Best's Review


From the Editor’s Desk
Life Insurers Recruit Agents While Building Digital Sales Approaches

The September issue also includes AM Best’s exclusive ranking of the Top Global Reinsurance Groups as well as an interview with NAMIC’s Neil Alldredge.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • September 2021
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As U.S. life insurers move through the second half of 2021 and ahead to 2022, they face a variety of challenges.

In a report published earlier this year, AM Best said its outlook for the U.S. life insurance market segment remained at negative. Challenges cited included lackluster top-line revenue growth, narrow investment margins and the need for significant levels of capital investment to modernize the business model.

At the operational level, challenges include the need to focus on distribution, largely as a result of the pandemic, as well as the need to pivot to a virtual sales strategy.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. This month, Best's Review examines life insurance sales and distribution. Although the industry is increasing its efforts to enhance its virtual sales strategy, most life insurers still rely on face-to-face sales.

In the cover story, “Taking a Leap,” Best's Review looks at the challenges involved with recruiting and retaining life insurance agents.

Best's Review spoke with Primerica CEO Glenn Williams, who shares that nearly 90% of the company's life insurance advisers have come from outside the insurance industry. They enter a career that he says allows them the opportunity to use their entrepreneurial skills and create their own businesses, earn a living and help clients prepare for the future.

He expects that number could climb even higher as COVID-19 is reinvigorating individuals to seek career changes that won't tether them to a desk from 9 to 5, offering them a new and different work experience.

Life insurers, meanwhile, also are working at developing their virtual sales capabilities. In “Life Insurers Look for Big Things in Small Packages as They Target Middle Market in Online Sales,” Best's Review examines how insurers are using technology to reach new markets.

Life insurers are increasingly finding scale in smaller, direct-to-consumer policies.

Mutual insurers share center stage, with an interview with Neil Alldredge, head of NAMIC, and a list of the top 25 U.S. mutual insurers ranked by gross premiums written.

Every other year, Best's Review polls readers and others in the industry to find out which risk management and insurance programs have been doing a standout job of preparing young people for a career in insurance. We'd like to hear from you. Send us an email and let us know which schools you think deserve recognition.

One last note. Check out Best's Review magazine online at We have begun to update content more frequently, adding post-print-deadline and immediacy to our coverage. We are posting new content on a more regular basis.

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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