Variable life insurance sales with single premiums included at 10% for the 40 companies reporting in the VALUE survey for the third quarter of 2006 were $566 million, a 4.6% decrease from 2nd quarter 2006 sales of $593 million, and a 5.3% decrease from 3rd quarter 2005 sales, which were $598 million.

Year-to-date 3rd quarter 2006 sales at $1.744 billion were 2.3% lower than year-to-date 3rd quarter 2005 sales of $1.785 billion.

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

The market estimate for the first 9 months of 2006 with single premiums included at 10% is $1.875 billion, down from $1.955 billion for the comparable period the previous year.

Variable life sales with single premiums included at 100% for the 40 companies in the VALUE survey for the 3rd quarter of 2006 were $573 million, a 4.9% decrease from 2nd quarter 2006, which had sales of $603 million, and a 5.3% decrease from 3rd quarter 2005 sales, which were $606 million.

The market estimate for the first 9 months of 2006 with single premiums included at 100% is $1.935 billion, down from $2.005 billion in the comparable period the year before.

For the first 9 months of 2006, the top 5 companies/fleets–IDS, Hartford Life, John Hancock, Pacific Life and MetLife–captured 48% of all variable life sales (including single premiums at 10%), while the top 10 companies/fleets garnered 74% of VL sales.

For the companies in the survey, the number of flexible-premium contracts issued during the first 9 months of 2006 decreased 15% from the number issued during the comparable period in 2005. The average face amount increased 6% to $374,498.

The single-premium VL market continues to suffer. The total premium for single-premium products for the 7 companies in the VALUE survey for the first 9 months of 2006 was $21 million, compared to $26 million for the same period the year before.

The number of single-premium contracts issued during the first 9 months of 2006 was 19% lower than the number issued during the first 9 months of 2005. The average face amount remained relatively stable at around $123,000, while the average premium decreased 1% to $52,020.

The total premium for second-to-die products issued during the first 9 months of 2006 for the companies in the survey was $175 million, compared to $160 million during the same period the year before.

The number of second-to-die contracts (including single-premium and flexible-premium products) issued during the first 9 months of 2006 fell 11% from the same period of 2005. The average face amount increased 17% to $2,332,703.

For the companies reporting sales by distribution channel for the first 9 months of 2006, career agents and independent broker-dealer firms dominated flexible-premium variable life sales, capturing 54% and 34% of the market, respectively.

Career agents dominated single-premium VL sales during the same period, capturing 60% of the market. Regional firms and independent broker-dealer firms garnered 21% and 14% of the market, respectively, while banks had 5%.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, total variable life assets for the companies reporting in VALUE were $115.8 billion, up 7% from $107.9 billion on Sept. 30, 2005. Of the total assets reported, 92% 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, 2006, approximately 79% of the variable life separate account assets were in stock funds; 8%, bond funds; 3%, money market funds; 7%, balanced funds; and 3%, specialty funds.

Fixed account interest rates on VL policies remained virtually unchanged since June 30, 2006. The average 1-year interest rate on Sept. 30, 2006, was 4.2%, and the average renewal rate was 4.23%. These rates are almost the same as the rates on June 30, 2006.