Friday, September 14, 2012

LifeBridge at 10

Today's episode of Life Insurance Awareness Month is pretty cool: the 10th anniversary of MassMutual's LifeBridge program.

Longtime readers may recall our 2006 post celebrating the program's 4th anniversary; the folks at MassMutual reached out to us to bring us up to date as it reaches the decade mark.

We're joined today by Nick Fyntrilakis, Vice President of MassMutual's Community Responsibility department.

InsureBlog: Nick, what can you tell us about the MassMutual Community Responsibility department?

Nick Fyntrilakis: Many carriers have Community Affairs or Relations departments, we chose "Responsibility" to reflect our core values, a commitment to our communities. It just seems more appropriate. We run MassMutual's charitable giving and philanthropic activities - in fact, MassMutual donates over $7 million to these causes, including scholarships, grants and the like. I should point out, though, that this does not include the money we budget for the LifeBridge program, that's over and above.

IB: As we understand the program, LifeBridge provides free life insurance to struggling families. How does it work?

NF: MassMututal issues a $50,000 policy [ed: 10 year term chassis], payable to a trust for the benefit of one's progeny. If tragedy strikes, the funds can be used for tuition, books, even room and board.

Parents must be aged 19 to 42, a permanent, legal US resident with an annual income of no more than $40,000, and must pass underwriting. That last could be a problem for folks with Type I Diabetes or HIV, for example.

The process itself is pretty simple: there's an eligibility form and an application, and some financial info is also required (to confirm eligibility)
. [Full details are available here]

IB:. How many LifeBridge policies has MassMutual issued over the past 10 years? How many LifeBridge claims have been paid?

NF: We've issued about 12,500 policies nationwide, which amounts to about $625 million in life insurance coverage. To date, we've had about 20 or so claims, which represent over a $1 million paid out to those left behind.

IB: Is there anything else you think our readers should know about LifeBridge?

NF: We're very proud to be the only life insurance company that has this kind of program in place, to have developed and implemented this unique way of giving back. It's literally putting our money where our mouth is, putting our principles into action. And we have a website with all the information your readers might need.

Thanks, Nick, for your time, and continued success with this very worthy endeavor.

[Special IB Thanks to Caitlin Bricker for setting this up]
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