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Local insurance agency owner Mary Ann Cannady and two other Lowcountry insurance representatives traveled to Washington, D.C. recently to ask for help in the Americans to Protect Family Security Coalition.
“We wanted to make sure our elected officials understand what our products do for their constituents. We brought out the good points so that the government won’t eventually hit the consumer below the belt,” said Cannady. “We need to protect what the local insurance agencies have had for over the past 100 years so the consumer will continue to be protected against over-taxation. Nobody wants to pay more taxes than they have to.”
Cannady said their trip to Washington was worth the effort. “Our trip to Capitol Hill in Washington was most productive. I traveled with Certified Financial Planners Brad Tapscott of Charleston and Larry Weatherford of Summerville, and we met with Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Congressman James Clyburn. The purpose of our trip was to represent the Insurance Industry of South Carolina within the Americans to Protect Family Security Coalition, which includes The American Council of Life Insurers; the Association of Advanced Life Underwriting; GAMA International; the Insured Retirement Institute; the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies; and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
“We are a partnership of America’s life insurance companies, agents, and financial advisors who are dedicated to educating policymakers about the role our products play in the financial lives of 75 million American families,” Cannady said. “These families turn to the life insurance industry to protect their financial futures with life insurance, retirement annuities, long-term care, and disability income insurance. The goal was to highlight facts about our product and their importance to the financial and retirement security of all of these families across America.”
While speaking with Graham, Scott, and Clyburn, Cannady and her two constituents pointed out that the life insurance industry generates about 25,000 jobs in South Carolina, including 10,000 direct employees and 15,000 non-insurance based jobs; 467 life insurers are licensed to do business in S.C., and 13 are domiciled within the state; S.C. residents have $338 billion in total life insurance coverage; residents within our state own three million individual life insurance policies with coverage averaging $67,000 per policyholder; group life insurance amounts to $119 billion; individual life insurance coverage purchased within S.C. in 2011 totaled $22 billion; $5 billion was paid out to S.C. residents in the form of death benefits, matured endowments, policy dividends, surrender values, and other payments in 2011; annuity benefits paid out in the state in 2011 totaled $790 million; life insurance companies invest approximately $45 billion in our state’s economy, and about $37 billion of this investment is in stocks and bonds that help finance business development, job creation, and services within the state; life insurers provide $2 billion in mortgage loans on farm, residential, and commercial properties and own $94 million in real estate in S.C.