NEW YORK, N.Y., March 4, 2010 - New York Life Insurance Company today announced record U.S. life insurance sales, up 14% through all distribution channels, a stark contrast to the decline in life sales industry-wide in 2009.* In addition, the company added more than 3,600 agents in 2009, reaching a new single-year record for recruits. It was the fourth consecutive year a new record was set in agent recruitment.
U.S. Life Insurance
The 14% increase in U.S. life insurance sales in 2009 represents the company's best results on record. For the most part, this growth was driven by increased sales of both permanent insurance and term products. Sales by New York Life's 11,800 licensed agents increased 16%, to a new record in 2009, which marked the first year that new sales by agents exceeded $1 billion.**
"Last year was successful for us because New York Life differentiated itself among peers with its mutual form of ownership, which keeps us uniquely aligned with our policyholders, and our continued financial strength and prudent investment discipline, which ensures we are able to fulfill the promises we make. So while 2009 brought much uncertainty, what remained certain was that people still love their families and still need to make financial decisions to ensure their family's security. And when making much-needed financial decisions, families and businesses turned to New York Life," said Mark Pfaff, executive vice president, New York Life. "New York Life continues to build on this momentum in 2010 with an agent force of more than 11,800 highly trained professionals across the country who bring financial peace of mind to families and businesses in their communities."
Other 2009 life insurance highlights include:
- Conversions of term policies to permanent policies were up 39% over 2008.
- Borrowing from permanent policies increased 30% in 2009 - a sign of the value of permanent insurance in stressful economic times.
- Cash additions to existing policies (known in the industry as "dump-ins") and new single premium policies were up 50%.
"The economic downturn brought significant financial consequences to families and businesses, we believe resulting in an increased focus on personal financial responsibility. This led to increased attention to strong and stable companies that offer safe and secure products like permanent life insurance. As a result we saw increases in sales, a rise in term-to-permanent conversions, and increased utilization of the living benefits of permanent policies to rebuild their wealth through cash additions, or to tap into their cash value to provide funds that could carry them through until they got back on their feet," added Mr. Pfaff.
The company significantly increased its field force and recruited a record number of financial representatives in 2009, with 3,618 appointments in the United States. Since 2005 New York Life has increased its agent force by 15%, at a time when the number of agents industry-wide is declining.
More than 52% of agents recruited in 2009 were either women or minorities or both. The number of women hired represented 28% of all agents hired. In addition, 38% of new agents represent New York Life's Cultural Markets, which include agents working in the African American, Asian Indian, Chinese, Hispanic, Korean, and Vietnamese markets.
"Our record sales prove that New York Life agents are a valuable resource to Americans and by representing a company with unsurpassed financial strength, a remarkable history, and outstanding training, they can provide vital insurance protection and financial guidance to those in their communities," said Mr. Pfaff. "We expect even more job seekers to find success with New York Life in 2010 as they recognize that representing a Fortune 100 company with a broad product portfolio that has retained the highest financial strength ratings from all four major rating agencies is a wise career choice."
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.
*Source: LIMRA International
**Includes 100% of single premium sales.
***New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company based on the Fortune 500, ranked within industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual), Fortune magazine, May 4, 2009.
****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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|New York Life Sets New Record for U.S. Life Insurance Sales in 2009, Achieving $1 Billion in Agent-Sold Premium for the First Time|