Shawn Meaike is the Family First Life CEO and a prominent speaker for the life insurance industry. In the article below Shawn Meaike provides an industry outlook as we head into the second half of the year.
In 2021, Shawn Meaike explains that the life insurance industry experienced some of its fastest growth in nearly 40 years, and 2022 looks set to continue this trend. Thanks to the economic upswing of post-COVID recovery, many Americans are excited to invest in life insurance, leading to accelerated growth and an increase in corporate gains.
In this post, Shawn Meaike will explore some of the trends affecting the life insurance industry in 2022 and discuss how these trends are expected to accelerate growth across the board. For anyone looking to break into the industry, this is the year to do so as the outlook looks bright.
The Successes of 2021 Look Set to Continue
To put it mildly, Shawn Meaike says 2021 was a good year for the life insurance industry. After a major recession during the COVID-19 pandemic, sales grew a whopping 5% with premiums jumping an additional 20% in a single year. To put that in perspective, these stats outperform all other years since 1983.
According to research conducted by the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA), these successes can be attributed to:
- Increased awareness of the need for life insurance following the COVID-19 pandemic
- Economic recovery in the fourth quarter of 2021
- Heightened vaccine rollouts have shifted focus from health to life insurance
Shawn Meaike explains that the good news is that these successes are projected to grow further in the following few months. Roughly a third of major companies within the industry reported that they expect even greater returns in the next few quarters.
Shawn Meaike says Automation is Driving Growth
From an industry perspective, the pandemic appears to be a bit of a win-lose. On the one hand, sales dropped dramatically at the height of the pandemic as payouts rose to their highest levels in 100 years. Yet, on the other hand, Shawn Meaike points out the pandemic forced to industry to modernize and embrace digital sales strategies.
As the traditionally person-to-person industry was forced to temporarily close brick-and-mortar offices, it quickly introduced automated online processes that allowed customers to purchase insurance from the comfort of their homes. Shawn Meaike says these automated systems have greatly increased efficiency across the industry and allowed countless customers to purchase insurance who otherwise wouldn’t have.
However, as automation becomes the new standard, the industry will have to work to ensure it doesn’t lose the necessary human touch and empathy at the core of life insurance.
Rising Interest Rates Could Lead to Greater Yields
Shawn Meaike reports as inflation continues to spike throughout the country, the Federal Reserve has been increasingly vocal about raising the Federal Interest Rate. Although it’s unclear exactly when this will take place, it seems to be inevitable at this point. For the life insurance industry, this could produce greater profits with only moderate risk.
When consumers purchase insurance products, the companies generally invest their funds into treasury bonds. If the interest rates are low, the bonds pay very little. Therefore, for the past decade, Shawn Meaike says the life insurance industry has suffered in an environment of low rates, leaving them unable to make good on their yields. Fortunately, as interest rates rise, the industry will be better able to profit from its yields.
The only potential risk is that policymakers could face greater competition across the industry. As corporate yields increase, policyholders could be tempted to re-write their insurance policies with other, cheaper insurance companies. To overcome these risks, policymakers will have to be proactive about contacting at-risk customers and offering to rewrite their terms.
Hybrid Work Models Show Encouraging Employee Satisfaction
Shawn Meaike explains that another trend affecting the industry is the shift towards hybrid work models. During the pandemic, insurance employees found that working from home was somewhat of a mixed bag as opposed to working in an office. Meaike has noted that there is actually a better dynamic to in-office working at Family First Life, and higher productivity to match. Although most companies have now returned to the office, they’ve introduced hybrid work models to interested employees.
Thanks to accommodations like these, plus a renewed emphasis on employee satisfaction all around, many insurance companies are reporting a shift in corporate culture that’s encouraging young talent to stick around. They’re no longer having to find and replace lost talent since employees are generally more satisfied, leading to greater efficiency and productivity.
For these benefits to continue, though, employers will first have to come up with effective hybrid models that guarantee employees are not over-worked from home.
All in all, Shawn Meaike says the life insurance industry is off to a strong start and the outlook for 2022 is encouraging. Thanks to the pandemic, the industry has been forced to modernize, which has led to increased automation, efficiency, and productivity. With the economy on the rebound and interest rates on the rise, it’s set to be a great year for anyone looking to invest in the life insurance industry.