Magazine article American Banker

Thrivent Enhances Life Products Via Optional Term, Spouse Riders

Magazine article American Banker

Thrivent Enhances Life Products Via Optional Term, Spouse Riders

Article excerpt

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans has introduced variable universal life and universal life products that it is selling through its nearly 3,000 financial associates nationwide.

The products have a few enhancements from the company's standard models, including a term benefit within the contract.

"At the time you purchase the contract, a term payout can be added to make the life insurance benefit more valuable," said Bill Idzorek, the director of product marketing at Thrivent in Minneapolis. "At the time of purchase, you can also add a spouse to the policy. It's a spouse rider, so the spouse's life is covered. That's another thing we didn't offer before."

"I don't think that the spouse rider is" that unusual, said Arthur M. Fliegelman, a vice president and senior credit officer in the life insurance group of Moody's Investors Service in New York. "You get one contract, instead of two. So there is less paperwork. But what if you get divorced and remarried? I am sure that can be taken care of, but it could become a hassle."

Thrivent has also added risk classes, including a "super preferred" class.

"We realize that this doesn't seem all that exciting, but it is a way to reward healthier people," Mr. Idzorek said. Thrivent now offers five risk classes, instead of three.

The variable product also has a dollar-cost-averaging fixed account that lets investors put some of their principal in fixed investments. During the first 12 months, however, the fixed investment would have to be shifted into the equity market buckets. …

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