The President's Message
As much of the life insurance industry continues to move from one quick fix to the next, Columbus Life has remained focused on maintaining our financial strength without compromising our integrity for short-lived industry trends.
Staying the Course
We are operating in an economy where uncertainty seems to be the only certainty. And it would be easy to make short-term decisions to drive increased sales for temporary gain. Columbus Life’s long range view has served the organization, producers and consumers well during our 106-year history and we continue to stay the course we have set. In the life insurance industry, the short-term view often includes product design and pricing that drive sales increases, but they are not necessarily sustainable. The result is companies changing or eliminating products or raising premium prices. That is not the Columbus Life way. We strive to make product design decisions that are sustainable for the long run, meaning that we can stay the course even if the economy struggles. For example, Columbus Life continues to offer the return of premium option on most of our term portfolio as well as a secondary guarantee UL, when many companies have dropped these products or riders altogether.
As Columbus Life maintains its time-tested course, consumers are continuing to take notice. In fact, Columbus Life achieved several areas of sales growth in 2011.
- Life annualized target premium rose 13 percent over 2010.
- Annuity sales grew 15 percent over 2010.
- Premium sales of Columbus Life’s indexed universal life product spiked more than 65 percent over 2010.
The Southwest region of the company showed strong growth in sales for the second year in a row. Most Notable were Asian-American market sales. In fact, two Southern California-based agencies with the majority of their sales in the Asian market led Columbus Life offices nationwide in 2011 paid life premium. These two top-producing general agent offices are Transpacific Financial Inc. and Epi-Digm Inc., which serve the Chinese and Korean markets respectively.
Respect for Producers
For over a century, Columbus Life’s steady commitment to integrity has earned the respect and loyalty of producers. From our very founding as Columbus Mutual in 1906, the company has remained committed to the “square deal” philosophy of providing real value to both producers and policyholders. Columbus Life understands that our success is fundamentally tied to the success our producers achieve, and every employee within our organization is wholeheartedly committed to helping producers succeed. Look no further than the sales-enhancing educational offerings, the regional marketing directors who support producer growth, and the personalized attention our home office Sales Desk provides. Our producers’ loyalty comes as a result of Columbus Life consistently living up to the commitments we have made and producers’ confidence that the company will continue to deliver on those promises.
Independent producers still want face-to-face interactions, but they also want streamlined business transactions at the speed of current technology. As a result, in 2012 the company will introduce an optional automated electronic sales platform that will streamline the life insurance application process and cut down on the time it takes to issue a policy. We also expect to launch a number of mobile applications to provide instant information to producers on tablets and smart phones, such as enhanced, real-time sales presentations. In the future, these developments will result in a complete digital experience from sales presentation to product delivery. Personal relationships with our producers will still reign supreme, but technology will make doing business with Columbus Life even easier.
As always, my door and my mind are open.
J.J. Miller, FSA, CLU, ChFC
President and Chief Executive Officer
Columbus Life Insurance Company