Selling Life Insurance in Tough Economic Times

  • Originally published May 18, 2010 , last updated May 24, 2016

It's no secret that 2009 was a tough year for life insurance sales across all product lines. While there are signs that things are beginning to turn around, it is still helpful to look at some strategies ideas to help reinvigorate your life sales as we emerge from the slump. First, let's look at what happened in 2009.

2008 vs. 2009

Whole life insurance        Down 29%
Term life insurance          Down 4%
Variable life insurance     Down 61%
Universal life insurance   Down 33%

Source: Senior Market Advisor

Sales Ideas for Selling in Tough Times

Guaranteed Life Insurance

In the short term, you may want to shift some energy to a product that resonates with many older consumers: guaranteed permanent life insurance. As you may know, variable life is a tough sell when the economy is bad, especially to seniors. These clients are generally more reserved about where they put their money and want to be protected from downside risk.

A sound strategy is to highlight features of life insurance that align with the needs of your older age clients. Universal life insurance products with death benefit guarantees out to age 100 or 120 are resonating with many clients because these products take the investment component, found in variable universal life, out of the mix. The goal is to use life insurance as the protective component of a sound financial plan. For these situations, consider North American's Custom Guarantee®; universal life insurance. It offers guaranteed death benefit protection up to age 120 along with competitive rates.

Wealth Transfer

For the more affluent client with needs for wealth transfer and death benefit protection, one way to offer a solution is to consider guaranteed universal life insurance as an annuity alternative. A guaranteed death benefit universal life policy being used for wealth transfer offers tax-deferred growth and income tax-free transfer at death. A deferred annuity may leave heirs on the hook for capital gains taxes.

Accelerated Benefits

You may want to consider new life insurance products that offer additional benefits to make up for decreased demand in traditional products. For the senior market, life insurance protection that offers accelerated benefits for chronic illness is attractive because it may help pay for an unexpected illness that can derail financial security. Additionally, if the accelerated benefit is not used, heirs still benefit from the life insurance coverage. North American's Custom Guarantee includes the Chronic Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider. This rider accelerates portions of the death benefit for unexpected chronic illness.

Term Insurance

Term life policies are a more affordable alternative for clients who don't need or can't afford permanent life insurance. And while many life insurance carriers have recently increased term insurance premiums, North American reduced premiums in several scenarios on 10 and 15-year term insurance plans.

Contract with NACOLAH through Senior Market Sales and start selling the industry’s best lineup of universal life products.