NEW YORK, N.Y., November 13, 2009 — New York Life Insurance Company today announced record life insurance sales and strong gains in agent recruitment for the first nine months of 2009.
Rising Life Insurance Sales
Agency life insurance sales have increased 8% through September over 2008, the best nine-month start to a year on record. For the most part, this growth is being driven by increased sales of both permanent insurance and term products
"While Americans have watched the value of their assets go down, New York Life has seen life insurance sales rise, proving that the consumer's thirst for safety is real and the inherent strength of New York Life, the largest mutual life insurer in the United States, is not going unnoticed. In fact, recent special reports from Moody's Investors Service* and A.M. Best found that mutual insurers, which are owned by their policyholders, had stronger capitalization, a less risky business focus and other advantages over publicly traded insurers - findings that support the life insurance results and trends we are seeing," said Mark Pfaff, executive vice president in charge of U.S. Life and Agency, New York Life.
"Having the best year on record is strong evidence that consumers want the comfort of guarantees from financially strong insurers and they've been very receptive to hearing from their New York Life agents. We strongly believe that it is a moral obligation of the industry - especially in this environment - to sit down with clients and take an active role in ensuring that their financial plans are on track," said Mr. Pfaff. "Last year, when the stock market declined 37%**, real estate plunged over 11%, the cash value of whole life insurance from New York Life increased in value, as it has over the past 155 years. Americans increasingly value and appreciate this safety, security and stability. Even further, against the backdrop of the volatility in today's equity markets, consumers are turning specifically to New York Life to help them overcome their economic hardship, recognizing that the company's financial strength and stability in this economic storm offers the security, stable returns and peace of mind they seek."
*See Moody's report, "Revenge of the Mutuals," August 2009.
** S&P 500
New York Life clients are utilizing whole life insurance for the death benefit it provides, as well as the living benefits afforded by the product's cash value, which help consumers meet retirement, education or other cash needs. And not only are sales of life insurance increasing; policyholders are also placing more money into existing policies to build additional guaranteed cash value for future needs
Increasing Agent Recruitment
At the same time, while the downturn in the economy has left many Americans jobless and the national unemployment rate hovers near 10%, New York Life is hiring in communities across the country. Through September 30, new agent recruitment is up 9% over 2008.
"Job seekers recognize that, now more than ever, becoming a New York Life insurance agent is a wise career decision," said Mr. Pfaff. "Men and women of all ages recognize that New York Life has remained an employer of choice, offering job seekers the opportunity to provide vital insurance protection and financial guidance to the people in their communities while also enjoying flexibility, independence and significant income potential - all while representing a company with unsurpassed financial strength, a remarkable history, and outstanding training."
For the second year in a row, BusinessWeek named New York Life Insurance Company one of "The Best Places to Launch a Career." In 2008, New York Life climbed to 28th place, up from 47th in 2007, in the magazine's selective list of employers across the nation. In particular, the magazine cited the company's agent recruitment program. In addition, for the 55th consecutive year, New York Life Insurance Company dominated the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in the United States, with the largest number of agents being granted MDRT membership. MDRT membership is attained by less than 1% of the world's financial services professionals who have demonstrated superior professional knowledge, experience and client service.
"The recession has highlighted New York Life's many positive attributes, and these sales and recruitment milestones clearly demonstrate that we are outperforming our peers. Even more remarkable, these gains come at a time when overall industry sales are the worst in 70 years," concluded Mr. Pfaff.
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four of the major credit rating agencies. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life's family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management and retirement plan services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds.
Visit New York Life's Web site at www.newyorklife.com for more information.
***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.
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