WINDSOR, Conn., May 25, 2011 — Total individual life insurance new annualized premium increased eight percent and policy count rose two percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to first quarter of 2010, according to LIMRA’s Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.
“Nearly all product lines showed strong growth in the first three months of 2011,” said Ashley Durham, senior analyst, LIMRA product research. “Impressively, 65 percent of companies were able to increase their sales over first quarter of 2010 including 16 of the top 20.”
Universal life (UL) new annualized premium grew 14 percent quarter of 2011 and policy count jumped 18 percent, contributing heavily to the overall growth of individual life insurance.
Most UL product lines performed well:
- Current-assumption UL, providing the lowest-cost coverage without long-term secondary guarantees, increased 16 percent.
- Accumulation-focused products were 22 percent higher in the first quarter of 2011 than in the first quarter of 2010. This growth was heavily influenced by indexed UL products, which registered 61 percent growth over first quarter 2010.
- UL products featuring long-term secondary guarantees improved four percent. Sales, which have been affected by price increases and companies exiting the market, still represent about 45 percent of all UL annualized premium.
Whole life (WL) also continued to experience robust growth for the seventh consecutive quarter. WL new annualized premium leaped 15 percent and policy count increased nine percent. Three quarters of all WL writers were able to increase their premium.
The biggest premium increases reflected affiliated agent or career agent sales, particularly those working for the large mutual companies. Some of the biggest increases in policy count were the result of growth in the direct and worksite channels.
Variable universal life (VUL) new annualized premium was up 14 percent in the first quarter, primarily driven by small corporate COLI. VUL policy count fell by 11 percent.
Term life was the only product to experience a drop in premium sales during the first three months of the year. Term premium and policy count fell 11 percent.
View the latest data table on U.S. life insurance sales trends.
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