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Call AXA life insurance customer service sometime at 800-877-6810 and hear,”Welcome to AXA Life Service Center WHERE WE CONTINUE TO REDEFINE STANDARDS”. The question immediately comes to mind for me, knowing the track record of AXA, wouldn’t they be better off having,  some standards in place, kind of a solid base of customer service, instead of constantly redefining the ones they really don’t have in place.

Let me set the table a little so you can kind of understand how AXA set themselves up to be one of this century’s truly dirt bag life insurance companies. AXA and Protective Life have both been on a tear for 15+ years buying up companies, tearing all the good things out of the policies to minimize their risk of paying death benefits, and pocketing the ongoing premium stream. So, there was Equitable Life Assurance. I grew up watching their commercials on TV and eventually worked for them as an independent agent in Wyoming. AXA bought them and all of their block of business (that’s what they call customers and their policies) and gutted them. People now had AXA policies and were subject to whatever changes AXA Life Insurance decided to make. In the early years it stayed pretty straight forward. Everything promised by Equitable agents stayed in place the way it should.

Then in the new century AXA purchased US Financial Life Insurance, arguably one of the best impaired risk life insurance companies that has ever been in the business. The industry expected that it would hold USF together and use it to dominate the impaired risk nice, but it pillaged the company for profits, let everyone go, and walked with the profit stream. In the interim MONY Life has purchased Travelers. MONY was a go to company for impaired risk post US Financial and Travelers had some of the most innovative products in the marketplace. AXA bought them both and gutted them. It almost seemed like a strategy to get rid of the competition, but AXA had never put themselves in a position to be a viable replacement for either products or underwriting.

Now AXA is redefining standards again with their announcement last week that their Cost of Insurance will be going up on their Athena universal life products. Unless you bought this product through US Financial with a “no lapse guarantee”, that means that your insurance premium will be going up. This also  means that they will no longer be offering no lapse guarantee products for conversion. We are now past the tip of the iceberg on this occurrence with companies. In light of other changes in the industry this would appear to be just one more way for companies to “adjust” policies so that they eventually become too expensive and lapse, leaving AXA with all the profit and none of the liability of paying death benefits.

Bottom line. These life insurance products that are being rendered uninhabitable were first approved by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, but unless they knew that they were structured for temporary use, they apparently don’t care what companies do on the back end after they approve the product. The companies have taken a sky is falling stance on products not guaranteed by the no lapse guarantee and no one is pushing them to prove it. NAIC is taking a hands off approach to the collapse of products without no lapse guarantees and leaving the monkey on the back of the consumer who will lose all of their premiums paid in and their life insurance insurance. If you have questions or want to see if there is an option short of implosion, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.