Variable life insurance sales with single premiums included at 10% for the 38 companies reporting in the VALUE survey for the 1st quarter of 2007 were $641.7 million, a 9.8% increase from 1st quarter 2006 sales, which were $585 million.

Compared to 4th quarter 2006 sales of $660 million, 1st quarter sales were 2.8% lower.

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

The market estimate for the 1st quarter of 2007 with single premiums included at 10% is $685 million, up from $625 million the previous year.

Variable life sales with single premiums included at 100% for the companies in the VALUE survey for the 1st quarter of 2007 were $651.4 million, a 3.5% decrease from 4th quarter 2006, which had sales of $675 million, and a 9.7% increase over 1st quarter 2006 sales, which were $594 million.

The market estimate for the 1st quarter of 2007 with single premiums included at 100% is $705 million, up from $650 million the year before.

For the 1st quarter of 2007, the top 5 companies/fleets–John Hancock, Hartford Life, RiverSource, Pacific Life and Lincoln National–captured 53% of all variable life sales (including single premiums at 10%), while the top 10 companies/fleets garnered 77% of VL sales.

For the 1st quarter of 2007, New York Life ranked among the top 10 companies, displacing Minnesota Life.

For the companies in the survey, the number of flexible-premium contracts issued during the 1st quarter of 2007 decreased 15% from the number issued during the 1st quarter of 2006. The average face amount increased 21% to $447,262.

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 1st quarter of 2007 was $5.4 million, compared to $8.3 million the year before.

The number of single-premium contracts issued during the 1st quarter of 2007 was 46% lower than the number issued during the 1st quarter of 2006. The average face amount decreased 1% to $115,376, while the average premium increased 20% to $60,674.

The total premium for second-to-die products issued during the 1st quarter of 2007 for the companies in the survey was $81.8 million, compared to $61.4 million during the 1st quarter of 2006.

The number of second-to-die contracts (including single-premium and flexible-premium products) issued during the 1st quarter of 2007 increased 8% over the 1st quarter of 2006. The average face amount decreased 5% to $2,284,798.

For the companies reporting sales by distribution channel for the 1st quarter of 2007, career agents and independent broker-dealer firms dominated flexible-premium variable life sales, capturing 46% and 38% of the market, respectively.

Career agents and independent broker-dealer firms also dominated second-to-die variable life sales, each capturing 43% of the market.

As of March 31, 2007, total variable life assets for the companies reporting in VALUE were $124.3 billion, almost equal to the total reported on Dec. 31, 2006. 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 March 31, 2007, approximately 74% of the variable life separate account assets were in stock funds; 11%, bond funds; 4%, money market funds; 7%, balanced funds; and 4%, specialty funds.

Fixed account interest rates on VL policies are relatively stable. The average 1-year interest rate on March 31, 2007 was 4.24%, down from 4.25% on Dec. 31, 2006. The average renewal rate on March 31, 2007 increased slightly to 4.29% from 4.28% on Dec. 31, 2006.