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WINDSOR, Conn., Aug, 25, 2010 For the second consecutive quarter, individual life insurance sales improved. In the second quarter 2010, total individual life insurance new annualized premium grew seven percent, resulting in a nine percent increase for the first six months of 2010, according to LIMRA's U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales survey.

"Posting a nine percent increase, the results from the first six months of 2010 are encouraging for individual life insurance sales," said Ashley Durham, senior analyst, LIMRA product research. "Keep in mind — that's compared to the first half of 2009, which experienced the steepest six month drop in individual life insurance sales in almost 70 years. Still, things appear to be looking up. In fact, 80 percent of the top twenty companies were up and nearly half of all companies experienced double-digit growth during the first half of this year."

Whole life (WL) continues to perform extremely well, up 23 percent in the second quarter. That's the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for WL and brings WL's market share to 31 percent of the total sales — the highest share since 1998. Year-to-date, WL has increased 19 percent compared to the first half of 2009.

Universal life (UL) also continued to show gains, with premium up 11 percent in the second quarter as compared to second quarter 2009. But again, UL sales were down by almost 30 percent in the second quarter of 2009. For the first six months of 2010, UL sales are up 13 percent.

Death benefit guarantee products continue to do well. In the first half of 2010, UL with guarantees were up five percent and continued to represent about half of UL annualized premium.

Non- guaranteed UL sales were up 26 percent over first half of 2009. Most of this increase is attributed to indexed UL sales, which jumped almost 40 percent for the quarter, and 45 percent for the first six months of 2010. It is the growth of indexed UL that has been the emerging trend in 2010 that is helping UL sales regain momentum.

Variable universal life insurance (VUL) premium grew two percent for the second quarter, resulting in a six percent rise for the first half of the year. This time last year, VUL premium had tumbled 55 percent.

The one product whose premium didn't grow this quarter was term life insurance. New annualized premium for term dropped 11 percent for the quarter; down seven percent year-to-date. We have not seen term show a drop in sales of this magnitude since 2001.

Term policy sales fell even further, down 11 percent for the quarter and eight percent in the first six months of 2010. However, the drops were offset by improved UL and WL policy sales. UL policy count rose 22 percent for the quarter and 21 percent in the first half of 2010. Whole life increased eight percent in the second quarter and four percent year-to-date. Overall policy count improved one percent for the quarter and for the first six months of 2010.

View the latest data table on U.S. life insurance sales trends. For more statistics, visit the newly updated Fact Tank.

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.

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