U.S. individual life insurance sales rose 7% in new annualized premium in 2006, compared to the year before, according to a survey by LIMRA International.

Total face amount sold in 2006 rose by 4% over 2005, while the total number of new policies sold declined by 1%, according to LIMRA, Windsor, Conn.

Of the 74 companies taking part in the survey, more than 60% increased their total life sales over 2005, and more than 40% showed double-digit increases. One-third of companies experienced declines, LIMRA reports.

Universal life and variable universal life sales each grew by 9%, while term life grew 5% for the year and whole life rose 2%.

Estimated industry premium market share of each product was 40% for UL, 14% for VUL, 1% for variable, 23% for term and 22% for whole life.

Survivorship policy sales ended the year 3% below 2005, a decline LIMRA attributed to continued uncertainty about the ultimate fate of the estate tax.