Sales of life insurance at The Hartford grew 14 percent in the third-quarter versus the same quarter in 2009. The company attributes the growth to a 45 percent increase in sales derived from newly-signed independent agents and a 12 percent jump in sales of universal life policies sold with the company's optional chronic-care rider.
The company launched a nationwide program in the first quarter of the year to sign up top-performing independent agents (which it calls Monarchs) to sell its permanent life insurance policies. According to Brian Murphy, executive vice president of the individual life business, the program has already surpassed its goal of signing 400 agents by year's end. "The Monarch program has really resonated in the marketplace and outstripped our expectations," Murphy said, "Over 90% of Monarchs are submitting business and paid results continue to accelerate."
Baby boomers looking for a new, cost-effective way to cover the cost of chronic illness in retirement are behind demand for permanent life insurance policies sold with the company's optional LifeAccess Accelerated Benefit Rider. Sales increased 12 percent in the quarter and 66 percent in the past year.
Unlike traditional long-term care insurance, the rider pays for the condition, not for the care of the condition. Dr. Robert Pokorski, The Hartford's chief medical strategist, says he believes this distinction appeals to policyholders who would rather pay their children or friends to care for them at home instead of moving into a nursing home.