Banks can be big sellers of long-term-care insurance, but because it is complicated and consumer awareness is not as high as for other products, it will take time for that potential to be realized, experts say.

"I believe banks will be responsible for a significant portion of long-term-care sales," said Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, a group in Westlake, Calif. "They have access to the customers, they have the trust of the customers, and they have a financial relationship with the customers." Bank interest in the product is rising. In a 300-bank survey published in November by the Association of Banks-in-Insurance, 29% said they were selling long-term-care, 14% said they planned to start selling within one year, 10% within two years, and 13% were undecided. The remaining 34% said they were not planning to sell the product within two years.

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