Variable universal life (VUL) insurance may account for only about 6% of new U.S. retail life insurance sales, but sales of that product continue to grow like a weed.
Insurers sold 8% more VUL policies in the first quarter than they sold in the first quarter of 2017, and annualized premiums from sales of new VUL policies increased 10%, according to new data from LIMRA.
The total value of the death benefits associated with those newly purchased VUL policies fell 1%. That drop helped increase the amount of revenue life insurers generated per $1,000 of coverage sold.
VUL was also hot in the fourth quarter of 2017: in the fourth quarter, annualized premium revenue from new VUL sales was 17% higher than in the year-earlier quarter.
The summary gives the changes in percentage terms. To get the underlying numbers, market watchers have to pay for access to LIMRA data.
The Market As a Whole
LIMRA says the number of U.S. individual life policies sold in the first quarter was 3% lower than in the first quarter of 2017. Annualized premium revenue from new individual life policies was down 2%.
Universal life (UL) accounts for 37% of U.S. individual life sales. The number of UL policies sold in the first quarter fell 13%, year-over-year. Total annualized premium revenue from the policies sold fell 3%.
Whole life accounts for 36% of U.S. individual life sales. The number of whole life policies sold fell 1%, year-over year, in the first quarter. Total annualized premium revenue from new whole life policies fell 3%.
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