SOURCE: Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA)

April 07, 2006 09:11 ET

Association Commends National Insurance Group for Educational Efforts

ORLANDO, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 7, 2006 -- The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) today praised the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on its new national educational initiative, "Insure U," designed to inform the public about the basics of insurance.

"This balanced approach to providing public information will help consumers and is a logical extension of the NAIC Mission," says M. Bryan Freeman, board president of Orlando-based LISA. "As an industry, we have long recognized that Insurance needs change over time; in fact, we recognize that such change is the foundation of our industry. Life settlements address those changing consumer needs and the NAIC has once again recognized the value of the settlement option."

A life settlement is the sale to a third party of an existing life insurance policy for more than its cash surrender value but less than its net death benefit. Such transactions are usually undertaken for the purposes of estate or financial planning.

"People do not need to settle for less than the real value of their policy," Freeman adds, "and the NAIC is helping people recognize the 'asset value' of their policies through the important educational efforts of Insure U."

Also praising NAIC's recent efforts, LISA Executive Director Doug Head notes that NAIC materials consistently note the need to "Review (insurance coverage) Annually." "The NAIC offers this important advice to the public: 'Each year, check your policies to make sure that they continue to meet your changing needs,'" he says.

The Insure U curriculum, as announced by the NAIC, includes a basic introduction to the four major types of insurance -- auto, home, life and health -- as well as special considerations for young singles, young families, established families and empty nesters/seniors.

"Far too many policy owners think that their insurance needs, especially in Life Insurance are 'fixed for all time' when they first buy a policy," Head says. "Our industry has brought the value of Life policies to the forefront. Educational efforts like those of the NAIC help us help consumers, just as responsible legislation to regulate the industry helps consumers."

"It is especially noteworthy that senior consumers receive an explanation of the value of settlements on the Insure U Web site," he says. "Life settlements are still a relatively unknown idea for many people and they need to be aware enough of the option to ask their (insurance) agents about it."

The NAIC also offers settlement guidance to consumers through brochures created for distribution through state regulators, such as state insurance departments.

"There is much confusion about the settlement option," Freeman concludes. "We heartily commend the NAIC for recognizing life settlements as a phenomenal benefit for consumers."

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