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Are life insurers positioned for a positive 2014?

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Glenn Tobleman
Are life insurers positioned for a positive 2014?
Are life insurers positioned for a positive 2014?

The life insurance industry has gone through some significant ups and downs in the last several years as the effects of the recession took hold and prompted many Americans to shed their policies as a cost-cutting measure. Now, with the economy improving, many more may be willing to return to having this kind of coverage, but policy issuers need to be prepared for the potential influx of new business.

The "Ice Age" that the broader economy, and the life insurance industry in particular, has gone through in the past few years is finally beginning to thaw, and along with the low interest rates and other issues that have plagued companies in the last few years, things seem poised to improve considerably beginning this year, according to a report from Life Health Pro. Now, it seems likely that the insurers who had the strongest and most resilient portfolios will be the ones best positioned to take advantage of the improving economy, but that doesn't mean that those who suffered a bit more during and following the recession shouldn't be moving some pieces around to make sure they're ready to succeed again as well.

Some good news from all the bad
If there are any positives to take from the difficulties of the last few years, it's likely that life insurance issuers have become more innovative in the ways in which they're going to offer and develop products, the report said. The things they learned during the lean times may end up serving them well going forward. In general, even as people move back toward having life insurance again for the first time in years - or in some cases, ever - they might still be a little cautious about this kind of policy, and thus the companies that can offer the most flexibility and benefit going forward may be the ones that see the largest influxes of new business in the coming years.

Of course, there are other factors for life insurance companies to consider as well, such as the new regulatory environment that is, to be fair, still only emerging. The way in which the industry works five years from now could be drastically different from today's landscape, and insurers will have to prepare for those eventualities as well in order to guarantee ongoing success.



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