By Geraldine Murtagh
Although variable life experienced a 23% upturn in sales in 4th quarter 2003 compared to the 3rd quarter, consistent with the seasonality trend that life insurance sales typically exhibit, full-year 2003 sales were down 36% compared to 2002.
VL sales with single premiums included at 10% for the 48 companies reporting in Tillinghasts VALUE survey for 4th quarter 2003 were $697 million, with full-year sales of $2.46 billion.
(Sales include first-year annualized premium, drop-in premiums and 10% of single premiums.)
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Fourth quarter 2003 sales were almost 14% lower than in 4th quarter 2002. The market estimate for 2003 with single premiums included at 10% is $2.575 billion.
VL sales with single premiums included at 100% for the 48 companies in the VALUE survey for 4th quarter 2003 were $715 million with full-year sales at $2.5 billion. This is a 15% decrease from 4th quarter 2002, which had sales of $842 million, and almost a 22% increase over 3rd quarter 2003 sales, which were $587 million.
The market estimate for 2003 with single premiums included at 100% is $2.6 billion.
For 2002, the top 5 companies/fleets–Hartford Life, Pacific Life, IDS, Nationwide and Equitable–captured 37% of all VL sales (including single premiums at 10%), while the top 10 companies/fleets garnered 61% of VL sales. For 2003, IDS ranked among the top 5, displacing MetLife, which ranked among the top 5 for 2002.
For the companies in the survey, the number of flexible-premium contracts issued during 2003 decreased 29% from the number issued during 2002. The average face amount increased 4% to $309,383, while the percentage of premium allocated to the general account remained at 7%.
The total premium for single-premium products for the 9 companies in VALUE for 2003 was $58 million, compared to $129 million for 2002.