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WINDSOR, Conn., Sept. 26, 2017 — U.S. Individual life insurance new annualized premium increased 4 percent for the first half of 2017, compared with the first six months of 2016. In the second quarter, new annualized premium increased 3 percent, according to the LIMRA U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.

“All major product lines experienced annualized premium growth during the first half of 2017,” said Ashley Durham, associate research director, LIMRA Insurance research. “While whole life led the way in terms of absolute dollar growth during the first half of the year, indexed universal life was the primary driver during the second quarter.”

In the second quarter, total policy count fell 4 percent; policy count dropped 3 percent in the first half of the year.

Universal life (UL) new annualized premium increased 2 percent in the second quarter.  In the first half of 2017, UL premium rose 4 percent.

Indexed UL (IUL) new annualized premium grew 8 percent in the second quarter, with almost half of IUL carriers reporting positive growth. Year-to-date, IUL premium rose 7 percent. IUL had the largest premium growth in second quarter.  It represented 56 percent of UL premium and 21 percent of all individual life insurance premium.   

After two quarters of increases, Lifetime Guarantee Universal Life (LTGUL) declined 11 percent in the second quarter. Just over half of LTGUL writers reported decreased sales in the second quarter. Year-to-date growth for LTGUL was only 1 percent.

LTGUL represents 20 percent of UL sales and 7 percent of total life premiums.

Variable universal life (VUL) new annualized premium increased 5 percent in the second quarter; and 1 percent year-to-date. After double-digit declines in 2016, VUL premium remain below 2015 levels.

VUL held a 5 percent market share of total individual life insurance in the first half of 2017.

Whole Life (WL) new annualized premium increased 2 percent in the second quarter. WL growth has slowed, compared to the growth seen in 2016. Year-to-date, WL rose 5 percent. Seven of the top 10 companies reported growth.

Year-to-date, WL premium represented 37 percent of the total life market, a market share level reached in 2016 when it became the highest in 20 years.

Term life insurance new premium grew 3 percent in the second quarter, compared with prior year. Seven of the top 10 companies reported growth. Term life market share was 21 percent in the first half of 2017. 

LIMRA’s Second Quarter 2017 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey represents approximately 80 percent of the U.S. individual life insurance annualized premium market.

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


LIMRA Contacts

Catherine Theroux, 860-285-7787,
Erica L. Iorillo, 860-285-7875,
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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 64 countries. Visit LIMRA at

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