Peace of Mind for Our Communities, Too
The purpose of life insurance is to bring peace of mind to policyholders. That impact doesn’t end with customers, however. Through local investments, employment and philanthropy, life insurers make a difference, especially in our “brave little state” of Vermont.
Life insurers from throughout the country have long found Vermont to be fertile grounds for long-term investing. The reason: governments and private businesses in the state are reliable. The returns on Vermont investments match well with life insurers’ lifetime guarantees to policyholders, retirees counting on annuities for lifetime income, and owners of other financial protection products.
A recent study published in collaboration with the American Council of Life Insurers found that, in all, life insurers have invested $9 billion in the state. For example:
- The Vermont Bond Bank has received $39 million in financing from life insurers. The bank’s mission “is to finance social and physical infrastructure for municipalities, school districts, and public bodies with affordable, innovative and appropriate capital.”
- The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) has received $23 million from life insurers. The VHFA finances and promotes affordable, safe and decent housing opportunities for low and moderate-income Vermonters.
- The Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financial Agency, the University of Vermont Agricultural College and other educational-related entities have received $21 million in bond financing from life insurers.
Life insurers also invest heavily in a wide range of commercial mortgages — $27 million for retail properties in Barre, Burlington and Bennington, among other places. They provide residential mortgages throughout Vermont as well — $19 million. Mortgage investments can be large, from a $46 million mortgage for a lodging property in Bennington, and small, to a $12,700 home mortgage in Rutland.
Life insurers use these investments to keep their promises to policyholders by paying out an average of $3.6 million to families and businesses in Vermont every day. In addition to direct investment, 3,900 jobs are generated by the life insurance industry in Vermont.
The life insurance industry also supports Vermonters through philanthropy. The National Life Group Foundation, for example, recently doubled its budget to bring peace of mind to more people, with a focus on supporting nonprofits in our home state.
As our Chief Operating Officer Bob Cotton said: “It makes sense to water where you want the grass to grow. We see strong opportunity—and responsibility—in supporting both the economy and the people of Vermont. National Life is here to bring peace of mind to every life we touch. That starts at home.”
(Mehran Assadi is Chairman, President and CEO of National Life Group in Montpelier, Vermont)