A recent project caused me to revisit the business process, capabilities and requirement models for life insurance sales illustration systems. This is a topic dear to my heart since my first job in the industry focused on sales illustration, agent enablement and new business for a life insurer at a time when U.S. life sales illustrations may have reached peak complexity. It was the mid-1980s, interest rates were high, TAMRA(7702) had yet to be passed and new life products had internal code names like “Tax Dodge.” It was a great time to learn product mechanics, alternative distribution strategies and financial planning scenarios.

Today’s insurance sales environment is certainly much tougher, and one would think that, if anything, the tools used to sell insurance would be much more powerful and finely honed, but I find that the critical capabilities for sales illustrations have not changed greatly over the last 30 years. There are certainly more caveats as no government-regulated industry disclaims less over time, there are more customer suitability rules but the underlying suitability requirements have not evolved greatly. “Solves and scenarios” used by producers may even be less complex than before.

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