Fixed indexed annuity sales in 2008 rose nearly 6.2% over 2007 results, according to preliminary statistics released by AnnuitySpecs.com, a data service of Advantage Group Associates, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa.

Total 2008 sales for the industry are projected at over $26.7 billion, the company says. The top 10 companies produced over $22 billion.

Table 1 shows that 3 of the top 5 carriers were among the gainers.

Aviva took the lead with total 2008 sales of over $7 billion, a 63.1% jump from its results for all of 2007. At 26.5%, the company also has the largest market share, according to the data.

American Equity produced sales of over $2.2 billion, a 7% increase over its total sales in 2007. The company’s 2008 market share was nearly 8.4%.

ING brought in over $1.4 billion in total 2008 sales, up nearly 9.5% over 2007. Its 2008 market share was 5.37%.

Allianz Life was the #2-ranked FIA seller with over $4.2 billion in 2008 sales, but its results were down 22% from 2007. Midland National Life produced over $1.6 billion, but these results were down by about 2.9% from 2007.

Table 2 shows 4th quarter 2008 sales results. Here, too, Aviva was the top seller, this time showing a 113.7% increase over 4Q 2007.

Two other of the top 5 carriers in 4Q 2008 also reported sales increases over 4Q 2007. These were: American Equity, up almost 1.3%, and ING, up 36.3%.

Table 3 gives a snapshot of the 10 top-selling FIA products in 4Q 2008. Nine of the top 10 policies were issued by 2008′s 3 FIA sales leaders. Aviva issued 4, Allianz Life issued 4, and American Equity issued 1. (ING, the 5th top seller, issued the other top 10 product.)

“The strong 2008 performance of the fixed index annuity industry proves there was a flight to quality going on as the equity markets became so volatile,” says Sheryl Moore, president of Advantage Group Associates, Inc. “In 2008, consumers clearly wanted the safety and guarantees of fixed index annuities, plus the upside potential the products offer. It was just a great quarter for this industry.”