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<p>ST. Paul, Minn.-Minnesota Life Group Insurance has reported a 96% increase in new annual premium for 2001. In addition, the company retained 96% percent of its existing clients. “This is our sixth consecutive year of outstanding sales results,” said James E. Johnson, senior vice president, Group Insurance. “While growth rates in the industry are modest, our in-force annual premium in the group life market is up 17% from 2000, and our insurance in force is up 32%.” According to Johnson, the growth comes from providing service with a combination of “high tech” and “high touch” customer interaction. “We’ve developed several levels of Internet usage for our clients,” said Maria O’Phelan, vice president, Group technology/customer service. “Some prefer to simply post information about group life insurance benefits on their intranet and use more traditional administrative and enrollment techniques. Others opt for an extranet created by Minnesota Life that allows program administrators to receive immediate answers to questions about claims or enrollment status.”</p>

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