Individual long term care (LTC) insurance sales rose 13% in the first half of this year, reversing a sales decline that had endured for most of the previous seven years, LIMRA reports.
Total individual LTC insurance dollar volume for the period was about $214 million, the association says.LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., also found an increase of 11% in lives covered by individual LTC insurance policy in the first half compared to the year before.But the growth for individual LTC insurance so far this year must be viewed in light of dismal sales last year, observes LIMRA.
In fact, sales for the product have been declining since 2002, except for a modest rise of 3% in 2007–and even then, total new lives covered were down 1% from 2006, LIMRA data shows.LIMRA gathered data for the report from 20 carriers, representing 95% of the individual LTC insurance market.For the top five carriers, new premium grew 26% in the first half. One carrier more than doubled new premium, LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., says.Of the top 10, seven reported growth, and four saw growth greater than 30%.Most of the remaining carriers continued to struggle for new sales, and nine saw sales drop at least 20%. One carrier, Allianz Life Insurance Company of America, dropped out of the individual LTC market altogether.
“After assessing the general marketplace and industry sales trends, Allianz Life decided to stop selling stand-alone long-term care insurance products as of November 13, 2009,” says a spokeswoman for Allianz Life, Golden Valley, Minn. “These products comprise less than .01% of our overall business. We will continue to service current policyholders, who are not affected by this decision.”
For the industry as a whole, the average premium for an individual LTC policy in the first half was $2,174 for the first year of coverage, up 2% over last year. For tax-qualified plans, first-year premiums averaged $2,180, while for non-qualified plans, premiums averaged $1,483.