WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 5, 2013 — Total third quarter individual life insurance new annualized premium remained level with the same period of 2012, according to LIMRA's third quarter 2013 individual life insurance sales survey.
In the first nine months of 2013, individual life insurance premium improved 4 percent.
"While every other product line experienced positive growth in the third quarter, universal life sales were hampered by sustained low interest rates, a volatile investment environment and increased reserve requirements introduced in 2013," said Ashley Durham, senior analyst, LIMRA Insurance Research. "We anticipate universal life sales to continue to decline through the fourth quarter."
Universal life (UL) new annualized premium fell 8 percent in the third quarter, resulting in a 1 percent increase year-to-date (YTD). A 31 percent drop in lifetime guarantee UL premium and a 98 percent plunge in term UL premium were the key drivers of the decline.
Indexed UL (IUL) premium increased 10 percent in the third quarter and 18 percent for the first three quarters of the year. IUL market share represented a record 35 percent of UL premium and 13 percent of total individual life insurance new annualized premium - its highest level.
Whole life (WL) new annualized premium rose 2 percent in the third quarter, which is weaker than recent quarters. However, it is the 17th consecutive quarter of positive growth. For the first three quarters of 2013, WL improved five percent, compared with prior year.
WL policy count was flat in the quarter, resulting in a two percent decline YTD.
Term new annualized premium grew five percent in the third quarter, improving four percent YTD. Like last quarter, most of the growth is due to companies discontinuing Term UL and reintroducing traditional term products and those with specific initiatives to increase term sales.
Term policy count was flat in the third quarter, compared with prior year, resulting in two percent growth for the first nine months of 2013.
Variable universal life (VUL) new annualized premium jumped 33 percent in the third quarter. YTD, VUL premium grew 19 percent. Policy count also improved, rising 16 percent for the quarter and 8 percent, YTD.
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