NEW YORK, October 12, 2009 — In an industry-leading effort to broaden the public's perception of the role of life insurance, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the largest mutual life insurance companies and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced the launch of a new awareness campaign designed to highlight the important role life insurance should play in a total financial strategy.
Anchored by a new Web site and supported by expert technical analysis, the new campaign, "Life Insurance as an Asset Class" (LIAC), considers life insurance far beyond its traditional - and essential - function to protect the financial security of loved ones in the event of death.
"Thanks to industry efforts such as Life Insurance Awareness Month, Americans are well aware of the importance of the death benefit. Our intention is to promote the 'uncommon knowledge' that life insurance - participating whole life, in particular - also needs to be part of the discussion every time one's portfolio is considered for lifetime uses," stressed Maria Umbach, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Individual Products Distribution at Guardian.
"The recent stock market collapse was devastating to so many individual holdings because it undercut both equities and bonds," she continued. "People who thought their portfolios were adequately diversified across stocks, bonds and traditional fixed assets were unprepared for the impact to their portfolios.
"In contrast, whole life was one of the few financial assets that did not lose value; indeed, many policyholders found that it was the only statement they looked forward to opening over the past year."
Financial industry consultants Richard M. Weber, MBA, CLU, AEP, and Christopher Hause, FSA, MAAA, first introduced the concept underlying LIAC in an Academy of Financial Services Best Paper 2008. Grounded in classic Modern Portfolio Theory, Weber and Hause were able to document the conclusion that whole life insurance provides unexpectedly solid performance at relatively low risk. As a complement to other fixed-income assets, they found that whole life provides:
Forum for Centers of Influence
In order to provide a focal point for information about the LIAC concept in an unbiased, non-promotional manner, Guardian has launched a new Web site: www.lifeinsuranceasanassetclass.com (or www.liacinfo.com for short).
The site features an updated version of Weber and Hause's research paper, Life Insurance as an Asset Class: A Value-Added Component of an Asset Allocation, rewritten in easy-to-understand language. It also includes a number of multimedia tools (videos, video-shorts and e-cards) to help CPAs, attorneys, investment managers and financial planners work through important questions with their clients, such as:
The LIAC site also has a resource page for members of the media.
Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents or employees do not provide legal or tax advice. Dividends are not guaranteed. They are declared annually by Guardian's Board of Directors.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the largest and oldest mutual life insurance companies in the United States, is known for its stability and strength. A Fortune 300 company, Guardian is the only major life insurer to earn upgrades from two major rating agencies in 2008: A++ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA+ (Very Strong) by Standard & Poor's. As of July 2009, three major rating companies have affirmed Guardian's ratings: Fitch (AA+/Very Strong), Moody's (Aa2/Excellent) and Standard & Poor's (AA+/Very Strong).
Founded nearly 150 years ago, Guardian and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting individuals, business owners and their employees with life insurance, long term care insurance, disability income insurance, medical and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products.
Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, and protects more than six million employees and their families at 120,000 companies. The company has more than 5,400 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide.
For more information about Guardian, please visit: www.GuardianLife.com.