Industry Commentary

investigation board with photos maps and cutouts showing connections

#404 | Who Killed PHL Variable?

Introduction I have to start this article with an admission. When I first saw the news about PHL Variable Insurance Company (PHLVIC) being put under administration and then rehabilitation by the State of Connecticut, I didn’t think much of it.…

#403 | The Double Edged Sword – Assets

Writing insurance is a double-edged sword. One side of the blade are the risks covered by the insurance policies themselves – the liability structure. The other side of the blade are the assets that support those liabilities. Successfully managing an…

closeup photo of black hilt and brown sword

#401 | Assurance IQ and the End of an Era

Prudential’s first quarter earnings release held a simultaneously shocking and yet completely predictable announcement – Assurance IQ is being formally shut down. It’s completely predictable because Prudential had already booked hundreds of millions in operating losses on Assurance IQ, pivoted…

person writing on graph paper

#393 | The Other IUL Market

Back in June of last year, I published #365 | The Other Whole Life Marketabout the stunning rise of Final Expense Whole Life, a non-participating policy sold with small face amounts and big commissions on a simplified underwriting platform to…

#392 | The Crown Jewel

2/13/24 Update – An astute reader shot me a note with a couple of additional comments with considering. First, he pointed out that many of the large independent BDs have insurance legacies. LPL was owned by Crown Life, Cetera was…

close up shot of a crown

#384 | Global Atlantic Axes In-Force Rates

Ask anyone who is fundamentally skeptical about Indexed UL why they feel that way and, invariably, they’ll bring up the issue of non-guaranteed elements. It’s a valid point. Indexed UL product performance ultimately hinges on non-guaranteed elements. But that’s also…

person smashing pick axe on ground

# 383 | Mid-Year Insurer Financials Observations

To say that 2023 has been a turbulent year in the financial markets would be an understatement – but that turbulence seems to have left life insurers largely unphased. Life insurance looks very much like a safe harbor in a…

round mirror

#381 | End Game: Brookfield and American National

Quick Take In quick succession, Brookfield has executed four key elements of what appears to be the end game strategy for American National. First, reinsuring the entire fixed and indexed annuity block to an affiliated offshore reinsurer. Second, stripping out…

architectural design architecture bangkok blue

#364 | Reinsurance and the Remaking of Life Insurance

Full Article At the core of reinsurance is the simple concept of risk transfer. Traditionally, reinsurance risk transfer has pertained to “natural” risk – mortality, morbidity, longevity and disability, among others. These sorts of reinsurance transactions are typically structured so…

business cargo cargo container city

#363 | The Long Reach of Guaranteed UL

Full Article There are a few fantastic scenes in The Lord of the Rings movies that, even after reading the books several times, I think capture the moment in film even better than Tolkein does in writing. Near the top…

See More Articles