Opening the 2022 LIMRA Annual Conference on Oct. 17 in Chicago, David Levenson, president and CEO of LIMRA and LOMA, discussed the opportunities in the life insurance, annuity, and workplace benefits markets to serve more customers.
“Our industry has shown remarkable resiliency over the past two years. But new and different things continue to require attention,” said Levenson. “Today, rising inflation, higher interest rates and the tightest job market in 50 years present new challenges for our industry. Yet one thing remains at the heart of our business—helping consumers achieve financial security.”
One of the greatest challenges for every company is the competition for talent. Levenson highlighted how hybrid work arrangements increased dramatically during the pandemic and that the future of how companies work is still to be determined. Recent LIMRA research shows that more than 7 in 10 mid-sized and large companies continue to have a substantial portion of their employee base working remotely.
“Competition for new talent will remain tight into 2023. According to the latest Bureau of Labor and Statistics data, there were more than three times as many job openings in the insurance and financial sector as job seekers,” said Levenson. “Our research finds today’s workers want to feel their work is meaningful, valued by their employer, and connected to the organization’s mission. Making that connection and recognizing their contribution will lead to much better engagement.”
Levenson also explored the increased consumer interest for life insurance and annuity products. The 2022 Insurance Barometer study shows 53% of uninsured and underinsured consumers planned to buy life insurance coverage in 2022. The 2022 data also reveals almost half of consumers (47%) said they needed an annuity, and 1 in 5 planned to buy one this year.
“Since the pandemic, the jump in interest for insurance solutions has been sharp and quick,” Levenson said. “Our industry needs more financial professionals to meet that demand. We also need to invest in better and easier direct-to-consumer methods to engage customers who have expressed interest.”
Levenson also discussed several shifts in the workplace industry because of the pandemic: LIMRA research shows more than a third of workers (36%) believe workplace benefits are more valuable. As a result, more than a quarter of businesses are very interested in introducing at least one new type of insurance option to their employees, with 4 in 10 mid-sized and large companies saying the same.
Levenson ended his remarks with a call to action. “While a number of issues could influence industry growth and financial success over the next few years, focusing on the consumer is key. Our primary responsibility is to make sure that our customers and their loved ones understand the solutions that we offer. Those companies that offer consumers high-value products—and explain them effectively—will succeed.”
Almost 800 senior leaders from life insurance and financial services companies worldwide attended the industry’s most prestigious meeting.
Pacific Life’s Griggs named 2023 Chair
In other news from the conference, LL Global, the parent company of LIMRA and LOMA, announced Adrian Griggs, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Pacific Life Insurance Company, will be the 2023 chair of the LL Global board of directors. He succeeds Neil Sprackling, president of U.S. life and health, Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, who will serve as LL Global Immediate Past Chair for the coming year.
Mary Jane Fortin, president and chief commercial officer of Thrivent, was elected vice chair and will succeed Griggs as chair in 2024.
“Despite the significant economic and operational headwinds over the past two years, our industry has shown remarkable resiliency, due in no small part to the market intelligence and unique opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange provided by LIMRA and LOMA,” said Griggs. “I am honored to work with LIMRA and LOMA’s leadership team to continue the efforts to support the industry during this pivotal time and advance its Compass 2025 five-year strategy.”
The LL Global board provides oversight and guidance to LIMRA and LOMA to ensure the strategic direction continues to meet the changing needs of member companies.