Monday, January 13, 2014

No. 20: An Interesting Letter from a Reader

When I announced early in October 2013 that I was ending publication of The Insurance Forum, I offered subscribers back issues of their choice to meet my obligation for undelivered issues. I owed three issues to Robert H. Harmon, CLU, ChFC (Salt Lake City), a long-time subscriber and friend. He asked me to select the issues, which I did. I knew he had seen them when they were published a decade ago, but I also knew he would want to reread them. In response he sent this letter:
Thank you for the issues you sent. I thoroughly reread them. I admit, however, that rereading "Conseco's Assault on Universal Life Policyholders" in your December 2003 issue was like ripping off the scab of a previously healed wound! Your brilliant and thoroughly researched description of what Conseco did to its policyholders by eliminating the previously undisclosed "R-factor" brought back unhappy memories of what happened to many of my family members and cherished clients.
I thought I had done a remarkable job by selling more than 300 of those policies, which originally were issued by Massachusetts General and later were acquired by Conseco. In addition to meeting with fellow agents around the country, I had visited the Mass General home office, met with several members of top management, and was convinced I would be providing a great service by selling those policies to everyone I knew. It turned out to be the most heart wrenching experience of my business life. I eventually realized I had been betrayed in the worst possible way. I learned a lot from the experience, and since then I have been happy selling policies issued by reputable companies.
I began my life insurance sales career in 1956 after receiving an MBA from UCLA. Except for those unhappy years with Mass General and Conseco, this has been a great business. I am delighted to still be a part of it.
You have had a positive and strong influence on my business life. I am deeply grateful for the unique way in which you have been on the cutting edge of bringing news about what is really going on in our great industry.