PRODUCT: New universal life insurance plan
COMPANY: Universal life and long-term care underwritten by Trustmark Insurance Company; whole life underwritten by Aflac
BEST RATING: A- (Excellent) for Trustmark; A+ (Superior) for Aflac
AVAILABILITY: Coverage is available on an open-brokerage basis.
FOCUS: In the first stage of a multiphase approach to expanding its life insurance portfolio, Aflac recently expanded its group life offerings to include a universal life plan with long-term care (LTC) benefits and a whole life plan.
Aflac listened and responded to its brokers, partners and agents who expressed a desire for a more competitive, more permanent life portfolio and showed an equal interest in both permanent life coverages. The additions expand on 60 years of voluntary insurance history and create a “one-stop shop” that improves efficiency to administration, billing and enrollment while delivering a single point of contact to simplify processes.
“Our goal was to seek out what we consider best in class in each of those lines and bring those to the market and ultimately to our customers,” says Stephanie Shields, vice president of product innovation and marketing at Aflac.
The universal life product, underwritten by Trustmark Insurance Company, includes eight optional riders. Shields emphasizes that the LTC rider pays 4% per month for LTC and any ongoing care conditions, “but also has a restoration benefit that allows you to restore a policy face amount in the event that someone needs to file a death claim.”
How do these additions help independent agents? “They’re a very good complement to other traditional life insurance products that are sold in the workplace—like term life—so it enables our brokers and agents to offer a variety of financial protection vehicles,” Shields explains. “In the case of permanent life, it provides savings vehicles to customers because this is a long-term, permanent solution.”
UNDERWRITING: Both products are portable and offer maximum benefits up to $300,000. Universal life coverage can be used for LTC, home health care and assisted living. The product accumulates cash value over time, and the insured can take a partial surrender to withdraw or borrow funds through a loan against the policy.
Group whole life insurance covers end-of-life expenses, medical costs, income replacement, debts and more if a loved one passes. Enhancements for both offerings include family coverage and employee guaranteed-issue options, which are available at a case level and vary by case size, industry and access to employees.
MINIMUM PREMIUM: N/A.
TARGET: Shields says the client profile is focused on midsize to large employers, but eventually Aflac will “look at other ways of expanding distribution either down market or in different directions.”
COVERAGE TERRITORY: Universal life coverage is available in all U.S. states. Whole life is available in all U.S. states except CA, NY and OR.
CONTACT: Stephanie Shields, vice president of product innovation and marketing; Aflac, 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31999; 803-461-4301.
Ronimarie Acord is an IA contributor.