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NEWARK, N.J. — Last year was a record year for life insurance sales among financial institutions, according to Prudential, which insists insurance is a product not affected by the economy.

"This is a product that goes in all times," offered Robert Mittel, VP-financial institution channel leader, Prudential Individual Life, who said last year's insurance growth among financials was driven by banks' and credit unions' need for non-interest income. "That's absolutely a factor. The revenue opportunity for these products is substantial," he noted.

One of the largest areas of growth came from Baby Boomers purchasing universal life policies. "Boomers are interested in increasing their own estates but also the estates of the next generation," noted Mittel. "That is where a lot of the growth was last year in insurance-wealth transfer, transferring wealth to a larger amount and to the next generation."

 

Looking For Signs

Mittel believes CUs can further improve their sales of insurance products by training front-line staff to ask members the right questions and uncover an insurance need. "They need to be trained to look for signs that the member has just experienced a life event, such as marriage, home purchase, or had a baby. Those are the times people need insurance products."

Adding insurance products to the CU's portfolio does more than bring in additional non-interest income, Mittel suggested. "It brings more members' assets under the credit union's management, which often leads to greater share of wallet for members' financial services." For info: www.prudential.com

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