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WINDSOR, Conn., Aug 28, 2012 — Total individual life insurance new annualized premium grew four percent in the second quarter of 2012, resulting in three percent growth for the first half of the year.

After five consecutive quarters of growth, policy count was flat for the second quarter. Year-to-date, policy count remains up three percent.

"The biggest driver behind premium growth was indexed universal life, soaring 37 percent in the second quarter," noted Ashley Durham, senior research analyst LIMRA product research. "Indexed universal life continues to attract consumers who are interested in the opportunity for cash value growth potential while protecting their principal, which this product provides."

During the first half of 2012, indexed universal life (IUL) was up 29 percent, representing just over 25 percent of all universal life (UL) sales.

Total UL new annualized premium grew six percent in the second quarter, and three percent in the first six months of 2012. UL policy count grew one percent in the second quarter — the 13th consecutive quarter of policy count growth. For the first six months of 2012, UL policy count grew three percent.

Lifetime guarantee (LTG) UL premium dropped eight percent, dampening overall UL sales. While LTG products represent the highest share of new UL premium (about 35 percent), IUL are narrowing the gap. In 2009, there was a 40 percentage-point gap between LTG UL and IUL; today, the gap has closed to just 10 percentage points.

Whole life (WL) was the second biggest driver of growth. WL premium rose nine percent for the second quarter and nine percent year-to-date. Nearly three-quarters of WL writers recorded positive growth. Policy count improved three percent in the quarter; up five percent in the first half of 12.

WL premium market share was 33 percent in the second quarter. This represents the highest WL market share since 1998.

Variable UL premium dropped six percent in the second quarter; down seven percent in the first six months. Fewer than one-quarter of the VUL writers were able to increase their sales over the first half of 2011.

After positive growth in first quarter, term premium growth slipped three percent in the second quarter, a one percent decline during the first six months of 2012. According to LIMRA's sales survey, just over half of the term manufacturers increased sales during the first six months of 2012. Term policy count was down three percent during the second quarter; flat year-to-date.

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

LIMRA Contact:

Catherine Theroux, (860) 285-7787,


LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization, is the trusted source of industry knowledge, helping more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at

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