Commentary

#257 | The Section 7702 Christmas Miracle

This is the closest thing to breaking news in our industry and, as such, it’s still very much evolving. Current updates to the post are at the very bottom. For all of the buzz and lead-up to the creation and…

#256 | Symetra’s Gambit – Follow Up

In late 2013, just before I closed down the first iteration of The Life Product Review and joined MetLife, I wrote an article entitled Symetra’s Gambit. The crux of the article was that Symetra was carving out marketshare by offering…

#253 | The End of the Asset Management Era

The typical narrative in the life insurance business is that falling interest rates are an unmitigated disaster for life insurance companies resulting in spread compression, unsupportable guarantees, expense pressure and general malaise. There’s certainly truth in the narrative – and…

#251 | The AG 49-A Loan Loophole

Back in June of this year, I wrote an article entitled “The Impacts of AG 49-A” that went through six points of how AG 49-A would impact illustrations. My 6th point was about policy loan arbitrage and the fact that,…

#249 | AIG Exits Life & Retirement

Yesterday, AIG announced that it has made the strategic decision to exit its Life & Retirement division in order to create two distinct “market-leading” companies with AIG itself focusing exclusively on its P&C business. The details of the separation have…

#247 | AG 49-A & Product Development

This article was originally intended to be published in a publication for actuaries. Trying to make Indexed UL illustrations work within the Illustration Model Regulation is like trying to get a Sumo wrestler to do ballet. It’s possible, but not…

#243 | Rethinking Whole Life Dividends

One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot recently, especially from folks on the independent side of the business, is some variant of the argument that low interest rates are going to crush dividend scale interest rates (DSIRs) on…

#237 | The Tangled Reinsurance Web – Part 6 – Through The Maze

At last, we’ve come to the end of this series that attempts to untangle the tangled web of reinsurance. It seems like an eternity since the first article was published at the end of April. What have we discussed so…

#229 | The Impacts of AG 49-A

At last, it appears as though the process to make edits to AG 49 is coming to an end and has coalesced around the proposal crafted by life insurers and put forth by their industry group, the ACLI, and now…

#224 | The Tangled Reinsurance Web – Part 5 – The Power of Coinsurance

The tension between growth and capital is as old as time, but it takes on a unique dimension for life insurers. Most businesses view capital as a cushion to ride out temporary setbacks in the core business or to fund…

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