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Tender, bite-sized morsels

It’s easy to get carried away with your own thoughts on these pages, serving up an entire banquet of information in one blog post.  But sometimes it’s better to let others do the talking and convey information in tender, bite-sized morsels.  Hope you enjoy these snacks…

  • Death and taxes – Are there any more important issues for fraternal life insurers?  I haven’t figured out how to address the death issue, but if you had any doubt about the significance of the upcoming debate on the overhaul of the U.S. Tax Code and its implications for fraternals – and for the entire life insurance industry – just read these two items (WSJ ARTICLE – “OBAMA INTENSIFIES TAX FIGHT” and MCBEE “INSIGHT”).  Fraternals have plenty of skin in this game, not the least of which is the preservation of the tax exemption that provides the cornerstone for our business model.  But there’s more on the chopping block for life insurers and the men and women who market our products and services to consumers.  The taxation of life insurance benefits and the built-up value of life insurance policies will also be put under the microscope.  Our colleagues at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) are taking this threat very seriously, as changes to these provisions could make our products much less beneficial to the people that need them most – middle-income Americans who rely on life insurance and annuities to help protect their families’ financial futures and secure their retirement.  Want to learn more about how you can get involved in the effort to secure co-sponsors for the Alliance-sponsored Congressional Resolution on Fraternalism?  Just shoot me an email at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org and I’ll get you the details.
  • Have you seen them?  — Or perhaps a more important question is: Are you using them?  The results of Phase II of the Alliance’s consumer research are in, and they provide a roadmap on how to quickly and concisely explain the fraternal business model in a way that resonates with prospective members in our “sweet spot” (i.e., middle-income consumers with a passion for giving back to their community).  This research verifies that for financially sound societies that can offer solid products through a professional field force, it’s a great time to be a fraternal.  I’d love to hear how your society is putting this information to work.  Post your comments and suggestions here…  Want some suggestions on how you can maximize the value of this one-of-a-kind research?  Here is one: have me present the findings of the consumer research at your next agent gathering, just like I am doing for Western Fraternal Life Association later this week in Riverside, Iowa.  Email me for other ideas at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org.
  • Getting some much-deserved attention – One of the ways the Alliance is using the results of this research is by promoting it to the people who can put it to greatest use – financial services sales professionals who belong to NAIFA.  Check out this article that was published in Advisor Today, NAIFA’s monthly magazine.  In addition to this piece, the Alliance will be delivering a presentation on the value of representing fraternals to NAIFA members at their Career Conference & Annual Meeting in September.  (We will be in touch with member societies soon about how we can send interested NAIFA agents your way.)  We’ve got a great model and a great message.  And we’re doing everything we can to communicate that message to our most important audiences.
  • Call a little attention to yourselves – The January 2013 issue of Best’s Review magazine will highlight innovative business concepts that have been profitable or groundbreaking for the organizations that have implemented them.  Here’s your chance to highlight the success of your society.  Check out this link and submit your idea to Best’s by September 15.
  • Approaching a sell out – “If you build it, they will come.”  Well, we built what we thought was an excellent Annual Meeting program and put it in a great location at a terrific price and guess what?  People are coming; they are most definitely coming.  This looks to be one of the best-attended Annual Meetings in years – we’ve already increased our room block at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans to accommodate the huge influx of registrations received in the last week.  The deadline for early-bird registration expired on July 15, but you can still register for the meeting. We are approaching a sell-out of rooms at the Ritz, but we’ve reserved a block of rooms at a sister property next door for the super-low rate of $119 per night.  So if you haven’t already done so, click here to secure your spot at this year’s event.

2 Responses

  1. Great article! All things considered, consumers like the fraternal model. The bottom line is it’s all about relationships with a trusted advisor.

    It amazes me. There are a significant number of consumers in the middle income market who know that they need to purchase more life insurance but will never do it on their own. They will not take the initiative on their own.

    The middle income market is an after thought for tradional insurance distribution.

    There is a tremendous opportunity for fraternals.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Ken. You have hit the nail on the head. One of the most important things member societies can do with the research results is pass them on to their sales force so these trusted advisors can describe the fraternal business model in a way that appeals to those middle market consumers!

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