WINDSOR, Conn., June 8, 2009 — For the second consecutive quarter, individual long-term care insurance (LTCI) premium experience double-digit declines, falling 34 percent in the first quarter, according to LIMRA’s Individual Long-Term Care Sales survey.
“Early indications suggest that individual LTCI sales have been hit harder by the recession than other insurance products,” said Karen Fisherkeller, LIMRA associate analyst, Group and LTC Product Research. “A difficult product to sell under the most favorable circumstances, the majority of the companies experienced declines 10 percent or greater, as consumers feeling the economic crunch, tighten their belts.”
Sales of new policies dropped 32 percent in the first quarter, totaling 48,438. This drop follows a 24 percent decline in fourth quarter of 2008.
In addition to fewer policies being sold, the average cost of coverage has declined in the first quarter of 2009. The average individual buyer in the first three months of 2009 is paying $2,129 during the first year of coverage, three percent less than the average first-year premium from the same period last year.
“The LTCI marketplace continues to face additional and sometimes chronic challenges, such things as rate increases, carrier exits, rating downgrades and prevailing consumer resistance to long term care planning in general,” said Fisherkeller. “Even when the economy starts to turn around, LTCI carriers will need to address these issues before the industry will see real, sustainable growth.”
A view of the annual individual long term care sales growth can be found in the updated Fact Tank.
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