Earlier this week over 500 insurance professionals gathered in Kansas City for the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance Summit. The attendees included insurance carrier representatives, insurance distributors, and vendors. In addition, hundreds viewed portions of the conference via live streaming. People who didn't attend the conference but are interested can go to www.insurancexpos.com and view archives of the presentation for a small price.
Here are five interesting takeaways from the Summit:
- Carriers want business. With standalone LTC underwriting becoming more stringent and premiums much higher, this seems like a contradictory statement. However, carriers want business precisely because they feel their newer products will be sustainable and profitable for the long-term. Now, the question is whether consumers and advisors will take to the new plans.
- Life insurance with LTC riders is growing fast. Several life insurers who offer either LTC or chronic care riders were at the meeting and presented great information. While standalone sales dipped, life insurance sales with LTC riders had a double-digit increase in sales last year. Most products offer an acceleration of death benefits to pay for LTC coverage.
- Automatic inflation coverage is becoming a thing of the past. One trend was very apparent - the most successful carriers and distributors are writing policies with GPO (guaranteed purchase options) instead of automatic compound coverage. A Northwestern Mutual representative said over 70% of their sales were sold with GPO - and they've never had a rate increase!
- More sales are being conducted over the telephone with web support. Many advisors doubted that LTC sales could be conducted over the phone but it is becoming the fastest growing part of sales. Phone sales, often with joint screen sharing, are here to stay. Next stop will be more streaming video.
- In-force policy support is growing. With millions of policies in force, there is demand for help on in-for policy support. For example, one vendor at the meeting, Claim Jockey, assists with LTC claims. Expect more services that help support and answer questions from current policyholders.