Life insurance sales plummeted in the first quarter of 2009, the steepest quarterly drop since 1943, according to newly released data from LIMRA International.
Premium from individual life insurance sales declined 26 percent in the first quarter, variable life products faring the worst. Altogether, variable premium fell 61 percent.
“Historically, recessions have had little effect on individual life insurance sales; however, it appears the severity of this current economic downturn has impacted sales dramatically,” said Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA in a released statement.
Universal life (UL) sales were down 33 percent for the quarter–the third consecutive quarter of double-digit declines. A year ago, UL was the only product line showing strong growth and keeping overall individual life insurance sales afloat.