Equity Index Annuity Sales Hit Another Record Last Year
In 2001, equity index annuity sales hit another record year, according to just-out results from The Advantage Group, a St. Louis EIA tracking firm.
EIA sales totaled $6.4 billion for the year, up 20% from 2000, when they hit $5.37 billion, also a record.
The top sellers for 2001 were Allianz, Midland National, American Equity, AmerUS Group and Jackson National.
The 2001 results reflect the experience of 41 carriers (three with estimated results only, as they do not participate in the survey). The carriers participating in the survey represent 99% of total EIA sales, the survey firm estimates.
Sales momentum for EIAs accelerated throughout the year, says Jack Marrion, president of The Advantage Group. By the end of the fourth quarter, they hit a quarterly record of $2.02 billion. (See chart.)
“That represents a 27% gain over the previous quarter and a whopping 61% jump over the fourth quarter of 2000,” he says.
All this happened, even as the EIA market underwent some major shifts. For instance, eight insurers left the market, leaving a total of 37 players still active as of Jan. 1, 2002.
This is the lowest number of EIA providers since the spring of 1997, says Marrion. (By comparison, at year-end 2000, 45 EIA players were active in the business.)
Even though the number of EIA players decreased, Marrion says, the market actually increased in terms of number of EIAs available for sale.
By year-end 2001, 142 EIAs were on the market, he says. “Since several were available in different versions (depending on options selected), there were actually more products available for sale than just 142.”
By comparison, at year-end 2000, there were only 134 products on the market (more, if additional versions are counted, too).