In 2003, company owned life insurance (COLI), an important product line for the nation’s life insurance industry, was under attack by several lawmakers for being a corporate tax loophole. Then-U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-NC) was using his presidential campaign to attack COLI at every turn, and the criticisms were being picked up by national newspapers.
Navigators Global conducted an extensive public opinion research project for the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting and utilized the findings of the research to develop a new message strategy to fight back against the criticisms being levied against COLI. The message strategy, which focused on the important role COLI plays in protecting small businesses from the effect of the untimely deaths of an owner or key employees, as well as the role the product line plays in securing employer-provided health and retirement benefits, was delivered to lawmakers through a series of compelling print ads and an advocacy Web site.
The campaign succeeded in halting the momentum behind the effort to tax COLI, a move that would have rendered the product line useless for the nation’s life insurers.