In my article “Life Insurance Policy Themes for 2023,” I suggested a tweak in what I called the “discourse” among agents and others in the life insurance business. The tweak was to talk less about why to buy life insurance and more about how to buy it, highlighting the role and value of the agent in that process.
I also posed some questions about the new regulatory and practice guidelines on suitability and best interest. I asked whether the guidance would somehow preclude an agent from casting a prospect’s suitability profile in such a way that the profile turned out to be the agent’s, not the prospect’s. I asked whether a carrier’s financial strength would factor into a product’s suitability. I asked whether a service-intensive product sold by a carrier with a poor reputation for policyholder service would be suitable or in the prospect’s best interest. I wondered whether there would be suitability requirements for a marriage between a complex, service-intensive product and a complex, service-intensive planning application. I noted that I would wait to hear what experts say about how the guidance addresses the questions I posed, if it does at all. For the record, I don’t think it will.
I’ve received a lot of feedback on that article
(and others) from agents, fellow authors and others involved in the business in various ways. Interestingly, the feedback on that article was less about the discourse or the guidance per se than it was about the bigger picture of how the substance of both topics are impacting the business of being a life insurance agent today. Each group voices its own set of interests, concerns and predictions about the future of their business. Their voices are articulate, their comments insightful and their thoughts about the future of