Adding agents of color can help close the life insurance gap, panel agrees


As the U.S. population grows ever more multicultural, New York Life is growing along with it.

The venerable insurer boasts more than 20% Asian, 10% Black and 12% Hispanic among its agent force. New York Life’s agent demographics come much closer to matching the country’s cultural breakdown than the insurance industry as a whole.

It is giving New York Life an advantage in meeting the life insurance protection gap that spans all demographics, but is especially pronounced among minority populations, said Liliana Canedo, corporate vice president, Latino market, New York Life.

“Literally for 30 years now, we have had an intentional growth strategy for our target market to increase the diversity of our field force,” Canedo said. “We want to be able to identify diverse talent in the field of education for leadership positions and in home office positions as well. And we are looking to keep expanding our support for under-represented communities.”

Canedo was part of the panel Monday titled, “Seize the Opportunity: Closing the Life Insurance Protection Gap” at the LIMRA and LOMA 2023 Annual Conference.

Industrywide, insurance agents identify as more than 70% white. At New York Life, about 54% of agents fall into that demographic.

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