Nationwide Financial® improves its best-selling ULtimate Universal LifeSM policy
New Yorkstate approves long-term care services provision
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2007
Dan Orzano 614-677-5115
Jeff Botti 614-249-6339
Columbus, Ohio— Evolving client needs and preferences have made no-lapse guarantee universal life insurance products one of the top sellers in the industry, and the Nationwide ULtimate Universal LifeSM product has been a runaway hit since its launch in June 2006. Now, it’s even better.
Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: NFS), today relaunched Nationwide ULtimate Universal LifeSM, a universal life insurance policy designed to provide consumers with low-cost, permanent life insurance with a guaranteed death benefit. ULtimate is designed for consumers who want lifetime protection, strong living benefits and simplified policy maintenance. ULtimate can also be used for legacy planning and wealth transfer for clients who want to preserve assets for loved ones in a tax-efficient manner, provide lost income for survivors and create an estate for their heirs.
What was already a great product is now better. Key improvements include:
• Repricing, which allows for more competitive single-pays and limited-pays. Level pays with large initial premiums have been improved as well.
• New and improved Preferred Risk Guidelines for blood pressure, cholesterol and HDL ratios. Nationwide continues to offer its popular Placement Improvement program.
• New York state approval of the Acceleration of Life Insurance Death Benefit for Qualified Long Term Care Services Rider.
• New Life Manager software to illustrate the improved rates for Nationwide ULtimate Universal LifeSM and the Acceleration of Life Insurance Death Benefit for Qualified Long Term Care Services Rider in New York.
“We continually strive to improve the value of the life insurance products and services we offer to our customers,” said Peter Golato, senior vice president for Nationwide Financial. “We re-evaluated the pricing on our ULtimate Universal Life product and found we could greatly improve the pricing for single-pay and limited-pay premium scenarios.
“So, for policies issued after March 1, 2007, new pricing will make ULtimate the leader of the pack on single-pay and limited-pay scenarios, while maintaining our lead status on level-pay scenarios,” Golato said.
The state of New York recently approved a rider called Acceleration of Life Insurance Death Benefit for Qualified Long Term Care Services. This rider is available as an optional feature at an additional cost to help qualified clients pay for a long-term care facility, home health care or to provide a lump sum benefit if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The lump sum benefit is paid when the insured is certified by the treating physician as being terminal within 12 months of diagnosis.
Golato said that receiving New York state’s approval to offer this long-term care services rider would prove to be extremely beneficial for New York residents.
“Since June, almost 25 percent of the new ULtimate policies written outside the state of New York have included this important rider, so we know it is a key feature for consumers to protect their assets and plan for their futures,” he said.
ULtimate Universal LifeSM offers several beneficial riders and endorsements, which can be added to personalize the product. These include:
• long-term care rider*
• spouse rider
• child rider
• waiver of monthly deductions
• accelerated benefit rider (no cost unless invoked)
• accidental death benefit rider
• maturity date extension endorsement (no cost).
Consumers should consult with their insurance professional to discuss costs, advantages and disadvantages of each rider in detail. Riders and endorsements may not be available in all states and most involve additional cost.
*formal name of rider and rider features vary by state
Uninsured long-term care (LTC) expenses can wreak havoc on consumers’
“Consumers tell us that one of their biggest fears is the inability to afford the long-term care they may need in retirement. ULtimate is truly a living benefit for them and their families,” Golato said.
Recent studies show the average annual cost for a private room in a nursing home is nearly $70,000.a An in-home health aide runs approximately $18 per hour.b
Nationwide’s rider with an indemnity feature can provide the policyholder with an accelerated death benefit to use for long-term care. If the person doesn’t use the accelerated death benefit, they don’t lose the value of the final death benefit.
To keep things simple and easy, Nationwide doesn’t require the policyholder to keep track of bills and receipts or worry about creating an unintentional taxable event from payments from its policies. After meeting the 90-day elimination period, Nationwide pays the policy owner directly and the money can be used as he or she wishes.
The policyholder controls the payment amount and enjoys a high degree of flexibility by choosing how much of the monthly benefit is received, up to the benefit maximum or HIPAA limit, using the payment for any purpose.c
a. U.S. Congressional Budget Office;Testimony before the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Ways and Means; April 2005
b. AARP Public Policy Institute; September 2004
c. Nationwide sends a monthly check equal to the lesser of two percent of the LTC specified amount or daily HIPAA amount ($250 in 2006) times the number of days in the month.
Automated Premium Monitor helps avoid policy lapse
Nationwide ULtimate Universal LifeSM proactively addresses the problem of policy lapse. A patent-pending Automated Premium Monitor (APM) program can help clients pay their premium at the exact time needed, which ensures the death benefit guarantee stays in force as originally illustrated. There is no extra cost to the policyholder for this program.
APM is a three-tiered safety net designed to:
• prevent the intended guarantee from going off course
• notify the client and producer if the planned guarantee is off track
• correct guarantees that strayed from the intended plan.
A distinctive approach to underwriting
Nationwide’s underwriting approach is as unique as ULtimate. As part of the relaunch of ULtimate Universal LifeSM, Natiowide is introducing new and improved Preferred Risk Guidelines for blood pressure, cholesterol and HDL ratios. The underwriting process has been made easier for producers and clients by eliminating the need for chest X-rays for non-tobacco users, and by not requiring stress electrocardiograms for those clients who want a death benefit amount up to and including $10 million.
Important Consumer Information
As with all life insurance, guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing life insurance company. As consumers’ personal situations change (for example, marriage, birth of a child or job promotion), so will their life insurance needs. Care should be taken to ensure this product is suitable for long-term life insurance needs. Any associated costs should be evaluated before making a purchase.
Life insurance has fees and charges associated with it that include costs of insurance that vary with such characteristics of the insured as gender, health and age, and has additional charges for riders that customize a policy to fit individual needs. All riders may not be available in all states.
Neither Nationwide nor its representatives give legal or tax advice. Consumers should contact their legal or tax advisor for answers to their specific questions.
About Nationwide Financial
Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: NFS), a publicly traded company based in Columbus, Ohio, provides a variety of financial services that help consumers investi and protect their long-term assets, and offers retirement plans and services through both public- and private-sector employers.
It’s part of the Nationwide group of companies, which offers diversified insurance and financial services. The group is led by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, which is ranked No. 98 on the Fortune 100 based on 2005 revenue.ii For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, Nationwide Financial, the Nationwide Framemark and
On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual
Not a deposit • Not FDIC or NCUSIF insured• Not guaranteed by the institution • Not insured by any federal government agency • May lose value
i Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member NASD. In MI only: Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation.
ii Fortune Magazine, April 2006 Investments