Can you feel it building? It started as a trickle around the first of the year with the announcement that a few companies were considering either discontinuing or raising the rates on the universal life no lapse guarantee products. It didn’t take any huge leap of assumption to see that this was going to impact longer term insurance products as well.
Well, it isn’t a trickle anymore. With several companies like Prudential having changed their UL-NLG policies and term insurance rates, now ING Reliastar and Lincoln National have announced deadlines for increases in their term insurance rates. What we’re seeing is an about face in the most competitive of companies. The only upside to this news is that so far the rates increases haven’t been too dramatic and they certainly aren’t a return to the pricing we saw 10-15 years ago.
Having said that, it would be a drag to miss the opportunity to lock in today’s pre-change rates if you are considering any substantial amount of insurance. And it would definitely be a drag to miss the opportunity to get rid of one of those cash cow universal life, variable universal life or whole life policies with the best permanent product and rates in the history of life insurance, the universal life with an external no lapse guarantee.
Bottom line. People will buy when they need to buy, but an agent who isn’t warning clients and prospective clients about the changes coming is missing an excellent chance to be a real financial adviser.