Briefs

MetLife: Insurance in a box at Wal-Mart

MetLife is bypassing brokers and going direct to consumers. The insurer has begun selling life policies in boxes adorned with images of Snoopy at Wal-Mart Stores. Shoppers purchase cards equal to the policy’s cost, then call MetLife to answer health questions and activate coverage. Those who don’t qualify can refund their cards or use them as prepaid Discover debit cards. People aged 60 to 65 pay $429 a year for $25,000 worth of coverage, while those 18 to 44 can get a one-year, $10,000 policy for $69. Direct sales, including via the Net, may climb to 13 percent of the U.S. individual life market in 2016, from 8 percent in 2010, the company said in May.

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