Annualized premiums from sales of individual universal life insurance were 23% higher in the third quarter than they were in the third quarter of 2006, and sales of individual variable universal life were 55% higher.

Researchers at LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn., have reported those findings in a summary of results from the research consortium’s third-quarter U.S. individual life sales survey.

Although the total number of individual life policies sold fell 2% between the third quarter of 2006 and the latest quarter, total annualized premium volume increased 20%, LIMRA says.

The face value of the coverage purchased increased 7%.

Corporate-owned life insurance involving cases with 200 or fewer lives and private-placement sales “made a significant impact this quarter,” says Ashley Durham, a LIMRA analyst.

Efforts to sell through new distribution channels, such as wholesalers, also affected results, Durham says.

Universal life accounted for about 40% of premiums from new sales, while term accounted for 23% and variable universal life accounted for 15%, LIMRA says.