What You Need to Know
- In-person meetings with agents and brokers drove permanent life sales higher.
- VUL buyers were hungrier for accumulation-oriented policies than in protection-oriented policies.
- Sales growth for term life and fixed universal life was up slightly.
A lull in the COVID-19 pandemic helped U.S. life insurers increase sales of individual life coverage in the second quarter.
Total annualized premium revenue from new retail sales was 21% higher in the second quarter than in the second quarter of 2020, according to new insurer survey results from LIMRA.
The total number of policies sold increased 7% between the second quarter of 2020 and the latest quarter, and the total face amount of the coverage sold rose 7%.
The second-quarter numbers are the best quarterly figures LIMRA has recorded for the individual life market since 1987.
Consumers were especially eager to buy variable universal life (VUL) insurance — a product that can help the holder accumulate assets inside a permanent life insurance wrapper.
VUL policies account for only 10% of premiums from new U.S. individual life sales, but, in the second quarter, annualized premiums from new VUL policy sales were up 69%, year-over-year.
Consumers often need help from an agent or broker to buy permanent life insurance, including VUL policies and whole life policies. A pandemic-related shift away from in-person meetings hurt sales of permanent life products in the second quarter of 2020. The availability of COVID-19 vaccines and a drop in new COVID-19 cases helped bring back in-person meetings and revive sales of permanent life products.