LIMRA: Individual Life Insurance Sales Improve in First Quarter

Whole life and VUL sales up, term turns negative

Whole life insurance, the only product to show positive growth in 2009, experienced the next biggest increase in the first quarter of 2010, jumping 15%, according to LIMRA. It has not shown growth at this level since fourth quarter 2002, the organization notes. While just over half of the writers were up, the majority of the increase reflected big mutual companies.

Variable universal life also increased in the first quarter, up 10% from a year ago. However, LIMRA reports VUL sales were cut by more than half this time last year. Still, there are some signs of hope: nearly 40% of the writers were up, including six of the top 10 companies.

Term was the only product with negative sales results in the first quarter 2010. New annualized premium was down 4%, and policies fell by 5% as less than half of the writers were able to increase their sales this quarter. Companies experiencing declines cited price increases on longer duration term and return of premium term products as a result of increased reserve requirements.

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