Genworth drops underperforming annuity product to focus on life insurance

Feb 03, 2011

Life insurance company shifts focus

Variable annuities in both their individual and group formats will be discontinued by Genworth Financial, the company announced recently, though it assured consumers their already-purchased products would still be honored.

The company's chairman and CEO, Michael Fraizer, said the move was made to help the company focus on its core offerings.

"With this decision, we have taken an additional step in advancing our specialist strategy to concentrate on the markets, customers and products where we have distinct leadership positions and strengths," said Fraizer, adding that mortgage insurance was among the areas the company would renew its focus on in the future.

Another product - this one a hybrid of long term care insurance policy and annuity - would also be mothballed, Genworth announced, saying that the market for such an instrument is insufficiently well-developed. Combined life insurance and long term care policies will still be sold.

The renewed focus on more standard life insurance products could translate into lower premiums for policyholders, but the full effects of Genworth's move may not be felt for some time, according to industry experts.

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