Insurers seemed to have an easier time increasing U.S. disability insurance sales in 2007 than they had growing group life sales.
The difference shows up 2007 market survey data collected by JHA, Portland, Maine, a research, consulting and reinsurance services unit of General Re Corp., Stamford, Conn.
New sales of group short-term disability insurance increased 10%, to $651 million, as new sales of group long-term disability jumped 18%, to $1.5 billion.
At individual disability insurers, new sales of non-cancellable coverage increased 6.2%, to $287 million, and new sales of guaranteed renewable coverage rose 8.7%, to $49 million.
Meanwhile, at group life operations, premiums from new sales held steady at about $2 billion.
Sales of voluntary, employee-paid group life fell 2%, the JHA researchers report.
The average premium per life rose just 1% in the voluntary group life market, to $193, and fell 3% in the basic life market, to $140.
JHA included 32 carriers in the group life survey, 27 in the group disability survey, and 15 in the individual DI survey.
“It was surprising to us that sales were so strong in disability and weak in group life,” says Stacy Varney, a vice president at JHA.
Although the group disability sales growth rates were higher, the overall individual DI sales growth rate was the highest recorded in about 5 years, Varney says.