New York Life Insurance Company, New York, today announced U.S. life insurance sales were up 14% last year.

The company also says it added more than 3,600 agents in 2009.

Most of the growth came from increased sales of both permanent insurance and term products, according to the company. Sales by the insurer’s 11,800 licensed agents increased 16%.

Other 2009 life insurance highlights reported by the company include:

–Conversions of term policies to permanent policies were up 39% over 2008.

–Borrowing from permanent policies increased 30%.

–Cash additions to existing policies and new single-premium policies were up 50%.

–More than 52% of agents recruited in 2009 were women or minorities or both, the company said. The number of women hired represented 28% of all agents hired, while 38% of new agents included agents working in the African-American, Asian-Indian, Chinese, Hispanic, Korean and Vietnamese markets.