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Windsor, CT, May 18, 2005 — Regardless of where they live or what kind of year they had in 2004, a majority of the nation's life insurance agents believe they will do better in 2005, with many expecting to do much better.

"Sales people are optimistic by nature but this group seems to be very pumped up," said Robert A. Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA International, which surveyed life insurance producers on their expectations for the coming year.

The greatest regional optimism is in the South, where 90 percent of producers say they will top their 2004 performance. And even among those agents who described their 2004 as "disappointing," 92 percent see things getting better, with 60 percent declaring the year will be "much better" for them.

The mood of agents may be a good match for their potential customers. According to new LIMRA consumer research, 44 percent of American households believe they need more life insurance and 27 percent of households expect to buy life insurance in the coming year.

Opportunities exist for stronger sales of other insurance products as well. LIMRA's consumer survey showed that many consumers want professional advice on preparing for retirement, insuring against disability, and planning for possible long-term care needs.

"Needless to say, optimism in itself will not create success," said Kerzner, who spent 20 years in life insurance field sales and management with The Hartford, and later led the company to record sales performance as head of the life insurance division. "If their energy matches their optimism, though, the market seems ready to deliver strong sales."
 

About LIMRA International

LIMRA International is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.

Media Contacts

Catherine Theroux

Director, Public Relations

Work Phone: (860) 285-7787

Mobile Phone: (703) 447-3257

ctheroux@limra.com

Brooke Lacey

Public Relations Specialist

Work Phone: (860) 298-3920

Mobile Phone: (413) 530-6184

blacey@limra.com