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Till I’m blue in the face!!! Does the word guarantee mean anything to anyone? It seems like perfectly sensible people’s eyes fog over as soon as someone flashes totally non guaranteed, unsubstantiated, unproven life insurance projections in front of them. Wake up stupid!!

ING Reliastar announced today that they have a new indexed universal life product that they are illustrating with returns of 7.94%. Why 7.94%? It’s just a non guaranteed projection. If you want to win over the greedy, brainless types why not illustrate it at 27.94%? I have a better idea. Why not illustrate the product at the guaranteed rate and just let anything that happens to outperform that be frosting on the cake? Clients like it when your product out performs their expectations, not when it doesn’t meet them.

Of course maybe ING figures that is a reasonable assumption with all the savings they are seeing from laying off the equivalent of small Colorado town and instituting new rules that virtually ensure that there is no communication flow between the home office and the agents that would at least like to sell their guaranteed products.

I imagine we are going to see a lot of overstated assumptions coming from universal life, variable universal life and whole life in the near future. They all had to shut up and be quiet for the last year and it’s kind of hard to suppress the need to assume even though it’s proven to be less than a brilliant idea over the years. On the other hand I can see why companies might start hanging out aggressive assumptions when it’s become so crystal clear where our economy is headed(?) Recession over! Let’s start assuming again!

Bottom line. Anyone whose first shot out of the cannon is an illustrated non guaranteed assumption ought to have the cannon turned around and fired right back at them. If the past year hasn’t driven prudence home as a new direction for consumers, well, possibly you just can’t fix stupid.