Love, love, love

Sep 8, 2021

There may be no business like show business, but neither is there any business like the life insurance business.

We’re not talking because it is one of the few industries regulated by state government. Nor because it is about death. Show business reminds us of that on screens big and small in various degrees of abstraction, while the news makes many think about death’s reality even more. Besides, as the insurance industry poet Wallace Stevens famously said, “Death is the mother of beauty.” It is also the flip side of the coin of life.

Nope, what makes the life insurance business like no other business I know is that it is, genuinely, and legally, about love.

I’m talking the law. Right there in every state’s lawbooks. In New York, for instance, for persons closely related by blood or law, all you need is a “substantial interest engendered by love and affection…”, i.e., id est, love, love, love, to buy life insurance. Check it out @ N.Y. Ins. Law § 3205(a)(1).

You will have to look long and hard to find another business with a statutory mandate that includes love. In fact, good luck finding the word “love” in any law about any business. Yup, life insurance is The business. Life insurers are in the business of love.

Naturally, life insurers are careful about going about their business. But they want to be generous with their business, too. So the laws of every state also encourage life insurance be available for those who have “a lawful and substantial economic interest in the continued life, health or bodily safety of the person insured…” Life insurers want to spread it around. Love.

That’s what Life Insurance Awareness Month is all about. This month especially we aspire to educate consumers about the importance of life insurance and the role it plays in protecting families’ financial security. It is a good month for everyone to talk with the important people in our lives about what life insurance is really about, you know, love. Love, love, love. All you really need.

Michael Lovendusky

Michael Lovendusky is Vice President & Senior Associate General Counsel at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). He represents ACLI on life insurance illustration and consumer disclosure issues before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.