Wednesday, 01/19/22
2022 Media Kit  /  Press Releases

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Walt Podgurski, Editor


Act Now To Avoid Higher Life Insurance Rates
Bob Carlson, Senior Contributor / Forbes / / Read Article

You might want to lock in life insurance premiums now, before they increase.

You’ve probably seen the data showing that life expectancy in the U.S. has been declining. The decline first was detected before the pandemic, due to the opioid epidemic and some other factors.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a further decrease in life expectancy.

The death rate in the U.S. among people ages 18-64 increased 40% from pre-pandemic levels, according to the CEO of insurer OneAmerica, Scott Davison.

Most of the deaths are not attributed to Covid on the death certificates, according to Davison. But it’s clear death rates increased after the pandemic began.

Disability claims also are increasing.

Davison said all insurers are reporting similar experience on death rates. The higher death rates among working age Americans are likely to hurt insurance company profits in the short-term and cause premiums to rise.

BrokerTech Ventures Welcomes Industry-Leading Carrier Partners
BrokerTech Ventures / PRNewswire / / Read Article

BrokerTech Ventures (BTV), the industry's first broker-led convening platform and accelerator program, today announced the addition of its two newest industry-leading insurance company partners, EMC Insurance Companies and AF Group.

"We could not be more pleased to announce the addition of EMC Insurance Companies and AF Group to our carrier community network. We view our carrier and wholesale partners as integral in terms of our overall strategy in building out BrokerTech Ventures — and specifically, our Innovation Tower," said Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO and co-CEO of BTV. "Insurance companies are individually spending multi-millions of dollars each year in innovation, and we believe that BTV can be the convening platform to provide access into the unknowns, idea-sharing, investing, and distribution for the benefit of all."

Based in the insurance nucleus of Des Moines, Iowa, BrokerTech Ventures (BTV) is the first broker-led convening platform focused on delivering innovation to the insurance broker industry. Founded in 2019, BTV provides a venue for the best minds in insurance and technology to collaborate and bring to market leading-edge ideas and solutions. BTV invests in the research and testing for each of the chosen startups, provides access to veteran industry mentors, and helps scale the technology to market through broker distribution channels.

Amplify Raises $12M Investment for Life Insurance Investment Platform
Greycroft and Crosslink co-lead funding round on the next generation permanent life insurance platform.
Amplify Life Insurance / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Amplify Life Insurance, a digital life insurance platform focused on helping customers build wealth through permanent life insurance, announced today it has raised $12M in Series A funding co-led by Greycroft and Crosslink Capital. Other investors who participated include Conversion Capital, Anthemis, and Transverse Asset Management.

Amplify is the first digital platform that offers customers the ability to invest in public equities or alternative investments with their life insurance premiums, accessing tax-free returns throughout their lifetime. Amplify customers get a customized plan based on their financial goals, risk tolerance, and underwriting risk profile. Customers can also customize how much of their premiums are invested in tax efficient, high growth investments and how much goes towards their life insurance coverage. With built-in capabilities for expedited underwriting and policy delivery, most Amplify customers are able to get a life insurance investment policy within days and without a medical exam.

After incorporating in September 2019, Amplify raised their seed round in January, 2021. Since launching their customer-facing platform in 2020, Amplify has been growing over 400% Y-O-Y and has helped thousands of customers with a life insurance investment plan.

How to Build a Successful Upskilling Program
by Susan R. Vroman and Tiffany Danko / Harvard Business Review  / / Read Article

Upskilling is a longer-term investment in augmenting the knowledge, skills, and competencies that help employees advance their careers. When employees are offered and encouraged to take advantage of upskilling opportunities for their personal or...more
As the Covid pandemic accelerated how and where work got done, employee reskilling became a short-term survival strategy to fuel or sustain company growth. Companies found that investing in skills learning enabled both performance and reliability of their workers.

Companies looking to retain their workers amid the Great Resignation, however, need to move beyond this short-term approach. Upskilling is a longer-term investment in augmenting the knowledge, skills, and competencies that help employees advance their careers. When employees are offered and encouraged to take advantage of upskilling opportunities for their personal or professional growth, people metrics, such as employee engagement and retention, also go up.

Employees Cite Several Reasons for Not Participating in Financial Wellness Programs
A TIAA survey also found employees are more concerned about day-to-day finances than saving for retirement.
Reported by REBECCA MOORE / PLANSPONSOR / / Read Article

For most Americans, day-to-day financial concerns are paramount—and longer-term issues receive less focus, according to the TIAA 2022 “Financial Wellness Survey.”

When asked about their definition of financial wellness, Americans rank “having the means to take care of your family and others” (53%), “not worrying about money or debts” (51%), and “feeling protected financially from life’s unexpected events” (51%), well ahead of retirement financial security (36%). They also rank the “ability to pay monthly bills without difficulty” (38%) and “having a reliable source of income” (38%) ahead of being on track with retirement savings (16%) when asked about their current priorities for securing financial wellness.

The TIAA survey also found that most people don’t think about their retirement planning when considering their financial wellness. Still, 57% of respondents are interested in learning more about effective retirement planning, along with other key topics, through an employer financial wellness program.

Financial Wellness Programs Increase Financial Confidence
Lynn Brackpool Giles  / / Read Article

As the new year cautiously edges out of the starting blocks, there are positive signs on the horizon when it comes to employee wellness programs.

Employer-based financial wellness programs are increasing employee financial confidence and easing money and retirement concerns of Americans, in particular Gen Z, according to a new report from investment powerhouse TIAA. And employers should especially take note of the impact of financial wellness programs, based on key findings in the just-released 2022 TIAA Financial Wellness Survey.

The report found that employees who participate in an employer-sponsored financial wellness program focused on retirement, debt management, education saving, budgeting, managing healthcare costs, investing or a similar topic are twice as likely as other employees to have a high financial wellness score (32% vs. 15% of those either not offered any benefits or offered but did not participate).
2022 TIAA Financial Wellness Survey.

5 trends driving total rewards and employee benefits in 2022
Ryan Golden / HR DIVE / / Read Article

The second year of a pandemic may be challenging for everyone – but it's not all bad for those in the compensation and benefits field, sources who spoke to HR Dive insist.

With worker attrition at historic highs, pay has become the centerpiece of the recruiting conversation; 68% of HR leaders in a recent Grant Thorton report said they increased the number of employees eligible to receive a cash bonus in 2021. Large organizations — particularly those employing large numbers of frontline workers — have expanded non-salary employee benefits offerings in lockstep with their competitors.

"It's a great time to be a total rewards professional," said David Giesman, vice president of global total rewards at fashion retailer Designer Brands, Inc. "Your entire playbook is open to consider doing things differently. It's an opportunity to be creative."

Life Insurance Leaders to Gather at LIMRA’s 2022 Distribution Conference to Discuss Emerging Growth Opportunities
LIMRA / / Read Article

LIMRA’s 2022 Distribution Conference for Financial Services will be held March 1 – 3, in Miami, Florida. This year’s conference, “The Shape of Things to Come,” will focus on the forces shaping insurance distribution and how distribution professionals can manage the transition.

Each year, the Distribution Conference for Financial Services draws nearly 400 industry professionals involved in distribution channel growth, productivity, and strategy.

“We now operate in a hybrid world where advisors and consumers enjoy flexibility in how they interact. This requires our industry to adapt and adopt new technologies and approaches that empower financial professionals to meet their clients in a way that best suits their needs,” said John Carroll, senior vice president and head of insurance and annuities, North America, LIMRA, LOMA & LL Global, Inc. “This year’s conference will help distribution professionals harness new capabilities to keep delivering value to their customers."

One80 Intermediaries Extends Insurance Platform to Associations and Unions Throughout the United States With the Acquisition of Pearl Insurance
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

One80 Intermediaries (One80), a specialty insurance broker headquartered in Boston, today announced that it has acquired Pearl Insurance, a leading broker, third party administrator, managing general underwriter and program manager offering professional liability and personal lines insurance, as well as specialty insurance programs for associations and unions. Marsh, Berry & Company was the exclusive financial adviser of Pearl Insurance. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With more than 350 employees, Pearl Insurance operates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and maintains offices in Illinois and New York. Pearl enjoys long-term partnerships with over 100 carriers and delegated binding authority on behalf of several insurance carriers throughout the US and UK. These delegated authority arrangements, most of which carry exclusivity, offer differentiated products and a strong loss ratio performance.

Pearl Insurance’s market leading coverage for affinity groups is primarily focused on life and health insurance, while the professional liability services feature commercial insurance products, predominately on a program basis. The firm also provides personal lines insurance products such as home and auto insurance.

Mental Health Provider Meru Health collaborates with Tech-Savvy Health Insurance Company Evry Health To Deliver Outcomes-Based Mental Healthcare
Partnership will introduce an outcomes-based mental healthcare model, incentivizes program participants with up to $100 to complete the intervention
MERU HEALTH / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Meru Health, the most comprehensive mental health solution in the market with industry-leading outcomes, and Evry Health, a modern business-to-business health insurance company announced today that they will partner on delivering Meru Health's solution to Evry Health's members in Dallas, Texas starting January 2022.

The Meru Health online mental health solution will be embedded as part of Evry Health's tailored wellness plans that come at no cost to the employer or their employees. These specialized, optional wellness solutions provide a wide range of resources, tools and rewards that are different from other health insurance plans, including benefits such as mental health support through Meru Health. Members will be recommended to the program based on pre-screening criteria as well as Evry Health's data analysis.

Synchrony /PRNewswire / / Read Article

Synchrony (NYSE: SYF), a premier consumer financial services company, and Pawlicy Advisor, the leading pet insurance marketplace, are joining forces to help pet parents better plan for expenses regarding their pet. As part of the strategic partnership, Pawlicy Advisor will offer Synchrony's CareCredit, the leading financing solution for veterinary care, in the Pawlicy Advisor pet insurance marketplace. The agreement makes CareCredit the first and primary financing solution available to over 300,000 pet parents that use Pawlicy Advisor's free online resources each month.

High Street Insurance Partners Successfully Acquires Southeastern Agency Group.
High Street Insurance Partners / PRNewswire / / Read Article

High Street Insurance Partners ("HSIP") announced its December acquisition of Southeastern Agency Group (SAG), a full-service insurance firm based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This acquisition is one of 17 finalized in December, making HSIP one of the most active brokerage firms in 2021, in terms of acquisitions. HSIP has acquired 97 agencies in just three years. The firm has a geographical footprint that includes 23 states.

Stephens Insurance Announces Name, Image and Likeness Deal With University of Arkansas Linebacker Bumper Pool
BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

Stephens Insurance, LLC (“Stephens Insurance”), an affiliate of independent financial services firm Stephens Inc., today announced a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal with University of Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool. Stephens has a long history of supporting athletics at the University of Arkansas and former Razorbacks on the PGA and LPGA tours.

Pool, named to both the 2020 and 2021 All-SEC Second Teams, is a native of Lucas, Texas. During the 2021 season he led the team in total tackles and tied for 10th nationally with 125. In addition, Pool entered the top ten in most career tackles at the University of Arkansas with over 300. He was named both National Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week in 2020.


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Monday, 01/17/22 - 10 Highly Beneficial Services For Employee Wellness

Tuesday, 01/18/22 - Fidelity Investments® Adds $146 Billion in Assets to Workplace Benefits Platform In 2021

Wednesday, 01/12/22 - Biden Requires Insurance Companies To Cover Free At-Home Covid Tests Starting This Weekend

Thursday, 01/13/22 - Washington State’s Celebrated Long Term Care Program Is Headed Towards Trouble

Friday, 01/14/22 - Healthcare sharing ministry 'sham' faces suit for allegedly defrauding consumers in California

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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.