Using All the Tools in Your Toolbox with Multi-Benchmarking
by Randi Benash, Vice President, Sales and Partner Relations
Because the product marketplace is in constant flux, it is always critical to have many tools in your toolbox in order to fulfill any potential client need. If you are anything like me, you may tend to grab that familiar old hammer even when the job requires a more delicate touch or a different solution all together. Perhaps one of the most useful and sophisticated features on the LifeTrends website is the multi-benchmark option. A veritable Swiss-army knife in the right hands, the multi-benchmark is a quick and easy way to keep up in today’s ever-changing marketplace. In 2019, LifeTrends saw roughly 160 reprices as products switched into compliance with PBR and the new life tables, along with many more interest rate changes (including roughly 45 cap changes across the IUL accounts that we illustrate). Given the current economic environment, we started tracking changes to premium limitations and expect that we may be poised to see even more changes to cap rates, crediting rates, and product pricing in the coming months.
If you had to guess, without running every product, which would offer a lower premium – a GUL guaranteed to age 100, a current assumption product targeting $1 of cash value at age 121 or a VUL product with embedded guarantees for life… which would you choose? As changes are taking place every day with major swings, these types of questions are worth asking. What worked yesterday to meet a client’s needs may not be the tool needed today. Most investment strategies encourage staying patient, but the life insurance toolbox is different from other industries given the tools we possess. IUL aims to protect against downside swings, while VUL may be a good option during market upswings.
Sometimes longer guarantees, term, or another conservative approach is needed. LifeTrends helps our clients in this way by offering multi-benchmarks, which allows you to quickly run potential cases across multiple markets to see which solution might be best for your clients’ needs. Multi-benchmark puts markets side by side to help you search for the best solutions and it gives you the ability to stay on top of your game in a fast-paced market. You may have found the product that fits all of your client’s needs, yet several weeks pass before your client is ready to move forward. Is your original selection still the best choice? It may be the right option, or the situation may have changed. Checking through multiple types of products and seeing the most current rates is critical to providing a higher level of service.
While we hope that the whole industry is tracking down the best answers for their clients, this multi-product, multi-category search would be exhausting without a simple side by side comparison tool. Use our services to compare your new favorite indexed accumulation market next to a revamped whole life market for a particular case. The multi-benchmark tool gives you a holistic view of the market, even if you ultimately do find that the current option is still the way to go. Using your time wisely in talking to your clients is exponentially more important than spending hours in front of a computer screen running every possible product solution. And in this time of uncertainty, it makes sense to give your clients the very best options.
My personal previous experience running numbers makes me feel for those of you still grinding to find the best solutions. If you are not one of our partners currently able to run these benchmarks in seconds comparing multiple scenarios, please reach out to me, Randi Benash (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have a story you wish to share, we would love to hear from you!