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Individual disability: What happened?

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Players in the U.S. individual disability insurance market had a slightly chilly but calm year in 2014.

The total number of individual disability policies of all kinds fell 0.7 percent, but the total amount of in-force premium increased 1.7 percent, to $4.8 billion.

Premiums from new sales increased about 1 percent, to $384 million.

And insurers, distributors and customers did all of this without the courtroom, regulatory and operational soap operas that were going on in the major medical market.

Analysts at Gen Re, a reinsurance and risk-management firm, have published the data in a summary of results from their latest individual disability market survey. Eighteen carriers participated.

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The individual disability is really made up of several sub-markets, including the non-cancelable market, for policies written in such a way that the insurer cannot cancel the policy, change the benefits or change the premium; the guaranteed renewable market, for policies that must be renewed but can be repriced; and the guaranteed standard issue market, for individual policies written on a guaranteed-issue basis for groups of employees at an employer that meets minimum participation requirements.

For a look at some of what the Gen Re analysts are reporting about each sub-market, read on. 

A hand filling ouit a form

1. Non-cancelable

The number of non-can policies in-force fell 1.2 percent, to 2.4 million, and the number of new non-can policies insurers sold was flat, increasing by only about 800.

But non-can in-force premium revenue increased 1.4 percent, to $4.1 billion.

See also: Signs Of Life In Non-Can DI Mkt.

Correction: An earlier version of this article described non-can policy sales results incorrectly. The number sold increased by 800.

A hand making a payment

2. Guaranteed renewable 

In the guaranteed renewable market, new sales increased 8.2 percent, to 5,700.

The number of policies in force rose 1.2 percent, to 709,300, and in-force premium revenue rose 4.1 percent, to about $594 million.

Policyholders in medical occupations accounted for about 25 percent of new guaranteed renewable sales premium.

See also: Provident L&A Introduces Guaranteed Renewable DI 

Corporate meeting

3. Guaranteed standard issue

The guaranteed standard issue market includes both non-can policies and some guaranteed renewable policies.

Sales fell 5 percent, to $51 million, but in-force premium revenue increased 9 percent, to $318 million. The number of guaranteed standard issue policies in force increased 3.9 percent, to about 222,600.

See also: Disability Insurance: Top niche markets

Correction: The in-force premium revenue figure was given incorrectly in the original version of this article. Revenue was $318 million.