Total individual life insurance grew four percent in new annualized premium in 2011, resulting in the second consecutive year of growth. In the fourth quarter, life insurance premium rose two percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.
“For the second year in a row, strong whole life sales propelled overall individual life insurance sales growth,” said Ashley Durham, senior analyst, LIMRA Product Research. “With the economy continuing to struggle, consumers are attracted to the premium and cash-value guarantees along with lifetime coverage, which whole life offers.”
Overall in 2011, companies issued two percent more individual life policies than they had in 2010. This is only the fourth time policy sales have increased in the past 30 years. In the fourth quarter, total policy count inched up one percent.
Whole life (WL) continues to flourish in the current economic conditions. For the year, WL premium increased nine percent over 2010. This is the sixth consecutive year of positive growth. In the fourth quarter, WL premium improved five percent, compared to prior year. WL policy count increased five percent in 2011.
Variable universal life (VUL) experienced a bit of resurgence in 2011. VUL was the second biggest driver of total individual life insurance premium growth in 2011. VUL climbed 22 percent in 2011, spurred on by a 36 percent jump in the fourth quarter. However, the number of VUL policies sold dropped nine percent in 2011. VUL policy count hasn’t increased in 29 quarters.