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Life Health > Life Insurance

3Q 2005 Variable Life Sales Held Their Ground

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Variable life sales with single premiums included at 10% for the 42 companies reporting in the VALUE survey for third quarter 2005 were $626 million. This is a 0.2% decrease from second quarter 2005 sales, which were $627 million, but a 1.7% increase over third quarter 2004 sales, which totaled $615 million.

Year-to-date third quarter 2005 sales at $1.867 billion were 5% lower than nine-month sales in 2004, which totaled $1.973 billion.

(Sales include first-year annualized premium, drop-in premiums and 10% of single premiums.)

The market estimate for the first nine months of 2005 with single premiums included at 10% is $1.965 billion.

VL sales with single premiums included at 100% for the 42 companies in the VALUE survey for third quarter 2005 were $633 million. This is a 0.9% decrease from second quarter 2005 sales, which were $639 million, and a 0.8% increase over third quarter 2004 sales, which amounted to $628 million.

The market estimate for the first nine months of 2005 with single premiums included at 100% is $2 billion.

For the first nine months of 2005, the top five companies/fleets–IDS, Hartford Life, Pacific Life, MetLife and John Hancock–captured 44% of all variable life sales (including single premiums at 10%), while the top 10 companies/fleets garnered 69% of VL sales.

For the companies in the survey, the number of flexible-premium contracts issued during the first nine months of 2005 decreased 13% over the number issued during the first nine months of 2004. The average face amount increased 7% to $353,718.

The total premium for second-to-die products issued during the first nine months of 2005 for the companies in the survey was $160 million, compared to $225 million during the first nine months of 2004.

The number of second-to-die contracts (including single-premium and flexible-premium products) issued during the first nine months of 2005 increased 1% over the number issued in the first nine months of 2004. The average face amount decreased 13% to $1,985,518.

For the companies reporting sales by distribution channel for the first nine months of 2005, career agents and independent broker-dealer firms dominated flexible-premium variable life sales, capturing 56% and 35% of the market, respectively.

Career agents also dominated single-premium variable life sales in the first nine months of 2005, capturing 52% of the market. Independent broker-dealer firms and regional firms captured 24% and 21% of the market, respectively, while wirehouses had 2%.

As of Sept. 30, 2005, total variable life assets for the companies reporting in VALUE were $107.9 billion, up 10% from $98.5 billion on Sept. 30, 2004. Of the total assets reported, 91% were held in a separate account.

VALUE classes funds into the following categories: growth, aggressive growth, growth and income, international stock, government bond, corporate bond, high-yield bond, international bond, money market, balanced and specialty (e.g., gold, real estate).

As of Sept. 30, 2005, approximately 79% of the variable life separate account assets were in stock funds; 9%, bond funds; 6%, balanced funds; 4%, money market funds; and 2%, specialty funds.

Fixed account interest rates on VL policies continue to decrease. The average one-year interest rate on Sept. 30, 2005, was 4.19%, down from 4.26% on June 30, 2005. The average renewal rate on Sept. 30, 2005, decreased to 4.25% from 4.66% on June 30, 2005.


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