Variable life insurance sales with single premiums included at 10% for the 38 companies reporting in the VALUE survey for the 3rd quarter of 2007 were $717.6 million, a 26.9% increase over 3rd quarter 2006 sales, but up only 0.6% over 2nd quarter 2007 sales, which were $713 million.

Year-to-date 3rd quarter 2007 sales are 18.4% higher than YTD 3rd quarter 2006 sales.

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

The market estimate for the 3rd quarter of 2007 with single premiums included at 10% is $770 million, while for the first 9 months of 2007 the market estimate is $2.21 billion.

Variable life sales with single premiums included at 100% for the companies in the VALUE survey for the 2nd quarter of 2007 were $729 million, a 0.4% increase over 2nd quarter 2007, which had sales of $725 million, and a 27.2% increase over 3rd quarter 2006 sales, which were $573 million.

The market estimate for the first 9 months of 2007 with single premiums included at 100% is $2.24 billion, up from $1.9 billion for the same period the year before.

For the first 9 months of 2007, the top 5 companies/fleets–John Hancock, Hartford Life, Pacific Life, RiverSource and Lincoln National–captured 55% of all variable life sales (including single premiums at 10%), while the top 10 companies/fleets garnered 78% of VL sales.

For the companies in the survey, the number of flexible-premium contracts issued during the first 9 months of 2007 decreased 9% from the number issued during the first 9 months of 2006. The average face amount increased 8% to $405,355.

The total premium for the 6 companies with single-premium products in the VALUE survey for the first 9 months of 2007 was $21 million, relatively stable when compared to the year before.

The number of single-premium contracts issued during the first 9 months of 2007 was 17% lower than the number issued during the first 9 months of 2006. The average face amount increased 9% to $135,453, while the average premium increased 24% to $64,634.

The total premium for second-to-die products issued during the first 9 months of 2007 by the companies in the survey was $250 million compared to $175 million in 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 2007 increased 15% over the same period the year before. The average face amount increased 2% to $2,387,808.

For the companies reporting sales by distribution channel for the first 9 months of 2007, career agents and independent broker-dealer firms dominated flexible-premium variable life sales, capturing 46% and 36% of the market, respectively.

Independent broker-dealer firms and career agents also dominated second-to-die variable life sales, capturing 39% and 35% of the market, respectively.

As of Sept. 30, 2007, total variable life assets for the companies reporting in VALUE were $133.4 billion, up 15% from $115.8 billion reported on Sept. 30, 2006. Of the total assets reported, 93% 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, 2007, approximately 80% of the variable life separate account assets were in stock funds; 9%, bond funds; 3%, money market funds; 6%, balanced funds; and 2%, specialty funds.

Fixed account interest rates on VL policies remained relatively stable. The average 1-year interest rate increased from 4.23% on June 30, 2007 to 4.27% on Sept. 30, 2007. The average renewal rate on Sept. 30, 2007 was 4.28%, the same as on June 30, 2007.

Leah Wolf is with Towers Perrin, of which Tillinghast is a business. She can be reached at .