Magazine article American Banker

B of A Flogging Life Policies through Internet, by Mail, and on Teller Machine Slips

Magazine article American Banker

B of A Flogging Life Policies through Internet, by Mail, and on Teller Machine Slips

Article excerpt

BankAmerica Corp. has launched a mass-marketing campaign, pitching life insurance through the mail, ATMs, and the Internet.

BankAmerica Insurance Agency on Thursday sold its first life insurance policy to a customer using the BankAmerica World Wide Web site.

And statement stuffers hawking term life insurance were sent to customers of the San Francisco-based bank last week - the third mailing in as many months.

Credit life insurance had been the insurance unit's bread and butter. But BankAmerica made a big foray into term life insurance this summer, and it's gearing up to roll out a disability insurance product for people over 65 this fall.

"We are really very much at the beginning and are hitting the targets," said Rex Morlan, chief operating officer of BankAmerica Insurance, which is based in San Diego. "We are doing it with a method consistent with BofA strategy; it's a low-cost effort."

One cheap strategy - putting ads for homeowner insurance on automated teller machine receipts - is expected to generate life insurance sales, too. Because consumers other than BankAmerica customers use its Versateller network, the bank is reaching a fresh audience.

Mr. Morlan said 10% of the people buying homeowner policies were drawn by ATM receipts. "Probably close to half of them were not BankAmerica customers," Mr. Morlan added.

BankAmerica is selling term life insurance policies underwritten by West Coast Life, Old Line Life, CNA Financial Corp., and Jackson National. The carriers are chipping in to pay for some advertising and marketing costs.

For more complicated products, such as variable and universal life insurance, 40 investment representatives in the bank's asset management group obtained licenses to sell policies to affluent customers. …

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