How OneAmerica stepped up to the challenge of the pandemic, and kept its focus on stakeholders, customers and policyholders
by Steven LynchAs Vice President, National Sales and Service at OneAmerica since 2015 and a nearly 30-year veteran of the industry, Steven Lynch has had a passion for helping people find the insurance products they need to adequately take care of themselves and their families. Visit www.oneamerica.com
At the outset of a global pandemic followed by widespread economic uncertainty, OneAmerica® proudly stepped up to the challenge and refused to wither. Our companies having a 143-year history of weathering storms prompted this confidence and gave us an opportunity to remind our stakeholders, customers and policyholders that we are built for this.
With 2020 now in the rearview mirror, it’s worthwhile to re-examine our reaction and results.
Collectively, OneAmerica continued our unwavering commitments while remaining solidly resilient in the face of the some of the most devastating public health and economic crises in recent generations. This was proven in numerous ways, including:
• We maintained our strong financial strength ratings
• As a mutual organization, our profits stayed in the company to be invested in people, new technology and to support our long-term financial stability.
• Ultimately the most important measure of success we track is the $6 billion we paid out to customers in 2020.
This is where our growing Employee Benefits (EB) line of business fits squarely in the equation.
Our EB claims team stepped up in a timely and empathetic manner, fulfilling our mission of being there for our customers when they need us most; whether it was a COVID-19-related health issue or something more familiar, such as an on-the-job injury (as you’ll read below).
I also heard stories of a “step-up” in responsiveness as we served the broker community with greater urgency and creativity.
The events of 2020 also made us more determined than ever to reinvest in EB. We’ve added, and will continue to add, leader and associate positions to continue high levels of service to customers, to provide value to brokers, and to deliver compassionate claims – all while growing our business. Areas where we’re adding positions include sales, product development, underwriting, service, operations, claims and revenue management.
Among those new positions are new leaders providing fresh solutions, bringing consistency and creativity to bear on behalf of all our stakeholders. We have every intent to grow out our market share in the industry.
The past offers many reasons to hope and celebrate a bright future and much progress for this year and beyond.
OneAmerica has generally exceeded the industry average for growth over the last 10 years, so while a year like 2020 was unanticipated, we were fully prepared for it. We became the financial lifeline for those who needed us.
The year also brought substantive changes to the overall financial services marketplace, with firms changing owners, adjusting material product lines or leaving the industry all together. Foundationally, the continued financial strength of OneAmerica was noted by major rating agencies, providing assurance that our stability and governance were made to weather the uncertainties of 2020, just as they have during previous historic economic conditions
A.M. Best affirmed the A+ (Superior) rating for OneAmerica companies American United Life
Insurance Company® (AUL) and The State Life Insurance Company® (State Life) on July 31,
2020. A+ (Superior) is the second-highest of 15 possible ratings. In addition, the AA- rating assigned to AUL and State Life by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) was also affirmed on Sept. 14, 2020 – the fourth-highest of 22 possible ratings.
The insurance companies of OneAmerica remain among the top 8% of insurance companies, with both an A.M. Best rating of A+ or higher and S&P rating of AA-* or higher, and last year we celebrated the 75th consecutive year for one of our companies, AUL to be rated A or higher by A.M. Best. The historic ratings distinction places OneAmerica among the longest running top 20 of A.M. Best-rated insurance firms.
The Strength To Keep Going
Additional information on OneAmerica is also available via our recently released 2020 Annual Report, which includes not only financial data but updates on OneAmerica expanded efforts into national and community leadership roles, and our commitment to addressing racial inequities and improving opportunities for all.
In the annual report, you’ll also meet Nancy Niblick-Ranly, a specialist with over 40 years’ experience (having worked numerous positions) at a company that designs and manufactures powerboats and luxury yachts. Nancy is also one of our policyholders — her paycheck “protected” through group disability income insurance that’s offered through her employer.
While her job is a labor of love, her work on these powerful vessels is very physical. It requires climbing up and down ladders and crawling into storage spaces, all while lugging around a heavy set of tools. When a sudden injury left Nancy unable to work in late 2019, she found herself in brand-new territory.
“I’d never been injured like this,” Nancy said. “I still don’t know how it happened. Something just snapped in my knee. I stood up one day, and I tore my meniscus. That was the start of a yearlong process.”
A physician put her in a brace and told her she could not go back to work for at least 19 weeks. “Up until then, I’ve always been in really good health, and I never really drew on my benefits,” she said. “But now I had to go on disability, because I truly could not work.”
In the annual report, we detail how our trusted claims examiners helped Nancy through the process of activating her disability benefits. As the new year began, Nancy felt reassured that not only was her income protected, but that she could focus on recovering and getting stronger.
“Through all of what happened last year, I knew I could count on the compassion and service of the people at OneAmerica.”
Why We’re Here
No matter what challenge presents itself in the future – whether it is a pandemic or a financial crisis, OneAmerica remains confident; we’re proud to be able to be there when our customers need us most.
A national provider of insurance and financial services for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of its policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit oneamerica.com/about-us/companies-of-oneamerica.
OneAmerica is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica.
Products are issued and underwritten by American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL), a OneAmerica company. Not available in all states or may vary by state. Testimonials are the personal views of the individual. These individuals are not related to any employees of any OneAmerica company, do not have a financial interest in any OneAmerica company, and were not paid to express these views. These opinions are not necessarily indicative of future performance or results and may not reflect the experience of all individuals.
*Calculated by OneAmerica based on data provided by SNL Financial as of 2/05/21.