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WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 1, 2008 – Nearly half of producers surveyed in November reported an uptick in business and referrals despite the economic crisis, according to new research by LIMRA.

“Much like what we saw in our recent consumer survey, producers are not seeing their clients abandon the market,” said Robert Baranoff, LIMRA senior vice president for member benefits. “Producers report that almost 90 percent of their clients made no changes to their financial portfolios as a result of the financial crisis and 46 percent of the producers surveyed obtained new referrals during this period.”

The survey of nearly 700 experienced producers, who focus on individual clients, was conducted in early November and found that about one-third think the U.S. economy will stabilize within one year. More than 90 percent of producers surveyed think their business in 2009 will be as good as or better than it was in 2008.

Similar to a study that LIMRA conducted of consumers, the survey found producer confidence in insurance companies was higher than all other financial institutions, including stockbrokerage and investment firms, mutual funds, banks and even ratings agencies and regulators. Consumers reported highest confidence in local banks and credit unions ahead of insurers.

When asked what carriers could do to help the producers, the overwhelming response was better communication. Help them reassure clients by providing information about the financial stability of the company and provide materials and resources on products and services to share with clients. They also said they wanted carriers to be more proactive in communicating the security of life insurance. In more than 200 years of American history, no death benefit has ever been denied due to a company’s insolvency.

When asked about the actions they have taken, 85 percent of individual producers reassured their clients to stay the course, while nearly three-quarters provided their clients with information about the financial stability of a company or product. In addition, about two-thirds of these advisors suggested to some clients that this is a good time to invest.

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

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Catherine Theroux

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