To expand the market for annuities, insurers have to win over fee-based financial advisors.

Researchers at Cerulli Associates, Boston, have published that conclusion in a new review of the insurance market.

Annuity sales are likely to increase 39% by 2011, to $2.6 trillion, but insurers are having a hard time selling annuities to consumers who do not already own annuities, Cerulli researchers report.

One challenge, according to results of a Cerulli advisor survey, is that only 9% of fee-based advisors frequently recommend variable annuities to clients, compared with 26% of commission-based advisors, the researchers write.

Although annuities are designed to generate retirement income, 48% of fee-based advisors will not even consider using annuities for rollovers of assets held in individual retirement accounts and other qualified retirement plans, the researchers write.

Only 19% refuse to consider use of annuities for qualified rollovers, the researchers write.