Total individual life insurance premium grew 3% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the prior year, according to a new report.
LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., published this finding in a summary of results from a survey of U.S. life insurance sales trends. The report reveals that overall policy count rose 5% in the first quarter of 2012.
“The biggest driver behind both total premium and policy count growth continues to be whole life,” says Ashley Durham, senior analyst, LIMRA product research. “We saw growth in whole life sales across the industry, including three quarters of our survey’s participants, and all but one of the dominant top twenty.
“[Whole life] remains very attractive to consumers looking for security of premium and cash-value guarantees along with lifetime coverage,” adds Durham.
In the first quarter, whole life premium increased 10%. Whole life policy count improved 6%. Half of all the individual life insurance policies issued in the first quarter were whole life products, the report says.
Measuring annualized premium, whole life market share reached 32% in the first quarter — just seven percentage points lower than universal life (UL), which has held the lion’s share of premium sales since 2003. (At its peak in 2007, UL market share was 20 percentage points higher than whole life.)
Total UL premium was flat in the first quarter, the survey reveals. Policy count grew 5%, representing the 12th consecutive quarter of growth in policy count for UL.