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Broker World is the only national insurance magazine founded, focused and edited to specifically address the brokerage marketplace and the unique informational needs of independent life and health producers who select the products best suited to their clients' needs from a variety of companies and marketers. The primary service is to provide a channel of communication between life and health companies and marketers and the 28,600+ proven producers of substantial amounts of brokerage business that constitute Broker World's readership.

Haven Life

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Haven Life, a leading digital life insurance agency backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Policygenius, a leading online insurance marketplace that is now part of Zinnia, an insurance technology and digital services company. Haven Simple, a fully digital simplified issue product, will immediately be available for Policygenius customers to apply for online. This partnership will enable consumers to compare quotes from leading insurance providers and provide them with a quick and affordable solution, targeted at their specific needs.

“This partnership will allow Haven Life to continue growing its footprint and further transform the digital life insurance industry through technology and our shared customer-first approach,” says Wade Seward, Head of Partnership Distribution at Haven Life. “Policygenius has always put consumer experience at the heart of their business, and our capabilities will accelerate that journey.”

The partnership will assist Haven Life in continuing its mission of making life insurance more accessible and affordable for all U.S. households, including the 57 percent of Americans who don’t work with a financial advisor. Today’s digital tools enable consumers to conduct research quickly and easily with streamlined processes allowing consumers to complete online applications when and where it is most convenient. Combined with a dedicated Policygenius team of licensed insurance agents ready to answer any questions live, there is no better time to be looking for life insurance than right now.

“Policygenius provides American families a single platform to compare and buy the insurance they need and we’re thrilled to add Haven Simple to the array of options in our marketplace,” says Jennifer Fitzgerald, President of Policygenius. “We’re excited to be collaborating with Haven Life to offer an excellent option for consumers who are seeking the peace of mind that only life insurance can offer.”

Through accessible, convenient digital online solutions, Haven Life is committed to innovation and efficiency that simplifies the life insurance process and ensures more affordable options for consumers. Backed by C.M. Life, whose parent company MassMutual has over 170 years of financial stability, Haven Simple is an excellent option for customers who are seeking the peace of mind that only life insurance can offer.

About Haven Life
Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer.

About Policygenius
Policygenius transforms the insurance journey for consumers by providing a one-stop platform where consumers can compare options from top insurance carriers, get unbiased expert advice, buy policies, and manage their insurance portfolio, in one seamless, integrated experience. Our proprietary technology platform integrates with the leading life, disability, and home & auto insurance carriers and delivers an exceptional digital experience for both consumers and insurance carriers. Since 2014, our content, digital tools, and experts have served as a resource for millions of people on their insurance journey, and we have sold more than $200 billion in coverage. In 2023, Policygenius was acquired by Zinnia, an insurance technology and digital services company. To receive Policygenius announcements, email press@policygenius.com.

About Zinnia
Zinnia, an Eldridge business, combines a rich history of insurance expertise and product capabilities to create simplified and digitized outcomes that deliver better value and foster more seamless, secure, and efficient experiences for carriers, advisors, consumers, and reinsurers. Zinnia’s vision for Open Insurance empowers clients through intuitive technology solutions that decrease processing time, drive product innovation, and bring new products to market faster, enabling more people to protect and enrich their financial futures. Zinnia has over $173.7 billion in assets under administration across 60+ carrier clients, 350 distributors and partners, and over 2 million policyholders. In 2023, Zinnia acquired Policygenius, a digital consumer marketplace, to expand its offerings and create an end-to-end insurance experience. To receive Zinnia announcements, email pro-Zinnia@prosek.com.

Broker Words—September 2023

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In Memoriam

I was saddened, as will be the NAILBA community and many in our industry, to learn recently of the April passing of a vibrant and engaging jewel of the brokerage business, Melinda Meyer.

Melinda graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Special Education and Psychology. She began her career in Florida as a school teacher in West Palm Beach and initially entered the insurance industry with her first job with Richard Bernstein & Associates. She had more than 35 years of senior management experience in both multi-carrier insurance environments and broker/dealer operations. She was a nationally recognized authority on organizational operational efficiencies within agency and broker/dealer arenas. Additionally, she was just the second female general agent in the history of Minnesota Life.

The majority of her industry career was with Valmark Securities, where Lawrence Rybka saw her potential in 1996 and brought her on board to work directly with him in Florida. She ultimately moved to Akron, OH (in the winter no less!), to begin working in the Valmark corporate office where she was a valued member of their team progressing into a leadership role as VP and Chief Operating Officer.

Melinda’s commitment to the brokerage industry extended far beyond her role with Valmark. She was a passionate and very active member of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA), where she was the 2011 recipient of the Chairman’s Award in recognition for her work in government affairs, the political action committee, annual meeting program development and editorial direction. She was also recognized as the driving force behind the development of NAILBA’s Agency Successor Networking Group. Dear friend Myra Palmer, president, The Palmer Agency, said, “I served with Melinda on the NAILBA board and enjoyed working with her as a consultant when she started her consulting firm. Melinda was a wonderful person. I was fortunate to know her and call her friend.”

While with Valmark she served on the board of LifeMark Partners, now LIBRA Insurance Partners, and as chair of the regulatory committee. Long time LifeMark and LIBRA Chairman Mark Rosen, Underwriters Brokerage Service, said of Melinda, “She really was an amazing person in our industry. She was a good person and a good friend. She needs to be recognized and remembered by the industry she so enthusiastically supported.”

Melinda eventually left Valmark and started Aspen Strategies, providing consulting work to others in the insurance industry including many of her BGA friends, where she brought valued counsel. In her consulting role, Melinda was also a regular speaker at industry events. In addition to her family, her loss will be felt by her many insurance industry friends. Christi Daughenbaugh, president and COO, Borden Hamman Insurance Marketing, relates, “For me personally, she was my dear friend and mentor of almost 20 years. I loved her dearly and she made quite an impact on my life. I miss her every day.”

Although on the periphery of her vast friend group, I was blessed to speak with Melinda on many occasions at various LifeMark meetings and NAILBA events. In addition to being impressed by her obvious passion for our industry, I was warmed by her eagerness to learn about what shaped Broker World, how I got involved and grew, and how I saw my role in the brokerage business. She was earnest, engaging and warmly friendly, with a rich laugh and freely given bright smile. Her light will be missed by many.[SPH]

MDRT

MDRT Global Services has announced the 131 winners of the prestigious 2023 MDRT Culture of Excellence Awards, the global standard for achievement in financial services leadership. These awards are another resource available to Global Services members to measure individual and agency-wide performance and foster a comprehensive approach to leadership excellence.

Winners will be honored at special ceremonies during the 2023 MDRT Annual Meeting (June 25-28 in Nashville, TN) and the 2023 MDRT Global Conference (August 27-30 in Singapore). The Culture of Excellence Awards are the only awards bestowed by the MDRT family of brands.

Global Services members are field and home office leaders who continually work to broaden their leadership skills, establish an MDRT culture of excellence within their agencies, and advance professionally and personally. They are empowered and inspired year-round by educational content, peer-to-peer study groups, webcasts, attending MDRT meetings, and other Global Services tools and resources.

Within that fast-growing global community, the Culture of Excellence Awards are bestowed upon the “best of the best”—agency leaders who track and submit results in production, recruitment, retention, persistency, work/life balance (“Whole Person”) and MDRT membership. The five Diamond Agency winners achieved at least five of the six criteria; 15 Platinum Agency winners achieved four of six criteria, and 111 Gold Agency winners achieved three of six criteria.

Special mention goes to the following companies with the highest number of 2023 Culture of Excellence Award winners: Pru Life Insurance Corp of the U.K. with 69 award winners, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (PTE) Limited with 24 award winners, and Great Eastern Life of Singapore with 22 award winners. The full list of winners is found on the Global Services website.

“The Culture of Excellence Awards are the most prestigious field leadership awards in the financial services profession,” said Peggy Tsai, RFP, CCFP, 2023 MDRT president and an agency leader at Shin Kong Life Insurance Co. in Taipei, Taiwan. “MDRT Global Services creates a community of financial services leaders committed to excellence in the profession, and winning this award recognizes their ability to galvanize and coach their teams to become the best.”

LIMRA

Economic factors continue to influence employees’ enrollment decisions. According to a recent LIMRA consumer survey, more than half of workers cite inflation and a potential recession as having at least some impact on their enrollment decisions.

“While COVID-19 is playing less of a role, it still has an influence on enrollment decisions, especially when it comes to certain products such as life insurance and supplemental health products,” said Patrick Leary, corporate vice president and director of LIMRA’s workplace benefits research program. “During the pandemic, employees became much more aware of the need for insurance and related protection products, and that trend continues, although to a lesser extent.”

Supplemental Health Insurance
In the fourth quarter, U.S. workplace supplemental health product sales—accident, critical illness, cancer, hospital indemnity, and other supplemental health insurance products*—totaled $708 million in new premium, an eight percent increase year-over-year. In 2022, workplace supplemental health insurance product sales were $2.9 billion in new premium, up 12 percent from 2021 results.

The 2022 sales growth was driven by exceptionally strong results in the first quarter of 2022, when total supplemental health new premium increased 17 percent. In the following three quarters of the year supplemental health premium sales continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace.

All supplemental health product lines recorded growth in the fourth quarter: Accident insurance grew nine percent, critical illness climbed 12 percent, cancer insurance improved nine percent, and hospital indemnity experienced 10 percent growth.

Disability Insurance
Total workplace disability insurance new premium sales was $1 billion in the fourth quarter 2022, a year-over-year 25 percent increase. Long-term disability insurance new premium increased 21 percent in the fourth quarter and 13 percent for the year. Short-term disability new premium was up 28 percent for the quarter and four percent for the year.

Overall, U.S. workplace disability new premium totaled $3.9 billion in 2022, a year-over-year increase of eight percent.

Life Insurance
In the fourth quarter 2022, total workplace life insurance new premium was $837 million, down nine percent from prior year results. For the year, U.S. workplace life insurance new premium totaled $3.9 billion, down one percent from 2021.

“After the 14 percent increase in workplace life insurance premium in 2021—one of the largest increases recorded over the past 30 years—workplace life insurance premium normalized in 2022,” Leary said.

LIMRA’s workplace benefits sales surveys for life insurance, disability insurance and supplemental health represent at least 90 percent of their respective annualized premium markets.

You can find the latest data table with U.S. workplace sales trends in LIMRA’s Fact Tank, https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/fact-tank/.

*“Other supplemental health products” represents products that do not fit the other categories, such as gap insurance, minimum essential coverage plans, limited benefit medical, and heart/stroke products.

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 https://www.limra.com.

NAILBA

As a Finseca Community, the NAILBA Board of Advisors governs the brokerage community. Over the past year, a number of advisors have had their terms expire but extended their volunteer efforts to ensure smooth transition with the NAILBA Finseca merger.

In February-March 2023, there was a call for nominations to serve on the NAILBA Board of Advisors. The following new additions have been approved by the Executive Committee and the NAILBA community to serve on the NAILBA Board of Advisors for a two (2) year term: Diana Greenberg, Total Financial, CA, (LIBRA); Angie Hughes, Producers XL, AZ, (LIBRA); Lorrie Gibbons, KAFL Insurance Resources, NY, (AIMCOR); Darius Bakhtiar, Capitol Metro, MD, (Tellus); Chad Druvenga, CBS Brokerage, MN, (Tellus).

The NAILBA Board of Advisors Executive Committee remains: Victoria Van Dusen-Roos, chair, Diversified Brokerage Services, Inc., Minneapolis, MN; James Wong, chair elect, Partners Advantage Irvine, CA; Debbie Hannam, treasurer, Brokers Clearing House, LTD, West Des Moines, IA; John Gilbert, past chair, The National Benefit Corp., West Des Moines, IA. Directors who continue to serve on the NAILBA Board of Advisors are: Jim Duff, Crump Life Insurance Services, Harrisburg, PA; Jason Grover, Ash Brokerage, Ft. Wayne, IN; and Luke Ramsey, The ASA Group, Little Rock, AR.

NAILBA thanks all members of the Board of Advisors for their service to NAILBA, and welcome the new additions to leadership.

Diversified Brokerage Services

NFP, a leading property and casualty broker, benefits consultant, wealth manager and retirement plan advisor, today announced it has acquired Diversified Brokerage Services, Inc. (DBS). Acquiring DBS expands NFP’s life insurance business with capabilities that support larger financial institutions, including broker-dealers, wirehouses and RIAs. DBS principals George “Chip” Van Dusen IV, president and CEO, and Tori Van Dusen-Roos, COO, will join NFP and report to Mike James, executive vice president, chief sales officer. The acquisition closed on April 10.

“I’m very excited to welcome Chip, Tori and their team to NFP,” said James. “They are industry leaders in supporting financial advisors through enterprise relationships with large financial institutions and will be valuable partners for our advisors and producers. With DBS onboard, we will provide an enhanced, differentiated offering across our existing retail and wholesale life insurance businesses. I look forward to DBS’s contributions to our growth, culture, and support of current and future clients.”

Minneapolis-based DBS is one of the largest life insurance BGAs in the United States. They support financial advisors across the country through enterprise relationships with large financial institutions, as well as individual relationships under a wholesale model. DBS offers various value-added services to these advisors, including education, point-of-sale support and placement.

“We’re thrilled to join NFP, an organization with significant scale in the life insurance space that shares our focus on growth, people and community,” said Chip Van Dusen and Tori Van Dusen-Roos in a joint statement. “We have very ambitious goals for growth, and with their commitment and resources NFP is the ideal partner to help us achieve it. It’s exciting to see so many opportunities to collaborate and deliver additional value and expertise to our current distribution partners as well as those with whom we build relationships.”


NFP is a leading property and casualty broker, benefits consultant, wealth manager, and retirement plan advisor that provides solutions enabling client success through the expertise of over 7,400 global employees, investments in innovative technologies, and enduring relationships with highly rated insurers, vendors, and financial institutions. NFP is the ninth best place to work for large employers in insurance, seventh largest privately-owned broker, fifth largest benefits broker by global revenue and 13th largest broker of U.S. business (all rankings according to Business Insurance).


Visit NFP.com to discover how NFP empowers clients to meet their goals.

Diversified Brokerage Services is one of the largest multi-carrier brokerage general agencies in the United States specializing in life insurance. With a national headquarters located in Minneapolis, MN, DBS supports financial professionals nationwide as they look to secure life insurance, long term care, linked benefits, disability insurance and annuities for their clients.

Hexure

Hexure, a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions for the life and annuity industry, recently announced the appointment of Jaylene Kunze as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Kunze brings more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounting to Hexure and will be a key member of the executive leadership team. She will oversee Hexure’s finance organization. Brent Tuck, Hexure’s current CFO, will remain with the company moving into a new strategic financial role to allow him to spend more time with his family.

“Jaylene’s experience leading companies through times of growth combined with her leadership style made her a great fit for Hexure,” said Hexure CEO Laird Rixford. “We look forward to her impact as we continue to build solutions that power digital sales journeys for wealth management, insurance and financial services products.”

Kunze has previously served as CFO of Urbint, Uplight and Tendril. During her tenure at Tendril, she spearheaded the company’s acquisition of five companies that led to the formation of Uplight. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hillsdale College and is a certified public accountant. She is chair of the board of directors for non-profit A Precious Child and has been named to the Colorado Titan 100 list in 2022 and 2023.

“It is an exciting time to join Team Hexure as we work to build digital sales solutions for the future,” Kunze said. “I’m looking forward to joining Laird and the rest of the leadership team on this growth journey.”

“I’m grateful for the support of Laird and the Hexure team as I move into my new role so I can improve my work and life balance,” said Tuck. “Jaylene will be a great asset to the team, and I’m excited to work with her as we at Hexure continue to drive toward our company vision.”

Founded in 1995, Hexure provides digital sales solutions to the insurance and financial services industry across various lines of life insurance, annuities, retirement, and wealth management products.

Mutual of Omaha

Tamara Franklin, who served as Chief Digital, Data and Analytics Officer at global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., has been elected to the Mutual of Omaha Board of Directors, Chairman and CEO James Blackledge announced.

Franklin has more than 25 years of experience leading digital businesses, with a focus on strategic planning, digital transformation, data analytics, business development and customer acquisition. In addition to her role at Marsh & McLennan, she held senior leadership positions at IBM, Scripps Network Interactive (now Discovery, Inc.) and Time Warner, Inc.

“Tamara Franklin brings a wealth of experience in digital business development, data analytics, digital transformation and strategic planning that will add a valuable dimension to the Mutual of Omaha Board of Directors,” Blackledge said. “We will rely on her perspective, as well as that of our other distinguished directors, as we work to serve our customers and grow our business in an increasingly competitive and highly regulated environment.”

Franklin earned her master’s in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Genpact, Ltd.

Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha is a highly rated, Fortune 500 organization offering a variety of insurance and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States. As a mutual company, Mutual of Omaha is owned by its policyholders and committed to providing outstanding service to its customers. For more information about Mutual of Omaha, visit www.mutualofomaha.com.

Haven Life

Haven Life recently announced a coverage increase of its no-medical Simplified Issue product, Haven Simple, from a maximum of $500,000 to $1,000,000. With this expansion, Haven Simple is closing the gap between the Haven Term policy which offers up to $3 million in coverage and requires a medical exam for most applicants, giving consumers more freedom to apply for the policy that best suits their needs and budget.

“Being able to increase the Haven Simple coverage was an important mission for us this year. Taking time to get a medical exam and waiting for results represents a significant obstacle for some people and may actually prevent them from purchasing a life insurance policy,” shared Ben Newland, head of Product at Haven Life. “Giving consumers the option to opt out of a medical exam, fast issuance speeds, and improved coverage allows us to bring more American households closer to achieving their goals of financial security.”

A general rule of thumb is to have coverage at least five to ten times your annual salary. By increasing coverage maximum to $1 million, those making over $100,000 per year can now apply for a Haven Simple policy that reflects their financial needs.

Consumers may also be surprised to find out that a $1 million policy is still affordable. For example, a healthy 25-year-old woman could purchase a 20-year, $1 million Haven Simple policy for about $29 per month, or a little less than $1 per day . Consumers can calculate how much their ideal life insurance policy would cost with Haven Life’s online quote tool.

With this change, Haven Simple offers:

  • New up to $1 million in coverage (up from $500,000).
  • A quick, easy and simple digital application that you can fill out in the same time it takes to eat lunch–and average issuance of coverage in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Term policies of 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.
  • Additional features of level premiums, accelerated death benefit, paperless processing, no obligation free-look period, and credit card payments.
  • Policies are issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of MassMutual, one of the country’s oldest and most respected insurers and an A++ A.M. Best Rating for financial strength and claims-paying ability.


Haven Simple is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC20 HAVEN SIMPLE in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

Issuing the policy or paying its benefits depends on the applicant’s insurability, based on their answers to the health questions in the application, and their truthfulness.

MassMutual’s financial strength ratings are as of February 21, 2023: A.M. Best Company: A++ (Superior; top category of 15); Fitch Ratings: AA+ (Very Strong; second category of 21); Moody’s Investors Service: Aa3 (High Quality; fourth category of 21); Standard & Poor’s: AA+ (Very Strong, second category of 21). Ratings are for MassMutual (Springfield, MA 01111) and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Co. and MML Bay State Life Insurance Co. (Enfield, CT 06082). Ratings are subject to change.

Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer.

Hexure

Hexture, a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions for the life and annuity industry, recently announced the appointment of Nag Vaidyanathan as the company’s new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

A veteran of the insurance and financial services industries, Vaidyanathan brings to the role a reputation and strong track record of delivering cohesive, integrated technology as part of digital transformation goals. As CTO, Vaidyanathan will be accountable for the technology strategy, and the delivery of Hexure’s innovative solutions that enable a better, quicker digital sales process for wealth management, financial and insurance products.

“Our entire technology and development team is focused on creating solutions that power better digital sales connectivity, processes and experiences so our clients can achieve their business goals,” said Hexure CEO Laird Rixford. “With his experience, vision and technical expertise, we’re excited to have Nag lead the team to the next level for our clients.”

Vaidyanathan brings more than 28 years of experience to Hexure and a deep knowledge of the insurance and financial services industry gained from working with global teams as CTO of Duck Creek Technologies, CTO of OneMain Financial, CIO at Danske Bank in Denmark, and 20 years at Allstate. He has a long history of being a senior information technology leader focused on the intersection of people, ways of working, infrastructure and information technology transformation.

“I’m thrilled to join Laird and the Hexure executive leadership team in the mission of providing innovative solutions that empowers our clients’ success,” Vaidyanathan said. “This is an exciting time to be at Hexure, and I’m looking forward to leading the global engineering and development teams as they build the digital sales solutions of the future.”

Vaidyanathan has a doctorate in immersive technologies, master’s degrees in business administration and engineering management, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He serves on the boards of Health4Silvers and Chrp Technologies. He is also the Chicago chapter president of Pratham, an organization that provides education and vocational skills for the underprivileged in India, and is a board advisor for Indo American Community Services.
Vaidyanathan will be taking over CTO responsibilities from Rixford, who has been serving as interim CTO.

Founded in 1995, Hexure provides digital sales solutions to the insurance and financial services industry across various lines of life insurance, annuities, retirement, and wealth management products. Carriers and distributors use its solutions to build customer-centric sales experiences, accelerate submissions, reduce paper processes, meet regulatory requirements, and improve in-good-order sales.