U.S. consumers bought fewer individual life insurance policies in the first quarter, but they paid more for the policies they did buy.
LIMRA says total annualized premiums from new life policy sales were 5% higher during the latest quarter than in the first quarter of 2016, while the number of policies sold fell 2%.
(Related: Life Insurance Premium Increased 3% in 2016)
The average premium per policy increased about 7% year over year.
The total amount of death benefits purchased increased 3%.
LIMRA, nonprofit insurance market research center, bases its quarterly life sales reports on a quarterly survey. It does not put the underlying dollar value of the sales in the summaries it gives to the public.
LIMRA does break out separate sales change figures for four different types of individual life insurance. Here's a look at how new annualized premiums changed for each type:
Variable universal life: -3%
Term life: +2%
Universal life: +6%
Whole life: 7%
Another nonprofit industry group, MIB Group Inc., helps life insurers verify the accuracy of life insurance applications. That group recently reported, based on application-checking volume, that it saw a 4.5% drop in application activity in the first quarter.
--- Read LIMRA: Individual Life Insurance Premium Increases in Q1 2016 on ThinkAdvisor.