Swiss Re believes insurers can improve societal resilience
Noting that the pandemic is expected to lower global resilience by 20% in 2020, the result of “countries' fiscal and monetary headroom” being adversely affected, the company approximates that the insurance protection gap across three segments (mortality, health and natural disaster) will reach US$1.24trn.
Among those countries which are to be hit hardest - the article speculates these to be Japan, the US and the UK - Swiss Re that the government-sanctioned spending which was necessary to sustain the lockdown could ultimately hinder future development significantly.
“A focus on replenishing resilience by reinstating fiscal and monetary buffers, through structural reforms to improve long-term growth prospects, will be critical,” said Jerome Jean Haegeli, Group Chief Economist.
Addressing protection gaps
Far from being equally affected, the company’s research indicates that natural disaster resilience will be least exacerbated, with health resilience remaining relatively stable despite some deterioration.
However, health and mortality protection gaps are expected to widen noticeably as households are strained by unemployment, lower income and generally more expensive healthcare costs.
Despite this, Haegeli is adamant that the insurance industry can step in as a force for good during this time and improve people’s quality of life:
“The widening global protection gap is a huge opportunity for insurers to fulfil their mandate as risk absorbers and improve societal resilience.
"In times of crisis, households need risk protection. Insurance is a key tool to help households reduce their financial vulnerability in disruptive environments."
Assessing economic health
Swiss Re’s ‘Macroeconomic Resilience Index’ was launched to easily convey the resilience of countries using the aforementioned criteria (natural catastrophes, mortality and healthcare).
According to its research Switzerland, Canada and Finland rank consistently in the top three ‘most resilient’ in terms of economic strength converging on the ability to withstand shocks.
Image courtesy of Swiss Re
SIMON Insurance expands its annuities platform
The New York-based insurance and annuities services company, SIMON, has announced the launch of its expanded annuities service via its new digital platform, called LiveWell.
The valuable annuity service is issued by the Midland National Life Insurance Company and administered by Sammons Retirement Solutions - a division of Institutional Group, as the first-to-market. More carriers are cited to join SIMON’s variable annuity marketplace over the next few months.
The move means financial professionals can now find and explore Sammons’ LiveWell Variable Annuity solutions, access product-specific marketing literature, and run powerful allocation and income analytics within the product—all directly within SIMON’s interactive platform.
Tax-deferred growth for the retired
According to reports, variable annuities are favoured by savings markets because they can help accumulate assets for retirement with tax-deferred growth. They also offer agile and flexible tax-free reallocations as well as optional death benefits for heirs.
Frequently used as part of a long-term retirement planning strategy for tax-efficient growth, VAs are now available in SIMON’s Marketplace alongside fixed indexed annuities, fixed annuities, and structured annuities.
The SIMON annuities platform also provides financial professionals with centralised access to the tools and resources they need to analyse marketplace products based on their clients’ risk profiles and investment horizons.
The platform also allows investors to:
- Explore various rider illustrations
- Leverage powerful allocation analytics
- View fund options and their performance statistics
- Dive deep into the historical performance of allocations and funds
Speaking about the launch of LiveWell, Melissa Scheuerman, VP of Business and Sales Development at Sammons, explained, “Everyone seeks custom solutions today—from news feeds on our cell phones to grocery delivery services, and retirement planning is no different. Products need to offer flexibility, and professionals need intuitive tools at their fingertips to analyse and manage products that offer that flexibility.
“Our partnership with SIMON illustrates a commitment to offering scalable annuity solutions to professionals serving a growing population of retirees.”
Scott Beshany, Chief Distribution Officer at SIMON, added, “With game-changing analytics for this product class, variable annuities are a natural new addition to SIMON’s product lineup. Our Marketplace is now able to deliver a more holistic product experience, and we look forward to driving a better, more powerful VA product experience for financial professionals.”