a strong second half of the year and expects 2023 sales to potentially surpass the record sales set in 2022.”

In the first half of 2023, total annuity sales jumped 28 percent to $182.7 billion. This marks the highest sales ever recorded in the first six months of a year.

RILA sales totaled $11.6 billion in the second quarter of 2023, up eight percent from the prior year. These are the highest quarterly sales for the product line. The strong equity market performance attracted investors who are seeking a greater return on their investment and are willing to accept some of the downside risks. In the first half of 2023, RILA sales were $22 billion, eight percent higher than the same period in 2022. LIMRA is predicting RILA sales to have another record-breaking year in 2023, likely increasing at least 10 percent.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, FIA set a sales record. FIA sales were $25.4 billion in the second quarter, up 29 percent from the prior year’s results. Year-to-date (YTD), FIA sales jumped 35 percent to $48.5 billion.

“FIA products offer an appealing combination of investment growth with principal protection. With cap rates nearing or exceeding 10 percent, there are few investment options that can offer a higher potential guaranteed return with full principal protection,” said Giesing. “Like RILAs, favorable economic conditions could push FIA sales beyond our expectations in 2023.”

The income annuity market achieved its highest quarterly sales ever, topping $4.5 billion. Single premium immediate annuity (SPIA) sales were $3.4 billion in the second quarter, 68 percent higher than the prior year’s results. In the first six months of 2023, SPIA sales shot up 93 percent to $6.8 billion.

Deferred income annuity (DIA) sales reached a milestone, topping $1 billion for the first time in a quarter. DIA sales were $1.1 billion, more than doubling (108 percent) sales in the second quarter 2022. In the first half of the year, DIA sales jumped 116 percent to $1.9 billion.

“The remarkable growth of income annuity product sales is a result of broad growth across the industry,” said Giesing. “Reports in the second quarter that the Federal Reserve was expected to slow interest rate hikes likely prompted investors who had been sitting on the fence to lock in the favorable rate of returns offered.”

As expected, fixed-rate deferred (FRD) annuity sales fell from the record high $41.5 billion set in the first quarter. In the second quarter 2023, FRD sales were $31.7 billion, which was a 24 percent drop from prior quarter but 10 percent higher than second quarter 2022 results. YTD, FRD sales totaled $73.2 billion, up 64 percent, which represents the highest FRD sales in a six-month period.

“While the average FRD annuity crediting rates continue to outperform CD rates, the gap has diminished. Investors—feeling more confident in the economy—are shifting to RILAs and FIAs seeking greater returns,” said Giesing. “That said, with a significant amount in FRD contracts coming out of surrender this year, LIMRA expects a portion of those assets to be reinvested in FRD products driving total FRD sales to another strong year.”

The steady rise in the equity markets prompted a slight uptick in traditional variable annuity (VA) sales from the first quarter, but traditional VA sales remain far below the results from the prior year. Traditional VA sales were $13.6 billion in the second quarter, down 18 percent from second quarter 2022 results. YTD, traditional annuity sales totaled $26.4 billion, falling 25 percent compared with the same period in 2022. While economic conditions are improving for traditional VA products, with the slow start to the year, LIMRA is forecasting sales growth in this category to be flat in 2023.

Preliminary second quarter 2023 annuity industry estimates are based on monthly reporting, representing 83 percent of the total market. A summary of the results can be found in LIMRA’s Fact Tank, https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/fact-tank/.

Second quarter 2023 top 20 rankings of total, variable and fixed annuity writers will be available in mid-August, following the last of the earnings calls for the participating carriers.

Serving the industry since 1916, LIMRA offers industry knowledge, insights, connections, and solutions to help more than 700 financial services member organizations navigate change with confidence. Visit LIMRA at http://limra.com.

SBLI News

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SBLI (The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) announces the launch of AcceleRate, a new accelerated underwriting experience that distribution partners and customers can count on for speed, reliability and convenience as well as great rates on term and whole life insurance products.

“We are excited to announce that significant updates are being made to our underwriting program to ensure we continue to offer competitive products and a fast, reliable and convenient process,” said Jim Morgan, president and CEO of SBLI. “We are moving away from our ‘no exam guaranteed, accelerated underwriting process’ to a completely new underwriting experience called AcceleRate, which will provide one seamless application process for all digitally submitted cases and many enhancements to our digital end-to-end accelerated underwriting process.”

Key features of AcceleRate are:

  • New lower term rates—In conjunction with the launch of the AcceleRate underwriting program, SBLI is implementing new, highly competitive monthly term insurance rates across the board, with a particular focus on 30-year durations.
  • New accelerated underwriting eligibility—Applicants aged 18 to 50 in all risk classes, for term and whole life products with face amounts of $1,000,000 or less, are eligible for accelerated underwriting.
  • New accelerated underwriting process—Qualifying accelerated underwriting cases will receive immediate approval with no requirement for a medical examination or attending physician statement (APS); non-qualifying cases will seamlessly pivot to a traditional underwriting process with an examination required. Either way, both distribution partners and their clients can rely on AcceleRate for a fast decision.
  • New application form—The AcceleRate application form includes updated, reflexive questions that are designed to support immediate case decisions.

Additional enhancements, such as an online application option, are planned to be introduced in the near future.

“With AcceleRate, distribution partners get a fast, easy and reliable way to do business with higher conversion rates, while eligible customers can protect the ones they love quickly and easily with a streamlined application process and great new term life rates designed to fit any budget. It truly is a win-win,” said Morgan.

For more information on AcceleRate, visit http://sblibrokerage.com/accelerate.

For more than 115 years, SBLI (The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) has specialized in providing simple and affordable life insurance solutions. Whether it be term life, whole life or a plan that combines the two, they offer dependable protection at a fair price. For more information, visit http://sbli.com.

Policy Form Series #B-56. SBLI is a registered trademark of The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Woburn, MA. NAIC #70435. Licensed in 49 states and DC (excludes NY). Products and features may not be available in all states. SBLI is in no way affiliated with SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc.© 2023 All rights reserved.

MDRT News

Members of MDRT, the leading international association for financial services and insurance professionals, gathered in Nashville, TN, June 25—28, to advance their careers and learn from fellow members and other multidisciplinary experts at the members-only 2023 Annual Meeting. Members attended more than 190 sessions during the four-day event, which featured motivational speakers on Main Platform, specific industry knowledge from colleagues at Focus Sessions and various networking opportunities in the ConneXion Zone. Attendance reflected the global aspect of MDRT, with members from 56 countries and territories intermingling to discover new ways of working and establish meaningful connections with colleagues and clients. “Seeing members from across the globe gather to learn and grow together is what MDRT is all about,” said MDRT president Peggy Tsai, RFP, CCFP. “I’m constantly inspired by the connections made by financial services professionals from different cultures and markets. My time as President has shown me how much we all can learn from one another, regardless of where we call home.”

Main Platform sessions featured inspiring messages from notable speakers like Olympic medalist Chaunté Lowe, poet IN-Q, “Homeless to Harvard” speaker Liz Murray, robotics and healthcare innovator Keller Rinaudo, paralympic medalist and philanthropist Dylan Alcott and more. “The connections I have been able to build from my first Annual Meeting seven years ago are connections I still have today,” said MDRT member Brandon Heckert, CFP, AAMS. “These connections are the reason I keep coming back. I like getting to see my friends, and we all learn from one another. I never thought I would have friends from around the world like how MDRT has made possible.” Attendees like Heckert learned from fellow MDRT members on Main Platform and at Focus Sessions about ways to leverage past experiences to boost their effectiveness as advisors. Examples include Carla Brown, FPFS, explaining how using social media can lead to effective referrals; Pamela J. Sams, CRPC, enlightening the audience on the benefits of behavioral finance; and Juli Y. McNeely, CFP, CLU, sharing how to help a client plan for the retirement they desire beyond the monetary value of their retirement plan. “MDRT has been and always will be a member-led organization. The Executive Committee makes all decisions based on what is best for MDRT members,” said MDRT First Vice President Gregory B. Gagne, ChFC. “We build on what came before us to provide exceptional tools and enhanced resources that will drive members’ success.” Gagne, a 24-year MDRT member from Exeter, NH, spoke on Main Platform Tuesday, June 27, where he was welcomed as the 2024 MDRT President. He shared his hopes for the organization, saying, “MDRT will continue to meet you where you are, with targeted communications directing you to the benefits and resources of greatest personal interest and potential impact. We want to help at every step of all MDRT members’ journeys.” During his year as President, Gagne hopes to connect with members across the globe and ensure they receive resources that help them continue to succeed. Gagne will assume his new position on September 1, after three years of service on the MDRT Executive Committee.

MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 700 companies in 80 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, please visit http://mdrt.org.

OneAmerica News

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A study on perceptions of long term care protection conducted by OneAmerica, in collaboration with Hanover Research, found that only 54 percent of financial professionals are currently recommending or offering long term care protection to clients.

The study, which included a survey of more than 400 financial professionals, aimed to better understand their behaviors and views related to long term care planning and selling long term care products.

While just over half of surveyed financial professionals currently include long term care protection in their recommendations to clients, an additional 25 percent have recommended it in the past but are no longer doing so. About one in five—21 percent—said they have never offered such protection to clients.

These results highlight a potential gap in helping clients prepare financially; the Administration for Community Living estimates that almost 70 percent of individuals over the age of 65 will require a form of long term care services at some point in their lives.1

“As an industry, we can—and should—be doing a better job of helping people prepare for the risk of a major expense that, statistically, we know they’re likely to face,” said Jeff Levin, vice president of distribution, Care Solutions, OneAmerica. “Long term care protection can help protect the retirement income that financial professionals and their clients have worked so hard to build.”

The results of the survey of financial professionals follows the LTC Consumer Planning Study, which examined perceptions of consumers about long term care.

The two studies show the top two reasons financial professionals sell long term care insurance are the same reasons clients purchase it—to remove the financial burden of long term care events from clients’ families (73 percent) and to provide financial security (67 percent).

Clients who inquire about long term care protection are most likely to have family members who have experienced a long term care event. Other clients who express interest in long term care are those who are about to retire and those who have recently experienced a health challenge or who have been diagnosed with a health condition.

Asset-based long term care protection viewed more positively
As in the consumer study results, asset-based long term care protection was preferred over traditional LTCI. Eighty-five percent of the financial professionals surveyed had a positive impression of life insurance with a long term care benefit, while 60 percent had a positive impression of traditional LTCI.

While financial professionals said they like selling traditional LTCI because of cost and ease of use, they shared their reasons for recommending asset-based long term care protection were more substantive and more aligned with the needs of their customers.

The top three reasons financial professionals said they recommend asset-based long term care protection were:

  • Unused amount passed to heirs
  • Clients can combine life insurance with long term care benefits
  • Tax advantages of repositioning assets

“Financial professionals who are familiar with asset-based long term care showed they understand how it can benefit their clients,” Levin said. “It’s part of a well-rounded approach to financial planning.”

Learn more about how financial professionals view long term care and download the full financial professional research survey here.
Reference:

1. “How Much Care Will You Need?” 2/18/2020. https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need.

The OneAmerica Long Term Care Financial Professional Planning Study was administered in association with Hanover Research and distributed online to financial professionals. This analysis includes more than 400 respondents, following data cleaning and quality control. Respondents were at least 18 years old, employed in the United State as a financial professional and have an awareness of long term care insurance. Hanover Research is not an affiliate of the companies of OneAmerica.

A national provider of insurance and financial services for 145 years, the companies of
OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of
OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit http://oneamerica.com/about-us/companies-of-oneamerica.

OneAmerica is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica.

Creating Urgency With Younger Clients

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Due to the surge in long term care need within the Baby Boomer generation, as they continue to grow older and age in place, many of their children are now turning to financial advisors and long term care professionals for solutions to their own potential needs for these services down the road.

Because their own health is still good, and despite the overwhelming responsibilities being shouldered by this generation in providing unpaid care to their parents, the level of denial in terms of their own potential need for these services remains high.

To combat these negative forces, it must be remembered that it is critical to identify and personalize the need for these services, but also to create urgency on the part of these younger clients.

Urgency begins and ends with the agent feeling the urgency that no matter how old/young a prospect is, that it’s incredible that they have not protected themselves yet. “Why have you taken so long to protect yourself at your age?” “What must happen for you to come to grips with this devastating looming problem?”

No one in their mid-40s is in the same health that they were as a 21-year-old. With time comes change. Their hair (graying or thinning), their skin (wrinkles or sagging), a slowing metabolism, fat accumulation that used to be easily burned off, diminished jumping ability, and slower running speed. Stamina is not what it once was, and there is a greater need for sleep. To this end, most pro athletes have retired because they can no longer compete physically, with longer healing time for injuries and diminished overall performance. How many visited chiropractors when they were 21? Memory changes, and the brain has already begun to shrink by the time a person turns 40. Younger clients are most fearful of the threat of a diagnosis of disease or accidents, which happen to everyone. The key is to protect insurability today.

Is selling to younger clients a one call close? Absolutely! They deal with denial issues just like older prospects and if you don’t help them today with denial and urgency, trying to get back in the home is an effort in frustration. Younger clients still purchase emotionally but do use more logic to support their decision hence why explaining the most expensive cost of waiting—insurability—supplements their thought process.

Urgency begins with the initial client contact. You may have to make more evening or Saturday morning calls to catch prospects at home if they are not reaching out to you. As you speak to them and ask probing health questions, you should close the health section with, “Now I know why you are looking into this important insurance addition to your portfolio.” If they ask, “What do you mean by that?” simply respond, “I can’t tell you how many clients I speak with in your age group who have already waited too long and they can no longer protect themselves. From what I can tell on the surface it appears perhaps you have not waited too long and may still be able to protect yourself.”

Because these younger clients have active professional careers that keep them busy during the day, if you wish to avoid evening appointments you first must remember that, as a professional, your time is no less valuable than any other professional who typically conducts his or her business during the regular workday.

To this end, make up your mind that’s how you want to prioritize your time and be clear when setting appointments. A recommended approach would be to say to your prospect, “l don’t know about you, but after a full day of work I’m drained and don’t always have the energy to concentrate. For important planning matters like this, many of my clients prefer either early morning appointments, say 7:30-8:00 before they go to work, or they come home a little early from work for a late afternoon appointment, say around 4:00-4:30. Which is better for you?” Be clear and crisp with your either/or close. Some agents are so clear about not working evenings that they would prefer to work Saturdays instead. People visit their attorneys, doctors, dentists, and financial planners during normal business hours, why not their LTCI consultant? This is such a testament to belief in the worthwhile work long term care specialists do and how you as the advocate appropriately value your time.

How many younger people have already had health issues in their past that caused them to need help with their ADLs? Certainly folks with bone breaks, sprains, surgeries, bad flu bugs, car accidents, bad cuts, infections, tooth extractions. What if they had never gotten better from those disabilities? I would contend that 100 percent of your prospects have had disabilities that could have had far reaching consequences if they had not healed! This is a great time to peel the onion and dig deep to uncover the real fear and anxiety.

It’s also vitally important for younger prospects to uncover their financial circumstances to include both assets and income streams. Return on Investment (ROI) or Interest on Savings (IOS) may not be the best mechanism for funding the policy while they are younger and still in accumulation mode. For them, premiums may come from current discretionary employment income. Regardless of how they plan to pay for these premiums, not fully examining a prospect’s finances and making a recommendation to buy is like a physician doing an incomplete examination and then recommending a prescription. In medical circles, that is known as malpractice.

What are the consequences of younger clients procrastinating? Once you’ve determined a client’s emotional needs and desires, you can then have them deal with consequences of those dreams not becoming a reality and force them to conclude whether they are okay with that outcome. Ideally, make those dreams shorter term so they can really feel the consequences when you do the takeaway. As an example, “What if you weren’t able to send your child to college due to poor planning, or you weren’t able to save for retirement due to an unprotected change in your health?” This concept is known as the “takeaway.” For more background, read the chapter in How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettiger entitled “The $250,000 in 15 minutes” to fully appreciate the power of the takeaway. It will unlock the key for you if you struggle to create urgency for someone to act today.

While conducting your client interview, follow this line of questioning:

  • Whom do you have your health insurance with?
  • What is the most important reason you have health insurance?
  • Would you ever do without your health insurance? Have you ever been without?
  • If you had none today, how long would you wait to do something about it?
  • What are the main diseases or accidents you worry about? They will often give answers such as stroke, MS, Alzheimer’s, car accidents, which we know are only covered for skilled care.
  • Don’t you find it ironic that you only have half a health insurance policy? What are you going to do to fund the main issues you are worried about that you have no real coverage for?
  • How does your incomplete health insurance plan impact all your hopes, dreams, and aspirations?

Another complimentary approach while discussing the associated risk of not having protection in place against the need for long term care is to tap into their goals for why they are saving money in the first place. This approach helps them reprioritize how they are spending money and helps leapfrog long term care insurance ahead of some of their other funding strategies and puts it on an equal plane with health insurance. Think of the Maslow hierarchy of needs pyramid with survival at the base and self-actualization up at the top. Most younger people think of LTCI as a “nice to have” up near the top of the pyramid, and our goal is to have them move it down to the base of the pyramid as a “must have” for future security.

  • What principally have you been saving your money for? Most answers will involve either retirement planning, college education for kids, or purchasing a retirement property.
  • If something happened to your health tomorrow and you had to fund long term care personally, what would happen to your savings strategies?
  • How would you feel if you had to liquidate all your retirement savings or college savings and your spouse may never get to retire or your kids go to college?
  • Is there any other risk that you can think of other than long term care that could keep you from realizing your lifelong dreams that you haven’t already protected?
  • Doesn’t it make sense to have a long term care insurance policy in place to make sure that all your hopes and dreams can be realized?
  • Do you see any reason why you would treat the long term care risk any differently than you would your skilled health care risk?
  • If you can afford a policy without impacting your lifestyle and significantly altering your savings strategy, do you see any reason why you wouldn’t get this insurance while you have a reasonable chance of qualifying? A great congruence check for agents is asking them if they secured their own LTCI plan. Failure to come to grips with their own morbidity as a “younger” person has a direct impact on their ability to effectively create urgency for their prospects! Plus, how do you answer the question posed by the prospect “What coverage do you have?” if you are not protected?

Creating urgency with younger clients is simply a matter of being passionate as we assist clients in understanding the growing risk and consequences associated with people needing care, and accepting the fact that their health could change instantaneously and appreciating the huge consequences that go along with guessing wrong. No matter how old you are, health changes can happen with a snap of the fingers. The key is protecting insurability today while they have a reasonable chance of doing so. They must be convinced that the consequences of waiting far outweigh the risk of deciding to move forward with protection today.

OneAmerica

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The companies of OneAmerica announce the expansion of their product portfolio to offer OneAmerica® Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurance. Distributed through the Individual Life and Financial Services (ILFS) line of business, this new product provides customers with a strong vehicle for protection, while also offering them the opportunity to invest in the financial markets. VUL customers have the flexibility to use the policy for life insurance protection, cash value accumulation or other financial needs.

“We’re excited to bring our unique VUL product to today’s marketplace,” said Dennis Martin, president of ILFS. “The product’s guarantees and transparency make it an attractive, new option for people to help protect their loved ones and create an opportunity for potential financial growth.”

The OneAmerica VUL life insurance policy includes a guaranteed death benefit provision and fully guaranteed policy charges, which are first-of-its-kind in the VUL space. These guarantees offer customers confidence that their policy charge structure won’t change in the future. They also add an additional layer of protection against policy lapse and loss of the death benefit.

In addition, the OneAmerica VUL offers two investment-related differentiators to the marketplace. The product offers a low-cost, transparent fund lineup of well-known industry asset managers, and it includes two defined outcome funds—again, a first in the industry for a VUL product. The investment lineup offers customers more than 50 diverse investment options, customizable to their portfolios and goals. These innovations reflect the client-centered approach that OneAmerica brings to the marketplace.

“VUL will give our distribution channels a strong product to match the needs of new and existing customers,” said Mark Scalercio, senior vice president and head of distribution for ILFS. “Ultimately, our VUL is a robust product built on our strong foundation and commitment to deliver on our promises when customers need us most.”

The new product also includes extra protection and added benefits through optional riders.

OneAmerica VUL is currently available through the OneAmerica career agency distribution channel in all states except California, Florida, New York, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Products issued and underwritten by American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL), Indianapolis, IN, a OneAmerica company and registered variable products distributed by OneAmerica Securities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA, SIPC. Form number ICC21 VUL21. Not available in all states or may vary by state. • All guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of AUL. • Variable investment options are subject to market risk which includes the potential loss of principal.

Variable products are sold by prospectus. Both the product prospectus and underlying fund prospectuses can be obtained from your investment professional or by writing to One American Square, Indianapolis, IN 46282, oneamerica.com. Before investing, carefully consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The product prospectus and underlying fund prospectus contain this and other important information. Read the prospectuses carefully before investing.

A national provider of insurance and financial services for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit OneAmerica.com/companies.

OneAmerica® is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica.

Amalgamated

Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Inc. (www.pal-o-mine.org, Islandia, NY), a private, not for profit organization providing a comprehensive therapeutic equine program using horses to facilitate growth, learning and healing for children and adults with disabilities, recently held its third Annual Community Open House, a fun-filled family affair with a wide range of activities for children and their parents to enjoy. The Amalgamated Family of Companies, which consists of Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, Amalgamated Employee Benefits Administrators, Amalgamated Medical Care Management, Amalgamated Agency and AliGraphics, served as a corporate sponsor for this event with the goal to help the organization raise awareness of its mission and support its fundraising efforts. The funds raised at the event will be used to cover the costs of shoeing Pal-O-Mine’s horses.

Amalgamated Family of Companies Executive Vice President John A. Thornton stated, “We are proud to have been a corporate sponsor for this wonderful organization and the important work it does on behalf of individuals with disabilities by providing them with the opportunities to realize their potential and do so in Pal-O-Mine’s beautiful setting and outstanding therapeutic equine programs.”

Featured at the event were barn tours, music, kids’ activities, interactive equine demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, donkey cart rides, and an equine-themed escape room. The unveiling of the new J-Step garden which is used to teach individuals with disabilities all about gardening and related topics of soil cultivation, composting and harvesting was also a highlight of the Pal-O-Mine Community Open House. Many of the participating interns go on to get employment at local nurseries. In addition to these activities, there was the opportunity to bid on great raffle baskets.

Over the course of its 75-year plus history, the affiliated companies belonging to the Amalgamated Family of Companies have individually established a strong national presence while developing a broad portfolio of market-responsive products and services, and have evolved into a true Family of Companies, each with specialized reciprocal services. From Amalgamated Life Insurance Company’s group, stop loss and voluntary solutions and Amalgamated Employee Benefits Administrators’ high quality, customized TPA services, to Amalgamated Medical Care Management’s quality clinical advice and care, Amalgamated Agency’s property and casualty solutions, and AliGraphics’ printing and promotional products and services–the Amalgamated Family of Companies serves as a complete resource for a wide range of organizations including employers in diverse industries, unions, associations, healthcare providers, and managed care companies. For more information, visit: www.amalgamatedbenefits.com.

Founded in 1995 by Lisa Gatti, Pal-O-Mine is a private, not for profit organization providing a comprehensive therapeutic equine program using horses to facilitate growth, learning and healing for children and adults with disabilities, as well as those who have been abused or neglected, veterans and the economically compromised. Pal-O-Mine offers a broad range of programs, many of which involve the organization’s herd of therapy horses and livestock. Pal-O-Mine relies on grants and contributions from private citizens, foundations and businesses to help raise funds. For more information on Pal-O-Mine, visit:www.pal-o-mine.org or call: 631-348-1389.

The Milner Agency

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Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, recently announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Milner Agency, a brokerage general agency (BGA) located in Athens, Georgia. As part of the acquisition, The Milner Agency’s Chairman of the Board Seixas G. “Chip” Milner, Jr., and Executive Vice President Whitner R. Milner, will become Partners in Integrity. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“The Milner family is legendary in the insurance industry and we’re very honored to welcome them to Integrity,” shared Bryan W. Adams, co-founder and CEO of Integrity. “Today, they’ve taken an exciting step toward even greater success and continued growth for generations to come. As part of the Integrity family, The Milner Agency now has access to best-in-class resources, technology and shared services designed to take already successful agencies to the next level of production and service. The Milner family and their expert team have worked tirelessly to build an amazing business that delivers unwavering support to the agents and advisors they serve. Now, I can’t wait to see what we’ll create together!”

The Milner Agency spans four generations of family leadership, beginning in 1958 with founder Willis J. Milner, Jr. Today, The Milner Agency is a national, full-service brokerage agency that connects agents and advisors to carriers in order to meet thousands of clients’ particular goals and needs. The group offers life insurance, annuities, long term care and disability insurance products, securing more than $170 million in annual paid premium. With more than 60 years of combined underwriting experience, The Milner Agency brings distinctive competence in impaired risk analysis, ensuring every solution is superiorly designed to protect clients and their families. The Milner Agency also provides extensive marketing support and back-office assistance to agents and advisors, thus creating more bandwidth to cultivate and strengthen client relationships.

“For more than 60 years, The Milner Agency has taken care of clients with urgency, integrity, accessibility and accountability,” explained Seixas G. “Chip” Milner, Jr., The Milner Agency’s Chairman of the Board. “Integrity aligns perfectly with our values—and our vision for the future. We want to continue building relationships with our producers so they know we support their success at every step of the insurance process. As an Integrity partner, we can now offer producers the strongest resources and most advanced technology in the industry. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of what Integrity is building, and we see only good things ahead for The Milner Agency.”

The Milner Agency’s extensive industry experience and underwriting skill make it a valuable addition to Integrity’s pioneering partner network. This powerful collective of industry leaders and icons is helping Americans prepare for the good days ahead by sharing best practices, refining strategies, and improving insurance and financial services processes. The group’s ongoing collaboration generates forward-thinking solutions that better protect the life, health and wealth of all Americans.

“Our family has a tremendous heritage in the insurance business and we’re very excited to extend that legacy to the next generation with Integrity,” shared Seixas “Chad” Milner III, president and CEO of The Milner Agency. “The Milner Agency excels at relationships—we put our clients above all else. Now we have a partner who can help us be equally strong on the technology side. Integrity’s products and resources are superior to all others in the industry. The shared services, technology platforms and marketing guidance will help us continue to excel for years to come.”

Already a long term success story, The Milner Agency can achieve future goals and extend its legacy by utilizing Integrity’s end-to-end insurtech platform. Integrity’s business service offerings allow partners to shift time-consuming tasks to a centralized organization. These areas include People and Culture, Technology and Innovation, accounting, legal and compliance. The Integrity platform offers partners the industry’s most holistic system of resources for agents, including instantaneous online quoting and enrollment capabilities, the proprietary MedicareCENTER and Mobile App, as well as world-class marketing and advertising assets and direction.

“Our customer is the agent, so we knew we wanted a partner who could help us reach more agents, more efficiently and effectively than ever before,” explained Whitner R. Milner, executive vice president of The Milner Agency. “This partnership extends our reach and helps us fulfill agents’ specific needs faster and at a more advanced level. Integrity will also strengthen our back-office support and enhance our technology resources, allowing us to focus on what we do best. Partnering with Integrity feels like a natural fit at the right time for The Milner Agency. We’re excited to steer our company toward even greater accomplishments as an Integrity partner and we look forward to remarkable growth in our future.”

Enhancing all these benefits is the exciting opportunity for The Milner Agency to offer employees meaningful ownership through the Integrity Employee Ownership Plan.

For more information about The Milner Agency’s partnership with Integrity, view a video at http://www.integritymarketing.com/Milner.

Integrity, headquartered in Dallas, TX, is a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of innovative solutions for wealth management and retirement planning. Through its partner network, Integrity helps millions of Americans protect their life, health and wealth with a commitment to meet them wherever they are—in person, over the phone and online. Integrity’s cutting-edge technology helps streamline the insurance and financial planning experience for all stakeholders. In addition, Integrity develops products with carrier partners and markets them through its nationwide distribution network. Integrity’s nearly 6,000 employees work with approximately 500,000 agents and advisors who serve more than 11 million clients annually. In 2022, Integrity will help carriers place almost $20 billion in new sales and oversee more than $30 billion of assets under management and advisement through its RIA and broker-dealer platforms. For more information, visit www.integritymarketing.com.

The Milner Agency was founded over 60 years ago while working with life insurance carriers to help clients obtain the best possible coverage, regardless of medical history. Over the years, the influential firm has helped develop traditional carrier underwriting practices and assisted in designing the first ever multi-company application processing system. It was also the first agency to pilot imaging and uploading systems for three of the nation’s largest life insurance carriers. As a BGA with extensive underwriting capabilities and experience, The Milner Agency connects agents and advisors to the best carriers and products that address each client’s specific needs and goals. Producers can spend more time cultivating and strengthening client relationships. For more information, visit www.milnergroup.com.

Recent Study Reveals Consumers Are Underprepared For A Long Term Care Event

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OneAmerica® Long Term Care Survey Shares Consumers’ Perspective

The pandemic brought consumer awareness about the need for life insurance, but it didn’t have the same impact on long-term care planning, according to new research from a 2022 OneAmerica consumer study on long-term care. Only 15 percent say the pandemic has been highly influential on their perceptions of needing long-term care, the array of personal assistance, and services people need over an extended time period because of a chronic illness or disability.

OneAmerica collaborated with Hanover Research to survey more than 1,000 consumers about their perceptions and behaviors related to long-term care (LTC) planning. The LTC survey identified consumers’ comprehension and perspectives of cost, preparation and confidence to implement an LTC plan, as well as their preference of asset-based long-term care protection, and who influences their decisions on LTC. The survey results from OneAmerica signify that LTC is not top of mind for most consumers. This finding proves even more important considering November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month.

A vast majority of consumers haven’t researched LTC protection options, despite the high probability they will need it.

According to The Administration for Community Living, it is estimated that almost 70 percent of individuals1 over the age of 65 will require a form of long-term care services at some point in their lives. However, the recent survey from OneAmerica shows that few consumers have an LTC plan in place, and only 16 percent have implemented a plan for LTC. Although 84 percent of consumers express at least slight confidence in their LTC plan, only 29 percent have researched options around LTC.

Less than half of those surveyed have worked with a financial professional on a retirement strategy. Of those who have, LTC remains a low priority compared to personal saving and debt elimination. Most consumers are unsure of their likelihood of ever needing LTC, and so they have not taken appropriate action to prepare.

“The results from this study make it clear that consumers need the help of the financial services industry to better understand long-term care,” said Jeff Levin, vice president and head of distribution of Care Solutions at OneAmerica. “Consumers have misconceptions of long-term care that financial services professionals are uniquely positioned to address to help them be protected and prepared.”

Consumers have various financial factors and product offerings to consider, along with people who influence their decisions.
Most consumers consider the cost of LTC to be a barrier, but they may not properly assess how not having LTC protection could impact their long-term financial strategy. With 53 percent of consumers citing cost as the most prevalent barrier to purchasing it and 34 percent being unsure if they would use it, consumers are prioritizing other financial goals. Consumers place the highest importance on saving enough money for retirement (86%), eliminating debt (74 percent), and having sufficient emergency funds (68 percent). While these are important goals, putting off the purchase of LTC protection can be costly because premiums increase. In addition, people run the risk of becoming uninsurable.

Although consumers are slow to implement a plan, they tend to be attracted to the features LTC provides. They are particularly drawn to asset-based long-term care protection, which features paying a benefit, even if care is not needed. Of the 25 percent who were familiar with asset-based LTC protection, consumers preferred its benefits over traditional LTC because of premiums not increasing (94 percent), the tax-free benefits (92 percent), unchanging benefits (90 percent), and the option to pass it on to their family (84 percent).

“Consumers who are familiar with asset-based LTC protection recognize its advantages,” said Levin. “The protection offers valuable benefits whether it is ever needed, and it’s an effective means of creating greater efficiency, while maintaining access and control of money and care.”

The survey results also pointed to family as highly influential in people’s decisions around LTC. Consumers revealed they trust family members the most, and 52 percent rely on a family or friend’s experience as a source of familiarity. Following family members, consumers most trust financial services professional (40 percent) and doctors (39 percent). The top motivation to purchase LTC insurance is removing the financial burden from one’s family (66 percent), reinforcing the influence of family on LTC decisions.

Learn more about how consumers view long-term care and download the full consumer research survey.

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1 “How Much Care Will You Need?” 2/18/2020. https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need

Methodology

The OneAmerica Long-Term Care Consumer Market Study was administered in association with Hanover Research and distributed online to professionals recruited via a third-party panel provider. This analysis includes 978 respondents, following data cleaning and quality control. Respondents were at least 40 years old and currently planning for the “retirement era” of their life. Individuals, or anyone in their immediate family, did not work in the insurance industry. Hanover Research is not an affiliate of the companies of OneAmerica.

About OneAmerica®

A national provider of insurance and financial services for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit oneamerica.com/about-us/companies-of-oneamerica.

OneAmerica is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica.

LIBRA And IDA

LIBRA Insurance Partners and Insurance Designers of America, LLC (IDA) announce the merger of the two organizations, creating the largest independently owned life insurance marketing organization (IMO) in the United States. The combined company will operate under the LIBRA Insurance Partners (LIBRA) brand.

Bill Shelow, CEO and president of LIBRA Insurance Partners, and J. Craig Collins, president and executive director of Insurance Designers of America, along with the respective Board of Directors and more than 110 combined affiliated partner agencies, have approved entering a merger agreement. The merger will take effect on January 1, 2023, upon completing the transition process.

“We recognize that during a time of mass BGA transactions and industry-wide consolidations, only those with the ability to scale, innovate and evolve will remain relevant and thrive throughout consistently-changing market conditions,” said William (Bill) Shelow, CLU®, ChFC®, CPCU®®LLIF, president and CEO of LIBRA. “This merger uniquely positions LIBRA as a leader in the IMO community, both in size and influence, and through our combined teams and collective value-driven service models, proprietary tools, and leading resources, positions us as the premier partner for agencies, carriers, financial advisors and consumers now and into the future. LIBRA is the home for any BGA that values independence.”

The firm retained the services of Paradigm Partners International, a third-party research firm specializing in the insurance landscape, to assess LIBRA’s market position post-merger. The study concluded that the combined LIBRA team is the largest independently owned life IMO in America by way of gross annual production.

“We’ve worked alongside LIBRA for many years. I have tremendous respect for the leadership team and its agency partners,” said J. Craig Collins, president and executive director of IDA, “Our firms are aligned in values and commitment and with many synergistic and complementary offerings, we can now leverage those strengths to offer even more robust benefits for our partner firms, their distribution sources, and insurance company partners.”

Insurance Designers of America will merge into the LIBRA brand, adding as many as 50 agency partnerships to the LIBRA Insurance Partners community. IDA’s team, distribution network, technology offerings and extensive advisor resources will be available to all LIBRA-affiliated partners post-integration. J. Craig Collins will continue in a leadership position as executive vice president and chief relations officer, overseeing carrier partnerships and agency services. The united firm will continue its core commitment to providing unmatched value to partner agencies, independent insurance producers, brokers and financial institutions with life, annuity, and linked benefit insurance solutions.

LIBRA’s combined resources will offer agency partners greater operating efficiencies, enhanced technological capabilities, and expanded distribution opportunities. Specifically, the now more than 110 LIBRA agency partners will have access to an array of unique benefits, including:

  • Established relationships with an expanded lineup of affiliated carriers and reinsurers;
  • Dedicated underwriting and new business teams;
  • Case design resources and direct access to high-level contacts to facilitate the processing of complex cases;
  • A dedicated medical director;
  • Product white papers and benchmarking tools;
  • A streamlined quick quoting and informal processing platform;
  • Proprietary products and underwriting platforms;
  • Invitations to exclusive training resources and events, and more.

The combined team will continue to provide objective, knowledgeable, hands-on support for case design and management as it continues to help its partner agencies innovate, adapt, and excel in the ever-changing landscape of the insurance industry.

LIBRA Insurance Partners is an insurance marketing organization dedicated to serving independent insurance producers, brokers and financial institutions. Formerly known as LifeMark Partners and BRAMCO Financial Resources, the firm exists to leverage strategic relationships, expertise and innovation to expand life insurance distribution for the benefit of all stakeholders. LIBRA Insurance Partners is dedicated to the ongoing development and enhancement of resources to differentiate partner agencies from the competition. Its firms benefit from robust proprietary service offerings, unparalleled partnership, product expertise and access to industry-leading resources. To learn more about becoming a LIBRA partner firm, visit www.LIBRAInsurancePartners.com. or call 410-837-3022.

Insurance Designers of America was founded in 1986 by former insurance company executives to fill a void in the distribution of insurance products during a time when insurance companies were shifting focus from distribution to product manufacturing. Over the past thirty-plus years, IDA has grown to become a leading distributor of life insurance, annuities, and related products.