Issuers report little change in the U.S. individual disability market in 2016. (Photo: Thinkstock)

In theory, sellers of annuities and individual health insurance could have made up for upheaval in their markets by selling more individual disability in 2016.

In reality, that might not have happened very often.

Sales and premium revenue figures for the U.S. individual disability insurance market look about the same for 2016 as they looked for 2015, according to analysts in the Portland, Maine, office of Gen Re.

(Related: 4 Juicy Disability Insurance Awareness Market Segments)

Premium revenue from new sales fell 0.2%, to $368.5 million, the analysts report.

Premium revenue from in-force policies rose 1.6%, to about $5 billion.

The total number of policies in force held steady at 3.2 million.

Gen Re based those figures on a survey of 17 carriers.

Although the numbers were comparable for 2015 and 2016, the list of carriers changed.

MetLife Inc. ended sales of fully underwritten coverage Sept. 1, 2016, and Country Financial ended sales of all individual disability insurance Jan. 1. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and Berkshire, a unit of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, added products.

MetLife’s realign could help pep up the market this year, Gen Re says.

“Gen Re regards this as an opportunity for other carriers to fill the void and grow their business,” the firm says.

— Read Micro Group Life Sales Might Be Sizzling on ThinkAdvisor.