Whole life increased 6% in the third quarter, according to LIMRA, and grew 15% for the first nine months of 2010.
Ashley Durham, senior analyst for LIMRA product research, noted that whole life sales have slowed compared with the 15% and 23% increases seen in the first and second quarters. But, she said in a statement, "it’s important to remember that third quarter 2010 is being compared with the time when the double-digit increases began."
As of the end of September, whole life represented 30% of overall annualized premium sales, she added.
Universal life showed slight gains, increasing 8% over the third quarter of 2009, and premium increased 11% for the first nine months of 2010. Sales in indexed universal life are "stimulating" overall sales, LIMRA reports, increasing almost 45% for the third quarter and year-to-date.
Guaranteed universal sales fell 9%. However, total market share for universal life is at 41%, just below its 2007 peak, growth that LIMRA attributes to new term/UL products. Sales have fallen just 1% over the course of the year.
Variable universal life sales fell 6%, after increasing 2% last quarter. Sales for the first nine months of the year are up 2%.
Premium and policies for term life fell 16% on price increases and dropped product offerings, according to LIMRA.
Year to date, new premium for the first nine months is down 10% over 2009, and policy count fell 11%.