After flat results in 2003, there are signs that the good times might be rolling again.
Transfers to separate accounts grew a handsome 19% for the top 50 life insurers, according to data provided from the NAIC annual database as compiled by National Underwriter Insurance Data Services/Highline Data.
Total transfers to separate accounts reached $161.8 billion in 2004 compared with $135.6 billion in 2003. The total in 2003 was little changed from 2002′s $134.9 billion.
Both 2003 and 2004 saw improvements in the stock market which could have affected transfers to separate accounts, explains Julie Burke, a managing director with Fitch Ratings, Chicago. The improvements in the market compare with 2001 and 2002, which were not good years, she adds.
In 2004, 23 of the top 50 witnessed a 20%+ increase in transfers to separate accounts, while 6 companies experienced a 10%-20% increase and 8 companies, an increase of 0-9%. Thirteen companies posted a decline in 2004 over 2003.
In 2003, 16 had a 20%+ increase; 1 company, a 10%-20% increase; and 8 companies, an increase of 0-9%. Twenty-five companies experienced a decline in 2003 over 2002.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, was among the companies posting large year-over-year increases in both 2004 and 2003. Respective increases for those years were 77% and 87%.
Starting in 1999, Allianz Life refocused its efforts on the variable life business, says Ed Oberholtzer, an Allianz Life senior vice president and national sales manager.