Ralph Nader Didn't Say It

  • Note that the data is not from Ralph Nader, but from LIMRA and the NALU [NAIFA].

--  Randall P. Mire

1983 - SOA - The Future of Whole Life Insurance--A Debate, Society of Actuaries - 24p

  • Basing an industry of this size on public gullibility is a completely unsound premise.

--  James C.H. Anderson

1977 - SOA - Debate: "Resolved... The Life Insurance Business, as Transacted Today, is in it's Terminal Stages, Society of Actuaries - 14p

  • Commissioner Wilcox said that he admitted that the working group <Life Disclosure Working Group> had gotten a little sloppy on its terminology, but it had been clear all along that the working group was focusing on sales.

1996-4V2, NAIC Proceedings

  • UL is a horror. Who understands UL?
    • The home office doesn't.
    • The IT department doesn't.
    • The owner doesn't.

--  Jeffrey Robinson

2003 - SOA - Do You Know How Much You're Spending? The Hidden Costs of Product Complexity, Society of Actuaries - 19p

  • Why is this flimflammery allowed to continue?
  • Where are the laws to prevent companies from misleading people?

--  Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH)

1993 0525 - GOV (Senate) - When Will Policyholders Be Given The Truth About Life Insurance?, Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH)  ---  [BonkNote]

  • I sincerely believe we have a flawed instrument in today's sales illustrations.
  • ...we did not communicate the impact of change as well as ...we should have.
  • Our biggest mistake would be to delay.
  • I don't believe the consumer will tolerate or forgive us, let alone the regulators, if we do nothing.

--  Robert Nelson, Chairperson of the National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU) Task Force on Illustrations - [Currently NAIFA]

1993 - SOA - Sales Illustrations: We Can't Life With Them, But We Can't Live Without Them!, Society of Actuaries - 28p

  • Larry R. Robinson - I am on this panel principally as Chairman of the ACLI Subcommittee on Cost Comparisons.
    • Much of our work has dealt with the issue of illustrating Nonguaranteed Elements.
    • As a backdrop, I want to quote from a January 1988 Financial Planning article.
      • The article is entitled "Future Shock" by Harry Lew with the sub-heading: "What will happen when a generation of insurance buyers begins comparing unrealistic illustrations with the actual performance of their policies?
    • Industry leaders would prefer not to find out.

1988 - SOA - Actuarial Opinion on Non-Guaranteed Elements, Society of Actuaries - 12p

  • It’s very easy for trusted companies to mislead naïve customers, and life insurance companies are trusted. 
  • The fact that they seem to be outside the regulatory reach is  shocking” said Daniel Kahneman, a professor of psychology and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Nobel Prize winner.


Let us continue and not fool the citizens.

--  Thomas F. Eason

1980 - SOA - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Report, Society of Actuaries - 16p

.... I agree that failure to disclose not only misrepresents but also sows the seeds of destruction. 

--  Allen D. Booth, FSA, is a consultant in the Milwaukee office of Towers, Perrin, Forster and Crosby. 

1982 - SOA - Universal Life Update (rsa82v8n34), Society of Actuaries - 26p

  • Mr. Higgins said he would need to be convinced that it was appropriate to show on an illustration something that the consumer would never get.

1996-1, NAIC Proceedings

  • Fred Nepple (Wis) asked: if a charge was not rational, did that mean it could not be charged or it could not be illustrated?
    • The working group agreed that the result was that it could not be illustrated.

1995-1, NAIC Proceedings 

  •  As the cases of Metropolitan Life and Prudential suggest, no amount of oversight or self-policing will protect consumers from unethical or illegal company and agent practices.
    • The structure of the market needs to change.

--  Consumers Union

1994-1, NAIC Proc.

  • We would have expected to find the NAIC employing its influence to dissipate the wholly unnecessary confusion that surrounds the term-whole life controversy. 
  • Regrettably, we find the NAIC at the forefront of efforts to perpetuate it.


  • To summarize, no one can predict what will be successful, but either one or two of the trinity, buyer, or agent must benefit and finally, the third law of the trinity, the company and its supplier (reinsurer) must make money.

-- LAWRENCE SILKES (Vice President and Chief Actuary of New Jersey Life)

1983INDIVIDUAL LIFE INSURANCE, Society of Actuaries

  • My attention was incidentally called to the subject of life insurance some year and a half ago, and when I found upon what a peculiar and very simple theory it is based, I was utterly amazed to think how little the thing was generally understood, and that the insuring public were utterly ignorant of what it was all about.
  • The committee of which I am chairman has before it for consideration this peculiar element of life insurance which I refer to, and I think if the members of the committee will closely attend to and study over that matter, they will have different views when they come back of the theory of life insurance from those which they had when they came here.
  • My opinion is that every intelligent man ought to understand this peculiar theory, and I hope that the beginning which we have made here, and the communications sent in and referred to the various committees, will spread before you an amount of information which will enable you to get out what I think has been kept a secret a little too closely and a little too long.
  • We will find that the mysteries of the actuaries' art is no mystery at all, and that when they are fully comprehended there will be safety.

    --  Mr. Smith

    1871-1, NAIC Proc.

As former chairperson of the Society Task Force on Illustrations and chair of the Academy Task Force on Illustrations, I'd like to give you an update of what our activities have been and share with you where I think this is all going.

  • Recently, I was reading a mystery novel that starts off with an anecdote about a man who dies and goes down to hell.
  • As he is standing in line to be processed by the gatekeeper, he notices couples frolicking and cavorting and having a really good time.
  • He concludes that hell isn't going to be so bad at all; in fact, it could be a whole lot of fun.

At the front of the line, the gatekeeper checks his list and says, "No, this isn't your time yet, you're going back to earth."

  • He returns to earth and of course he doesn't see any reason to change his ways.
  • Five years later his time was really up and he goes back down in hell, but this time he sees everybody standing neck deep in fire and brimstone.

When he gets up to the gatekeeper he says, "This isn't the way I remember it five years ago."

  • The gatekeeper says to him, "Well, you were a prospect then, you're a client now."

>> I don't need to explain to you how that fits what we're facing today, and perhaps if we had been able to keep up that aura of frolicking and cavorting, we wouldn't have any problems with illustrations.

-- Judy Faucett

1993 - SOA - Sales Illustrations: We Can't Life With Them, But We Can't Live Without Them!, Society of Actuaries - 28p

  • As a starting point, there is little regulation of the life insurance industry by the States.

--  John A. Durkin, New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner

1973 - GOV - The Life Insurance Industry - Part 2 - Hart

The mystery of life insurance!

  • Why, there is not the least mystery in it.
  • The only mystery is, how it has managed to live so long on the reputation of having a mystery, which it has not.   [Laughter]  (p128)

--  Edwin W. Bryant, Actuary of the New York Insurance Department

1871-1, NAIC Proc.