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Life insurers were a little more likely to hold on to existing group term life business in 2018, but they were noticeably less likely to make new group term life sales.

Analysts at Gen Re have reported data supporting those conclusions in a summary of results from a survey of 25 U.S. group term life issuers.

(Related: How Likely the Government Thinks You Are to Die This Year)

The analysts found that the total number of workers with group term life from the participating issuers increased 3%. Total in-force premiums rose 5%, to $25 billion.

The number of new group term lives covered fell 7%. The amount of premiums associated with the newly covered lives fell 5%, to $2.5 billion.

Gen Re did not give the number of in-force lives covered or the number of newly covered lives.

Gen Re is a reinsurer and consulting firm. It uses data from its annual group life issuer survey program to run its reinsurance business and to help life insurers, employers, benefits advisors and others interested in the group life market understand market trends.

Reasons

Gen Re analysts said group term life issuers are facing a tough competitive landscape and changes in technology and strategy. The analysts also suggested that issuers may be having a hard time matching the strong sales results they posted for 2017.

Averages

The average death benefit for workers covered by group term life plans already in force increased 2%, to $91,272, and the average premium per life increased 2%, to $228.

For newly covered lives, the average death benefit increased 5%, to $96,998, and the average premium per life increased 2%, to $197.

Resources

A copy of the Gen Re group life market report is available here.

— Read Group Life Plans Are Protecting More Workers: Gen Reon ThinkAdvisor.

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