Millennials driving growth of simplified Issue insurance

Simplified issue insurance was once the preserve of the hard-to-insure segment. That is no longer the case, with more and more consumers embracing the reduced underwriting that goes along with these products. Lorne Marr is director of Business Development at LSM Insurance and simplified issue has become a major focus in recent years.

“We have been in this market longer than most of the other MGAs,” he explains. “We work with all the major insurers, but on the simplified issue there are a few really strong players –Assumption Life, Industrial Alliance, Canada Protection Plan.”

The reason these products have grown in popularity isn’t down to the fact that Canada now has more sick people that insurers are reluctant to cover. Rather, it appears convenience is the main factor. There aren’t enough hours in the day for many people, so making the application process for life insurance shorter will obvious curry favour with a large percentage of the population.

“Especially with millennials, they don’t want to have to meet with a nurse and spend a lot of time on cumbersome medical tests,” he says. “A lot of them like the idea of getting coverage without having to give a blood or urine test. The turnaround for an application could be anything from 24 hours to maybe a week.”

The coverage available has also increased in recent years, although the policy amount is proportionate with the underwriting process. The longer the process, the more questions involved, the higher the premium.

“Simplified issue now goes up to $1 million in coverage, but as that goes up there are more questions in the application,” says Marr. “Premiums are also a little more than a traditional policy, but for a million dollars they might ask 35 health questions. They can do a lot of underwriting with 35 health questions.”

Making life insurance more attractive for the public should be a positive for brokers, but Marr explains this might not necessarily be the case. Technology offers brokers great potential to reach new clients, but also offers the potential for carriers to do the same.

“A lot of larger carriers are trying to bypass the brokers,” he says. “RBC has a direct offering through their website because if it is yes/no answers it gives them the opportunity to bypass the broker. It’s not necessarily cheaper, because they still have to call a call centre, so there’s still distribution costs, but they won’t have a broker shopping rates for the client.”



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Wildfire evacuees still able to renew car insurance, says ICBC

File photo. Wildfire evacuees are still able to renew their car insurance while they're evacuated, says ICBC.

Don’t panic if wildfires have forced you to evacuate your home and you need to renew your car insurance, because you still can.

ICBC says that residents who are under alert or order can renew their papers, they just can’t add extra coverage.

It explains that this is only until the wildfires are under control.

ICBC is reminding British Columbians who have either been evacuated, or are close to being forced from their properties, that they can renew their insurance up to 55 days before it expires, and they should check ahead of time if they can.

It adds customers can also buy a temporary operating permit to move vehicles out of harms way.



Wildfire evacuees still able to renew car insurance, says ICBC



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InsureLine Brokers opens first location inside Walmart


Port Coquitlam, B.C. – July 25, 2017 – Canada’s fastest growing insurance broker network, InsureLine Brokers Inc. (InsureLine), has opened its first location inside Walmart in Delta, BC at Scottsdale Mall. For the franchisee, this is their second InsureLine location after converting their first location, Infinity Insurance Services, based in Port Coquitlam. That brokerage is now to be called InsureLine Brokers (Infinity).

A little over 20 months into its operation, InsureLine has exploded to 15 locations in BC and Alberta, with more than 10 additional locations already signed up and awaiting onboarding. Operations are set to begin in Ontario by the end of Summer, 2017.

At its core, InsureLine is a consolidation model that allows broker-principals to retain 100% ownership in their business but gain access to the tools and technology that will enable them to remain competitive in the rapidly changing landscape of broker distribution.

InsureLine Brokers (Infinity) is the latest brokerage to convert into an InsureLine franchisee.  “As a single location independent broker, it was hard for us to compete against large multi-location brokers, and without access to more products and newer technology, it was very difficult for us to grow. By joining InsureLine, we have gained access to some of the nation’s best providers for insurance advice and products. In addition, InsureLine is helping our office to become paperless and will modernize our operation.” said Chanpreet Gill, Managing Partner of InsureLine Brokers (Infinity). “The biggest factor for us, however, was the opportunity for us to grow our business by opening a second location inside the Walmart Supercentre in Delta.  Our Team is pleased to be part of the InsureLine network of insurance brokers and we look forward to all the benefits that being part of InsureLine will bring to our office.”

Aly Kanji, President of InsureLine, said: “Many independent brokerage owners are at a cross-roads: do they spend money to modernize their brokerage to remain competitive? Do they build new websites and buy expensive broker management systems? Or should they cash out and sell? We provide an alternative whereby the broker principal retains 100% ownership of their business, they are essentially still an independent business owner, and yet they gain access to tools, technology, markets, products and new clients to enable them to continue to remain competitive and grow. The insurance industry is evolving: consolidation is creating ‘Super-Brokers’ that have size and scale to beat up on small independent brokers, and direct writers are continuing to eat up market share. Being part of InsureLine gives an independent brokerage the tools, technology, and leadership to continue to compete.  We are excited to now be joining forces with Walmart Canada, which will provide our franchisees and clients with an unparalleled level of convenience.”



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3 Ways to Use Life Insurance While You’re Still Alive

Imagini pentru Investment

Life insurance can seem like a necessary evil. In fact, says Kimberly Dula, partner with accounting firm Friedman LLP in New York City, “many of [my clients] don’t look at their life insurance as an asset at all.” Instead, she says, they see it as a monthly bill from which they will never personally see any benefit.

That’s a misguided view of life insurance, according to some experts. “It has many more uses than just for a death benefit,” says Ray Caucci, senior vice president for product management, underwriting and advanced markets for Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Here are three ways to access the value of a life insurance policy while you’re still alive.

1. Tap into its cash value. Life insurance comes in two basic forms: term life and permanent life. Term life insurance is the less-expensive option and will pay out a death benefit should a policyholder die while the plan is in effect. Permanent life is more expensive, but it has an investment component that allows policies to build a cash value over time.

“The life insurance industry has gotten a bit of a bad reputation because of the high [fees] on them,” says Craig Simms, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Vantis Life Insurance Company. However, permanent life insurance can still be an attractive choice for those who want to ensure they always have access to coverage. Plus, its cash value means policyholders have a ready source of money that can be used for any reason.

People can tap into a plan’s cash value in one of three ways:

  • Loans: Rules may differ by company, but most allow people to take out a loan from the accumulated cash value for any reason. There is no set repayment schedule for these loans, but they will accumulate interest charges that can reduce the death benefit.
  • Withdrawals: Policyholders can withdraw money from the cash value and not worry about interest charges. However, a withdrawal may change policy premiums and could affect the death benefit.
  • Surrender: Surrendering a policy means canceling it. That releases all the cash value to the policyholder. However, a person should be sure he or she doesn’t need the coverage or can get coverage elsewhere before taking this step.

When it comes to deciding between a loan and a withdrawal, Caucci says a loan provides more options for policyholders. They can choose not to repay the loan, but they also have the option to make payments that will maintain the death benefit and restore the cash value. “If you take a withdrawal, it’s a lot harder to get the values back to where they were,” he says.

2. Apply for living benefits. Living benefits are another way to tap into the value of a life insurance policy while someone is still alive. These benefits typically allow a portion of the death benefit – usually up to 50 percent – to be paid in advance should certain criteria be met. “We don’t want to completely extinguish the [death] benefits,” Simms say. “That’s why it’s limited to a percentage.”

These accelerated benefits are most commonly available in the following forms:

  • Chronic illness benefits: A chronic illness is often defined as needing assistance with at least two out of six activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing or eating.
  • Terminal illness benefits: Those who have been certified as terminally ill by a physician and have a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months may also be able to access living benefits.
  • Long-term care benefits: Long-term care benefits may be available at an added cost. “These are a bit more expensive, but they have a great potential for coverage,” Caucci says. That’s because long-term care riders may include additional benefits beyond the policy’s death benefit.

These benefits may come standard on some policies but be offered only as riders on others. While most people understand the cash value of policies, “the industry needs to do a better job of educating the public on these options,” Simms says.

3. Sell the policy. Life settlements offer a final option for those who want to access money from their life insurance policy prior to death. “What’s happening, in essence, is that you’re selling your policy,” Dula says.

The settlement may pay a lump sum or provide an annuity that offers regular periodic payments. Policies are typically purchased by investors on the secondary market for an amount that is more than the cash value but far less than the full value of the policy. The new owner takes over premiums payments and becomes the beneficiary of the death

A life settlement can be preferable to letting a policy lapse, but it may only be available to those who are older or who have a certain level of death benefit. It’s best to work with an experienced broker to get the best payout possible. “Make sure you’re working with an insurance provider that you know, that you like and that you trust,” Dula says.

While the main purpose of life insurance is to provide a death benefit that supports loved ones or create a lasting legacy, that doesn’t mean you can’t also reap the benefits of these policies while you’re still alive. If you need cash now, consider whether one of these three options is right for you.


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Ohio woman convicted of murdering husband to collect $100,000 life insurance

police tape

An Ohio woman was found guilty of having her firefighter husband killed in order to collect his life insurance money. The debt-laden newlywed hoped to collect her husband’s $100,000 (£77,000) life insurance payout, only to find out after he was killed that his ex-wife was still his beneficiary.

Uloma Curry-Walker, a 45-year-old from Cleveland, was found guilty of aggravated murder and conspiracy on Friday (7 July) for the November 2013 death of her husband William Walker. Prosecutors claimed Curry-Walker had amassed tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt and other loans and hoped to collect her new husband’s life insurance.

Despite her murderous plan, Curry-Walker did not realise that her husband had not yet switched his life insurance policy to her name from that of his ex-wife. Walker’s former spouse ended up receiving the $100,000 payout in the months after his death.

Curry-Walker gave her daughter’s boyfriend, Chad Padgett, a $1,000 down payment to find someone to kill her husband, prosecutors said. reported Padgett had asked his cousin, Chris Hein, to take Walker out, but the October assassination attempt was botched.

Hein then found another person willing to do the nefarious job, Ryan Dorty who reportedly ambushed Walker as he returned from a trip to McDonalds, shooting the firefighter several times. The victim’s wife then made a frantic call to police to report her husband had been shot in their driveway.

Curry-Walker’s daughter, Padgett, Hein and Dorty all pleaded guilty and testified against her during the trial.

Her daughter testified that Curry-Walker first brought up the plan as they rode in the car with her boyfriend. Curry-Walker reportedly told the boyfriend that the hired killer should make the killing look like a robbery.

However, Curry-Walker’s defence attorney told jurors that her daughter may have actually come up with the plan.

After deliberating for less than two hours, jurors found Curry-Walker guilty on Friday, which would have been the couple’s four-year anniversary. Curry-Walker faces up to life in prison without parole and is set to be sentenced on 8 August, the New York Daily News reported.



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