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Whole, Universal Life Sales Continue to Grow in Q3

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Once again, sales in whole life and universal life drove success in life insurance sales. Third quarter sales increased slightly,according to LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales survey.

Whole life increased 6% in the third quarter, according to LIMRA, and grew 15% for the first nine months of 2010.

Ashley Durham, senior analyst for LIMRA product research, noted that whole life sales have slowed compared with the 15% and 23% increases seen in the first and second quarters. But, she said in a statement, "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, she added.

Universal life showed slight gains, increasing 8% over the third quarter of 2009, and premium increased 11% for the first nine months of 2010. Sales in indexed universal life are "stimulating" overall sales, LIMRA reports, increasing almost 45% for the third quarter and year-to-date.

Guaranteed universal sales fell 9%. However, total market share for universal life is at 41%, just below its 2007 peak, growth that LIMRA attributes to new term/UL products. Sales have fallen just 1% over the course of the year.

Variable universal life sales fell 6%, after increasing 2% last quarter. Sales for the first nine months of the year are up 2%.

Premium and policies for term life fell 16% on price increases and dropped product offerings, according to LIMRA.

Year to date, new premium for the first nine months is down 10% over 2009, and policy count fell 11%.


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