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Wink Sees Mixed Q3 Life Sales Results

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What You Need to Know

  • Indexed life products flourished.
  • Whole life products sold a little better than in the third quarter of 2020.
  • Fixed universal life policies sold poorly.

A combination of low interest rates, inflation worries and a new, intense COVID-19 surge put U.S. life insurance prospects in a thoughtful mood in the third quarter.

Wink, a Des Moines, Iowa-based life and annuity market tracking company, says the life insurers that participated in its voluntary individual life issuer survey program reported mixed results for the quarter.

Indexed life products that give the purchasers a chance to increase policy growth if investment markets do well and that give the issuers some flexibility when investment markets do poorly flourished.

Whole life products, which provide maximum stability for the policyholders and the issuers, sold a little better than in the third quarter of 2020.

Fixed universal life policies, which give policyholders no chance to benefit from rising interest rates, and issuers less premium flow stability than whole life and more exposure to investment risk than either whole life or indexed life, sold poorly.

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The Details

Here’s how the Wink life numbers looked in the third quarter and how those numbers have changed since the third quarter of 2020:

  • Whole Life: $1.1 billion (up 3.9%)
  • Indexed Life: $609 million (up 21%)
  • Fixed Universal Life: $115 million (down 5.3%)

What Sheryl Moore Is Seeing

Sheryl Moore, Wink’s founder, said in a letter announcing the results that 2021 will likely be a record-setting year for indexed life sales, once results for the fourth quarter are in.

In the fixed universal life market, sales at many issuers were down, even though performance was also poor in the third quarter of 2020, Moore wrote.

“It is hard to imagine UL sales getting any more challenging than they are at present,” Moore said. “Next quarter’s sales should rise a little because of the strong fourth quarter cycle.”

In the whole life market, Wink analysts reported, buyers’ top pricing objective was paying for funeral bills and other “final expense” bills.

(Image: Shutterstock)