New York Life was the largest seller of new life insurance in the country in 2011 with a 10.7% market share up to and through the fourth quarter. The strong sales were enabled by the effort of the company's 12,250 licensed agents across the country.
Chris Blunt, head of New York Life's Insurance Group, credited the results to New York Life agents. New York Life has devoted significant resources to supporting and expanding its career agency force.
Also facilitating the robust numbers was New York Life’s cultural marketing drive. The Cultural Marketing unit formed in 1996 with the aim of providing financial guidance to families as well as businesses in the African-American, Asian Indian, Chinese, Hispanic, Korean and Vietnamese markets. Currently, 34% of New York Life’s 12,250 agents have a specific focus on these cultural markets.
“Last year more than 44% of the company’s new life insurance cases were from the Cultural Markets, which is a key focus for the company,” said Mark Pfaff, head of Agency Operations.
With 1,000 life insurers operating in the country it is notable that anyone would have double-digit market share. Since LIMRA has kept records, no other life insurer has had a double-digit market share.