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One in Five U.S. Life Insurance Policies Sold Through Direct Marketing

WINDSOR, Conn., Mar. 8, 2010 — Sales through direct channels represented more than 20 percent of the policies, about five percent of premium sold, and 13 percent of the total face value in 2008 according to a new joint project conducted by LIMRA and LIDMA– the Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association.

“For the first time, we have been able to quantify the amount of individual life insurance sold through direct channels, like the Internet, direct mail and telephone,” said Ron Neyer, senior analyst, LIMRA Distribution Research. “This includes both sales generated directly through carriers, as well as by third-party quoting aggregators. Direct marketing accounts for a much larger portion of life insurance sales than previously reported. We believe this will be valuable information for the industry to track the growth of this distribution channel in the coming years.”

Byron Udell, chairman of LIDMA’s Market Research Committee added: “We’ve known for a long time that direct response produced a significant volume of life insurance sales. Knowing that approximately one out of every five individual policies comes from a direct channel speaks to the great strides that our niche continues to make in today’s marketplace.”

LIMRA and LIDMA researchers estimate that over 2 million individual life insurance policies sold in 2008 were purchased through direct channels. In addition, direct response sales totaled $675 million in new premium in 2008 and total face value reached $233 billion.

The number of consumers who bought insurance online has doubled since 2006. Price, convenience and a good Web site were the top factors that influenced these consumers. With advances in technology, researchers anticipate that more consumers—especially younger generations—will use direct channels to buy life insurance in the next 5 to 10 years.

LIMRA Contacts:
Donna G. Sullivan, 860-285-7875, dsullivan@limra.com
Catherine Theroux, 860-285-7787, ctheroux@limra.com

LIDMA Contacts:
Gina Grantham, gina@lidma.org
Catherine Theroux, 860-285-7787, pat@lidma.org

About LIMRA

LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.

About LIDMA

The Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA) is a non-for-profit organization primarily dedicated to supporting businesses and professionals active in direct sales of life insurance products to consumers. Visit LIDMA at www.lidma.org.