Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) has launched a new simplified issue life insurance product designed to appeal to advisors who want a faster and easier sales process, but with sizeable coverage levels and premiums that are still affordable for clients.
Manulife Quick Issue Term, launched on Monday, is a term insurance product that is underwritten based on a series of medical questions rather than a medical exam. The underwriting is more extensive than that on a typical guaranteed issue product, but less invasive than a fully underwritten product, according to David Baker, assistant vice president, insurance products, retail markets, Manulife.
“There’s a spectrum products, where at one end you’ve got guaranteed issue, typically [with higher] premiums and lower face amounts, and on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got your fully underwritten, feature-rich traditional term products,” Baker says. “We wanted to position this product squarely in the middle of that.”
Adds Baker: “We’ve got some underwriting up front, but it’s fairly simplified, fairly straightforward.”
The product is available in terms of 10 years, 20 years and term to age 65, and coverage levels range from $100,000 to $500,000.
In most cases, Baker says these policies can be issued within a day of the application being submitted.
For most clients, the premiums on a Quick Issue product would be slightly higher than a fully underwritten policy, according to Baker. “There is a bit of a price premium, but not nearly the same amount of price premium as some of those guaranteed issue-type products,” he says.
The product is available exclusively through advisors, with an online application that they can complete with clients either in person or by phone. The prospect of a faster sales process, and one that can be completed remotely, appeals to many advisors and clients alike, according to Baker.
“It typically appeals to a slightly younger segment, just because of the time crunch – people are busy, so they appreciate the fact that they can take this application over the phone,” he says.
The new product comes as many life insurers expand their simplified issue insurance offerings. (See http://www.investmentexecutive.com/-/insurance-simple-but-costly)
The trend is being fuelled by demand for sales processes that better resonate with today’s consumers, and which facilitate faster, more convenient transactions for advisors, Baker says.
“I think both customers and advisors are looking for the industry to update the buying experience,” he says. “We are looking for ways to use information in different ways, to see if we can still measure our risk in an appropriate way, but offer a more pleasant buying experience that matches customer expectations.”
Manulife Quick Issue Term is available for sale effective Monday.