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Variable Universal Life Sales Soar: LIMRA

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What You Need to Know

  • Sales of whole life policies were also strong.
  • Low interest rates hurt non-variable indexed universal life sales.

U.S. life insurers were busy writing new individual coverage in the first quarter, according to new insurer survey results from LIMRA.

The total number of policies sold increased 11% between the first quarter of 2020 and the latest quarter, and the total amount of annualized premiums associated with the policies rose 15%.

Partly because of life insurers’ new emphasis on selling products that are resistant to the effects of low interest rates, sales of variable universal life (VUL) insurance policies were especially strong.

VUL policies account for only about 10% of all U.S. individual life premiums, but annualized premiums from new VUL policy sales were 31% higher in the latest quarter than in the first quarter of 2020.

LIMRA is a Windsor, Connecticut-based life insurance research group. When it conducts the life sales surveys, it asks issuers about term life, whole life, variable universal life, indexed universal life and traditional fixed universal life.

The issuers surveyed account for about 80% of the U.S. individual life market.

Sales Trends

Here’s what happened to new annualized premiums from the sale of certain types of policies between the first quarter of 2020 and the latest quarter:

  • Variable Universal Life: Up 54%
  • Whole Life: Up 15%
  • Term Life: Up 7%
  • Fixed Universal Life: Down 11%

(Image: ESB Professional/Shutterstock)