Audits shed light on insurance service failures
By Ron Sussman

If you've ever asked your investment advisor for data on mutual funds or ETF's you know that there is a plethora of information available from a large number of sources. The source of the original purchase is irrelevant because the data is required by SEC and FINRA and is available through a simple internet search.

You can research any fund, manager, or investment company and easily find the performance and cost structure. This makes investing easy and accessible for any purchaser.

Now, try the same thing with your permanent life insurance policy. It is virtually impossible. Not only is there no repository of data, but the issuers go out their way to make sure you do not receive the information.

Insurance carriers protect your data so well that they won't even share it with you! This is a monumental failure on behalf of the life insurance industry and purchasers need to know which carriers do it well and which do not.

In our experience the mutual companies such as Northwestern Mutual, Guardian, Mass Mutual ect. to name just a few, go out of their way to make obtaining important policy data virtually impossible.

This is an outrageous practice designed to protect their agents from policies being replaced. But the reality is that it keeps clients from being able to manage their policies and evaluate performance.

Agents: STOP selling these products. You are doing a huge disservice to your clients.

Fiduciaries: Insist that the carriers give you ALL of the data. If they won't or can't, replace the policy with a carrier that can and will.

The insurance industry needs reform and the best place to start is with the policy service department. Insist on your right to receive quick and accurate policy data.