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WINDSOR, Conn., July 21, 2016—Final expense life insurance sales increased 5 percent and policy count rose 4 percent in 2015 (compared with 2014 results), based on a survey by the Life Insurers Council, CSG Actuarial, Inc. and Competiscan.

“While some carriers have been very successful selling final expense life insurance directly to consumers, more than 80 percent of policies were sold through independent agents or independent marketing organizations (IMOs),” noted Jeffrey Shaw, executive director, Life Insurers Council, a subsidiary of LOMA. “We saw policies sold direct were most likely guaranteed issue contracts with limited initial death benefits and those sold through IMOs tended to be simplified issue contracts with full immediate death benefits.  Given the operational challenges involved with managing high-volume, low-premium simplified issue policies, we anticipate more carriers expanding their direct distribution channel.”

Thirty-one carriers participated in the 2015 survey but only 23 reported sales for both 2014 and 2015.  Of the reporting 2015 data, 60 percent of the policies sold were to women and 40 percent to men. The average age of purchase was 63 years old. There has been a gradual increase in average issue age over the past nine years (66.5 in 2012 to 66.8 in 2015). Researchers note that many companies have stopped selling to consumers 50 years old and younger, which could be contributing to the rise in average issue age.

Although there are a few companies that sell very high volumes of final expense business on a direct to consumer basis, 81 percent of the final expense premium sold in 2015 was through independent agents.  Affiliated agents sold 18 percent of the final expense premium in 2015.  The study found that agents selling final expense life insurance generally sell simplified issue policies with full death benefits.  Ninety-one percent of the premium sold in 2015 was simplified issue. Limited death benefit policies are offered to a small segment of their prospects that do not qualify for a full death benefit due to health reasons. This contrasts with direct selling companies that focus primarily on guaranteed issue contracts, which was only 6 percent of the premium collected.

To read the full report, contact Life Insurers Council members receive complimentary access to the report, and it is available for purchase by nonmembers.


About LOMA   

Established in 1924, with 1,200 plus member companies in over 80 countries, LOMA is committed to a business partnership with its world-wide members in the insurance and financial services industry to improve their management and operations through quality employee development, research, information sharing and related products and services. To find out more about LOMA and the learning opportunities it offers, visit

About Life Insurers Council 

The Life Insurers Council is a council of LOMA that provides networking and practical business solutions for small-to-midsize life insurance companies, improving performance through shared excellence. To learn more, visit

About CSG Actuarial 

CSG Actuarial is an actuarial consulting firm that specializes in the individual life and health insurance markets, offering online competitive intelligence tools for agents, agencies, and carriers.  More information can be found at

About Competiscan 

Competiscan provides competitive intelligence for life, health and property insurance carriers, enabling them to track their competitors while gauging the impact of their own communications.  To learn more, please visit (

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