NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 08/15/12 -- Fitch Ratings recently noted that U.S. life insurers have been pressured by historically low interest rates, which have been reflected in the latest second-quarter results. Fitch Ratings in a recent release stated that "the impact of sustained low interest rates will limit the ability of U.S. life insurers to materially improve earnings and debt service metrics over the next two years." Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Life Insurance Industry and provides equity research on MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) and Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU).
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Life insurers have been pressed by a multistate tasks force to pay out on forgotten insurance policies. Over the decades state regulators have estimated that more than a billion dollars of death benefits have been failed to be paid out by life insurance companies, as it is the beneficiary's responsibility to file a claim. Insurance companies in recent months have agreed to begin cross-checking their policy holders list with a death database in efforts to track down beneficiaries.
"We know the percentages represent real people, and we've been working with policy makers on ways to ensure all policyholders get the benefits they deserve," said the official, Bruce Ferguson of the American Council of Life Insurers.
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MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The company reported second quarter 2012 net income of $2.3 billion, and operating earnings of $1.4 billion.
Prudential Financial is a financial services leader with approximately $961 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2012, and has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The company reported net income for its Financial Services Businesses attributable to Prudential Financial, Inc. of $2.203 billion for the second quarter of 2012, compared to $779 million for the year-ago quarter.
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