Total new annualized premium revenue from individual life insurance sales dropped just 5% in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to LIMRA.
The fourth quarter was a big improvement over the rest of 2009. New annualized premium revenue from individual life sales was 26% lower in the first quarter of 2009 than in the first quarter of 2008, 21% lower in the second quarter, and 16% lower for the entire year, according to LIMRA, Windsor, Conn.
“We are encouraged that all product sales are showing signs of recovery,” says Ashley Durham, LIMRA senior analyst for product research.
For universal life, for example, overall sales were 20% lower in 2009 than in 2008. But the sales decline narrowed to 3% in the fourth quarter, from 30% in the first and second quarters and 15% in the third.
Sales of universal life products with guaranteed death benefits fell by about 11% in 2009; sales of UL products without death benefit guarantees fell 26%. As a result of that difference, the GDBUL market share of UL sales increased to 53 %, from 48% percent in 2008, LIMRA reports.
Although premiums from new UL sales declined, the number of UL policies sold was 5% higher in 2009 than in 2008, LIMRA found.