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The state of UL

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Individual whole life new annualized premium increased six percent in the second quarter, according to LIMRA’s Second Quarter 2014 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales report.

The increase, the LIMRA research reveals, boosted premium revenue for all individual life insurance products by one percent in the second quarter. For the first six months of 2014, however, total individual new annualized premium dropped four percent, compared with the same period in 2013. 

“Holding 34 percent of the market, whole life’s rebound from a weak first quarter fueled the positive second quarter results for overall individual life premium,” says Benjamin Baldwin, associate analyst, LIMRA Insurance Research. “Over the past six years, whole life has demonstrated strong, consistent growth, which has buoyed overall insurance sales.”

The individual life insurance policy count improved four percent in the second quarter, which is the first positive quarterly growth in policy count for six quarters. Year-to-date, policy count is three percent lower than prior year, LIMRA finds.

Universal life (UL) new annualized premium fell eight percent in the second quarter and 13 percent after the first half of the year. A 33 percent decline in guaranteed UL in the second quarter contributed substantially to the overall performance of UL in the second quarter. 

UL market share was 36 percent of total life sales at the end of the second quarter.

Indexed universal life (IUL) premium improved 14 percent in the second quarter, resulting in a 13 percent increase in the first half of 2014.  Almost three-fourths of IUL carriers reported increased sales compared with the first half of 2013.   IUL represented 42 percent of total UL premium, and 17 percent of overall individual life premium in the second quarter.

Variable universal life (VUL) sales rose 30 percent in the second quarter, growing 23 percent year-to-date.   This is the seventh consecutive quarter of positive growth for VUL. Through half of 2014, all of the top 10 carriers have experienced positive growth.  VUL represents seven percent of total life insurance sales.

Term life insurance premium was flat in the second quarter, resulting in a three percent decline year-to-date. Term market share remained steady at 23 percent in the second quarter.



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