By Linda Koco
In 2003, individual universal life insurance premiums soared 28% ahead of UL sales in 2002, according to annualized premium figures just out from LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn.
Also, UL market share for the year was 35%–up from 28% in 2002, and close to ULs market share peak of 38% in 1985.
That makes individual UL the main life sales growth story for 2003.
The figures come from LIMRAs year-to-date assessment of quarterly sales results. This represents approximately 75% of the industrys individual life sales, says Elaine Tumicki, corporate vice president-products research for LIMRA.
Whole life insurance showed some growth in 2003, too, says Tumicki, noting WL premiums were up 7% and WL market share was 27% in 2003. However, among the top 10 WL insurers, only 5 reported increased WL sales in 2003, she says. Thats down from 2002, when 9 reported WL sales increases.
Also, although WL sales did increase in both years, the 2003 increase of 7% was lower than in 2002, when WL sales rose 13%, she says.
As for other key life insurance lines:
Term life premiums were up only slightlyby 1%. Term insurers reported diverse results, says Tumicki. “Some were up by as much as 36%, and those showing better-than-average growth had the newer return-of-premium term products in their portfolios. Meanwhile, other term carriers reported declines as low as 22%.”
Variable universal life insurance and fixed variable life insurance, combined, showed a decrease in premiums of 33% in 2003, when compared to 2002.