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Built for all times

Strong just like always

Today, the Great Recession lingers as a vivid and sobering reminder of what can happen when those responsible for managing others’ finances fall away from prudent practices.

Unchecked, risky and/or unethical behavior usually reveals itself, and the consequences for consumers can be devastating. Many Americans are still reeling from the impact of the financial crisis. Retirement plans may be in doubt or postponed due to depleted investments. High unemployment and home foreclosures are still signs of the times.

Yet, amid the chaos, New York Life stands safe and secure, just as it has for generations. And our policyholders continue to receive peace of mind during the most uncertain of times.

In 2008, New York Life CEO and President Ted Mathas said, “We were built for times like these.” And in fact, New York Life’s ability to withstand the impact of the economic disaster was no accident. The company is specifically structured and managed to weather just such environments. While New York Life is built for times like these, it can also be said that New York Life is built for all times. Because even in less turbulent market environments, the value and security provided by New York Life are unwavering.

We are built on four basic cornerstones:

  • The necessity of financial strength to underpin all promises
  • The role of mutuality in protecting policyholders’ interests
  • The social and financial imperative of life insurance
  • The value of our career agency system

Top marks for financial strength

As a consumer, it’s good practice to do your homework when purchasing life insurance. After all, what you’re really buying is a promise that the life insurance company will make good on its obligations to you. A life insurance company with the highest-possible ratings(link to “What the Rating Agencies Say”) currently awarded for financial strength is clearly a wise place to start when looking for security.

The mutual advantage: Putting policyholders first

New York Life is the oldest mutual life insurance company in the United States. A mutual insurance company, simply put, is a company not publicly traded and therefore without shareholders. With a mutual insurance company, customers who purchase certain “participating” products—such as whole life insurance—are entitled to vote in the board of directors elections and to share in any annual dividends that may be declared. These policyholders have the right to expect the company’s highest priority to be safeguarding their interests.

In contrast, publicly traded life insurance companies serve more than one constituency. Along with their policyholders, they must satisfy the needs of their outside investors. A primary responsibility of these companies is to provide the best possible return on their shareholders’ investment.

Mutuality at work: New York Life’s investment strategy

We rigorously control expenses, and we publish financial reports for our policyholders and other stakeholders. In other words, we combine the results-driven culture of a publicly owned company with the policyholder focus of a mutual company.

At New York Life, our investment philosophy is based on careful risk-return analysis. The guiding principles and disciplines we believe form the basis for sound investing include:

  • We maintain diversification. No matter how attractive an investment opportunity is—we avoid outsized stakes in any single investment. Because of this, we have had very low levels of exposure to individual firms. While New York Life is not immune to what occurs in the financial markets, by maintaining diversification and adjusting credit limits depending on credit quality—no one single troubled investment should cause us, or you, undue concern.
  • We conduct our own research. Rather than relying on ratings agencies such as S&P or Moody’s to do our work for us, we independently make our own investment decisions based on our own bottom-up research.
  • We insist on getting paid for taking risk. If we do not think a security is priced right, we will not invest.
  • We take a long-term view. We invest for the long term because we make long-term commitments to our policyholders. We will and do forsake the potential of short-term gains in order to preserve long-term safety.
  • We maintain ample liquidity. We ensure we have enough liquid assets to meet our obligations to our policyholders.
  • We don’t blindly follow the crowd. We have learned over the years to avoid the frenzy of overheated markets and panics when markets tumble.

Your agent and customer support

New York Life’s career agency system is the heart of the company. As evidence of the quality training and expertise of our agents, New York Life agents have led the Million Dollar Round Table (the premier association for excellence in the life insurance industry) for almost 60 consecutive years. We believe our policyholders should always be able to rely on top-level service from their agents.

Held to the highest standards, your agent’s mission is to ensure you are given the greatest possible attention and to assist you both today and as your needs change, well into the future.

Superior Service

Underpinning the value of a New York Life agent is a support system committed to enhancing experiences and transactions with the company. The company’s Virtual Service Center (VSC) offers cutting-edge solutions to streamlining transactions. In fact, policyowners can view and navigate the VSC on Web-enabled handheld devices—whenever and wherever self-service is needed!

In short, you can count on us—always.

That’s why New York Life is The Company You Keep®.

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