Sales of universal life (UL) insurance increased 8% in the third quarter, and sales of whole life rose 6%.

LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., has based those results on a summary of results from a survey of insurers in the U.S. individual life market.

Dollar values were not available, but LIMRA says the total face amount of UL policies sold was 32% higher than in the third quarter of 2009, and the number of UL policies was 23% higher.

Variable universal life sales fell 6%, and term life sales were down 16%.

For the first 3 quarters of the year, whole life sales are up 15% from the total for the comparable period in 2009.

Term life sales is the only major life product seeing a decline, year-to-date. For term life, year-to-date sales have dropped 10%.

“Whole life sales growth has slowed compared with the 15% and 23% increases seen in the first few quarters of the year,” says Ashley Durham, a senior analyst at LIMRA. “However, it’s important to remember that third quarter 2010 is being compared with the time when the double-digit increases began. As of the end of September, whole life represented 30% of overall annualized premium sales.”