Trustmark Launches New Critical Illness Product

 Built 100% From Consumer Feedback, with never-before features


Lake Forest, Ill., March 24, 2015 – Trustmark Insurance Company (Trustmark), after extensive consumer research, has launched a new, patent-pending Critical Illness insurance product, Trustmark Critical LifeEventsSM, that will revolutionize the way consumers, brokers and employers view Critical Illness insurance.


An ear to the ground

“This was developed 100 percent from consumer feedback, and contains product features that have never before been introduced in the critical illness insurance marketplace,” said Dan Johnson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Trustmark. “We learned from our research that essentially the products of today were not meeting the needs of consumers. It was an eyeopening experience, and we knew we had to make some big changes.”

Three years of consumer research conducted by an outside market research firm, served as the basis for the new Critical Illness product, and when tested, more than 83 percent of consumers chose Critical LifeEvents over other competitor Critical Illness products.1

Many of the Critical LifeEvents features are firsts in the market. The list is long, and this is not inclusive, but essentially Trustmark figured out a way to:

  • Allow more benefit s for early identification and early stage diagnosis, as this is typically how many illnesses are diagnosed due to preventive measures and medical advancement
  • Pay multiple benefits as a disease progresses (i.e. for the full stage of illness from early identification through early-stage and late-stage diagnoses)
  • Help eliminate consumer confusion over what triggers a benefit and how they are paid, including offering a replenishing annual benefit and eliminating separation periods between illnesses
  • Offer benefits aside from those available solely when a policyholder gets sick to enable consumers to use their policy even when they are healthy, such as:
    – Caregiver benefits, which include the resources of a second opinion servic
    – More preventive benefits to encourage policyholders to stay healthy
  • Waive premiums during a critical illness without requiring a disability
  • Deliver protection from other conditions not typically covered in a policy today, such as complications of diabetes and central nervous infections
  • Offer a benefit when a policyholder is struggling to meet two or more activities of daily living (ADLs) because of a critical illness
  • Offer more affordable options for conditions most likely to occur such as heart attack, cancer and stroke
We learned from our research that essentially the products of today were not meeting the needs of consumers


Back to the drawing board

The plan was to start from scratch, rather than just enhance Trustmark’s current product offering. “It was time to build a product that consumers can use throughout their lifetime, and not just when they are seriously ill,” said Julie Pohjola, Assistant Vice President, Product Management, Trustmark. “And that’s a very different way of thinking about Critical Illness insurance.” This seemed to be an underlying theme in the research, as Trustmark surveyed and spoke with people who have either dealt with a critical illness or who provided caregiving for someone with a critical illness.

“That’s insight you just can’t get from standard industry research,” said Johnson. Critical LifeEvents is currently ready for proposals, with effective dates beginning in the first quarter of 2016. For possible publishing opportunities and press inquiries, including learning more about Trustmark’s research or the direction Critical Illness insurance is moving in the future, please contact Ann Higby at For brokers interested in offering this product to their clients, please contact a member of our sales team in your area. You can also visit our Critical LifeEvents site for more information.


About Trustmark
Trustmark has more than a century of experience in voluntary benefits. It provides the resources that employers need to enhance their benefit plans, and that employees need to make knowledgeable decisions and gain vital financial protection. Trustmark is known for its service and billing capabilities and takes pride in finding solutions to match employers’ needs. Trustmark Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Trustmark Mutual Holding Company, which is rated A- (Excellent) for insurer financial strength by A.M. Best and has over $2 billion in assets and more than 2 million covered lives or plan participants. For more information, visit

1 Nationwide market research survey of 800 individuals conducted January and February 2014.