Security First Life Insurance Co. is the latest underwriter to begin rolling out term and long-term-care policies to banks.
Aegon USA Inc. also is working quietly with financial institutions to sell such policies.
Los Angeles-based Security First, which sells its wares through a marketing unit known as Security First Group, wants to do more than just hawk products, said Michael McCoy, senior vice president overseeing the unit's bank division.
"Our goal is to create a system that can be duplicated from one bank to another," he said.
For example, Security First wants to help banks market term insurance to bank customers. The company is offering to mail promotional letters and brochures to a bank's customers, then follow up with a telephone call by its own agents.
Security First has also signed up with Quickquote, an Incline Village, Utah, company that lets do-it-yourself customers get premium quotes by telephone or the Internet.
And the company also is offering training to bank investment representatives to sell term insurance and long-term-care policies underwritten by competitor First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Lincoln National Corp.
Insurance to cover long-term care, such as costly nursing home stays, has become popular among financial planners and banks.
Finally, Security First plans to supply agents to community bank clients nationwide. Mr. McCoy would not name the banks but said he expects to have installed six agents to work for 12 community banks by mid-1997.
Security First is not alone in its effort to devise a system for banks to sell a variety of insurance products. Aegon USA, a leading seller of fixed annuities through banks, is busy coordinating its 10 operating subsidiaries to market and customize insurance products for banks.
A year ago the Baltimore company formed Aegon Financial Institutions Group, a 10-member board representing all the company's units, which meets regularly to devise products for bank clients.
"We found a financial institution might work with three to four different divisions of Aegon and not even know it," said William Busler, president of its financial markets division.
Aegon, known in the bank marketplace as a fixed annuity shop, is also trying to get banks to sell variable universal life, 401(k) products, and mutual funds.
The company got life insurance sales off the ground this year.
"The life insurance area is where we have done the least but have the most opportunity," said Brian Scott, chief operating officer of AUSA Financial Markets Inc., an Aegon unit.
Mr. Scott said he believes bank-platform programs will easily reach the underserved middle market that agents have eschewed for wealthy clients. He declined to give more details about insurance products the company offers or bank programs on Aegon's client list.
"We're kind of shy," he said, "and we're not 100% sure we know the answer" to selling insurance through banks.