About The Yale Club Insurance Study Group
and the Life Insurance Industry

The Oldest Continuously Meeting Insurance Study Group in North America

The Yale Club Insurance Study Group can boldly claim that we are the “oldest continuously meeting insurance study group in North America.” We’ve been meeting continuously since 1943, and this isn’t a claim we cannot back up. No less an organization than the Million Dollar Roundtable established this fact during a two-year survey of insurance industry professionals in the 1960s. 

We have been around a long time because we are a serious group whose membership includes many of the thought leaders in this industry. Our founding as a study group to provide a forum for insurance professionals to discuss problems and share ideas to better understand the uses of life insurance in the estate planning process has evolved. Today, our exclusive group has progressed to include attorneys, actuaries, and insurance professionals. While life insurance and estate tax design and management are still our central topics, other kinds of insurance related topics such as long-term care, deferred compensation (qualified and non-qualified), and financed life coverage now have a place at our table, as do conversations on tax law, pending regulatory changes, and other governmental or industry discussions that can affect our and our client’s businesses.

We are an exclusive group, so if you are an insurance industry professional who is interested in becoming a member, know at the outset that it won’t be an easy task. You need to be recommended by a group member, you will be vetted by the admissions committee, and you’ll need to do a presentation in an area of your expertise. After all that, the group will then vote to accept or not accept you as a member. Our commitment to having a high-minded approach to this industry, its issues and its practices sets a very high bar for membership admission since we will always protect our reputation as a prominent thought leadership group. 

The life insurance industry is a tough business. However, sometimes you have to look on the light side of things to get your mind in the right place, and someone fortunately had the foresight to call this business “life insurance” and not “death insurance.” While that works to our favor, it’s more than just good marketing – it speaks to the fact that after we die, our family will still be here, and life insurance will provide for the lives of our loved ones by protecting the assets we accumulated in life, and it will produce income for who are still living. It may also provide substantial funding for our favorite charities.

Our product is somewhat intangible. In the abstract, it is easy to understand, but for people who associate money with goods, it becomes more difficult to comprehend. This has always been a challenge for us. Those who gather as part of the YCISG are convinced that we are doing virtuous work, but it is incumbent upon us to educate our clients about the full value of the product and services that we provide. We need to be certain that each of us is doing right by our clients to safeguard their estates from final expenses, estate taxes, and other issues that our business can mitigate. These are principles that YCISG members work diligently to create, develop, and protect in our professional lives. 

An inescapable conclusion about life insurance is that it is a feature of a developed economy. The most-developed economies in the world – America, Europe, Japan, China – have some of the biggest numbers when it comes to life insurance. The reasons are simple. When people amass wealth or assets, they seek to protect that achievement and want to protect it to be passed along to the succeeding generations along with the values established by the grantor/decedent.

The YCISG looked up some statistics to share with visitors: 

  • The percentage of Americans with life insurance in 2023 is about 52 percent, according to LIMRA, the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association. 
  • The percentage of U.S. adults with life insurance stood at 63 percent in 2011. By 2022, that number had fallen to 50 percent, but rebounded slightly to 52 percent in 2023. 
  • The high-water mark for the number of life insurance policies purchased in the U.S. happened in 2001 with 40.1 million purchased. The low-water mark came in 2013 when 25.26 million were purchased. Since that time, the annual number of policies purchased has been in the 27-to-28-million range.
  • Americans are estimated to see gross premiums paid reach $558 billion by 2026, up from $544 billion in 2021. 
  • The survey also showed that 63 percent of Americans who buy life insurance did so for the purpose of transferring wealth to the next generation. However, 83 percent bought insurance for burial and other end-of-life expenses. 
  • The United States represents the world’s largest insurance market with its $2.67 trillion in premiums representing 42.5 percent of all premiums paid.

These are some general statistics, but they paint a picture about the industry the YCISG represents. Although we view ourselves as a special group of insurance producers, asset managers and estate planners, the YCISG believes that this distinguished position comes with responsibility, and we will continue to act to positively influence the industry that we participate in for our professional lives. 

Yale Club Insurance Study Group, New York, NY

Membership is by invitation only from a current member. CLICK HERE to see a list of our current membership.

Yale Club Insurance Study Group, New York, NY

Membership is by invitation only from a current member. CLICK HERE to see a list of our current membership.

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