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In case you missed it: Tony's thoughts on the top GUL, IUL and Term products in 2016

Tony Neiswander
Case Design Specialist

On the February Study Group Call, we ran down the rankings of the top products and carriers of 2016 in several different categories, based on how much of each was sold by you and your fellow advisors. If you missed that webinar, you can take a look at the rankings and listen to the recording here. In this article I will go more in-depth with the top GUL, IUL and Term products, sharing with you why these products and carriers made the cut and what you can expect in the coming year in those same categories. 

1. Prudential
2. Symetra
3. Lincoln
1. PruLife Univeral Protector (Prudential)
2. Survivorship Universal Life - G (Symetra)
3. Custom Guarantee (North American)

When it comes to GUL, premium has a huge impact on what is sold.
Prudential is not only priced well, but it also has an advantage in one factor that affects premium and that is underwriting. They have one of the more lenient build charts compared to the rest of the industry. They also don’t knock tobacco chewers into a Tobacco rating; they can receive up to Non Smoker Plus. With many underwriting wins this year, they were able to top our list.
Symetra has very few products, but what they do have they have built to win. They include a couple free riders to sweeten the deal. They have a Charitable Giving rider and a Chronic Illness rider. The Charitable Giving benefit allows the client to specify a charity to receive an extra 1% of the death benefit upon their passing. This benefit is provided by the company, it in no way affects the death benefit. They have priced their GULs very competitively in nearly every scenario. This compared with some awesome free riders allowed them to reach number two.
North American is another carrier similar to Symetra that has priced their GUL very well. Partner that with their free Chronic Illness rider and maturity at age 100 rather than 120 and you can see why their product made the top three. Lincoln had an advantage in certain scenarios when it came to underwriting. People took advantage of their table shave program. This allows someone who may have been table rated to go to a Standard risk. This was obviously based upon what the issues may have been, but it is possible to see a Table 3 go all the way to Standard.
1. Pacific Life
2. John Hancock
3. Allianz Life
1. Pacific Indexed Performer LT (Pac Life)
2. Life Pro+ (Allianz)
3. Protection IUL (John Hancock)

Pacific Life was far and away our best-selling IUL carrier of the year. They have three different products all designed to meet different needs of prospective clients. They have a product designed for a death benefit sale, a product designed to build early cash value, and a product designed to build cash value later on. The PIP LT is the long term product. It is designed to create some large cash build up later in life. This product looks incredible on people of younger ages and it can help create a lifetime income for clients.
Allianz is in a similar situation to Symetra. They have only a few products but have built them to look like the best in the industry. The Allianz will look great in overfunding scenarios in order to create a stream of income in retirement. The projected income in these retirement scenarios is quite possibly the best in the industry.
John Hancock has two different IULs in their repertoire. They have an Accumulation and a Protection product. Their protection product looks very good in a death benefit sale. If the client needs a low premium and a high death benefit this product is the way to go. The incomes their products produce aren’t great, but they do tend to have high death benefits. We have also seen an increased number of the Hancock policies sold with their Vitality program.
1. John Hancock
2. Principal Life
3. Lincoln National Life
1. Level Term - 20 Year (John Hancock)
2. 20 Year Term (Principal Life)
3. LifeElements Level Term - 30 yr (Lincoln)

John Hancock came alive late last year to take the top spot on our list of term sales. They repriced the product in September and won quite a few cases because of the improvements they made. They were able to spreadsheet well and beat some of the other low cost term carriers. Vitality was also a big reason they got up here. We saw interest in Vitality rise last year. This program allows the client to earn rewards and discounts just by doing things that will make them healthier. They receive a free fit bit that they can use to track progress and get points for that. Points can also be accumulated for going to the gym, seeing a doctor, going to a dentist, etc, etc. There are some many ways to earn points it will seem easy to qualify for bigger and better rewards.
A big reason Principal made it to number two on our list was their accelerated underwriting program. This speeds up the application process on top of eliminating the need for a visit from a nurse for full underwriting. All it takes is a phone interview and the underwriting is basically done. This has allowed policies to be applied for and placed within days. One factor that sets their accelerate underwriting apart from others is it is allowed for face amounts up to $1,000,000 and it applies to all risk classes including Super Preferred.
Lincoln, similar to Hancock, repriced their product last year and the results showed that it was worth it. They also introduced a new product in their TermAccel, which highlighted their accelerated underwriting program. The TermAccel was able to capture a market they couldn’t reach before, face amounts below $250,000. The minimum on this product is $100,000. With a more streamlined process they were able to crack the top three.




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