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LIMRA: Life combo products hit record high again

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Individual life combination premium grew 12 percent in 2013 — the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth — according to LIMRA’s “2014 Individual Life Combination Products Annual Review.”

Total new premium for life combination products reached $2.6 billion in 2013, representing 13 percent of total individual life insurance new premium. Approximately 98,000 life combination policies were sold in 2013, an increase of 18 percent compared with 2012 results. 

“Sales of life combination products continue to grow at a remarkable rate in 2013, driven by three new carriers entering the market and several existing companies refining their products over the past 12 months,” says Catherine Ho, LIMRA product actuary. “These products clearly appeal to consumers who want a policy that provides flexible benefits and can address several of the financial risks consumers face as they grow older.” 

All life combination product lines experienced growth in 2013. Whole life (WL) combination premium rose 16 percent, universal life (UL) combination premium improved nine percent, and variable combination premium grew 124 percent. UL combination products make up the majority of combination product sales. 

UL premium represents 83 percent of the total market. WL products hold 14 percent market share and variable products hold 3 percent market share measured by premium. 

“While variable combination products experienced significant growth in 2013, it comprises a small part of the overall market,” notes Ho. “UL products continue to dominate this market.”

Whole life combination policy count jumped 62 percent; UL policy count rose 10 percent; variable policy count improved 50 percent.  

Linked benefit products, which are mostly single premium and all-in-one packaged products, dropped 13 percent in policy count and held 25 percent of the market in 2013. Acceleration policies, which provide long term care benefits up to the amount of the life death benefit and are more commonly riders that can be attached to many of the products in a carrier’s life product portfolio, grew 18 percent, capturing 75 percent of market share (by policy count).

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