Four consecutive quarters of growth
WINDSOR, Conn., Sept. 1, 2015—U.S. individual life insurance new annualized premium increased 8 percent in the second quarter 2015, according to LIMRA’s Second Quarter 2015 Retail Life Insurance Sales Survey.
“This was the fourth consecutive quarter of premium growth for individual life insurance. Every major product line except variable life recorded positive growth,” noted Ashley Durham, assistant research director, LIMRA Insurance Research. “In the first half of 2015, strong whole life and indexed universal life sales resulted in a 7 percent increase for overall individual life insurance premium, the highest mid-year growth since 2010.”
Total policy count rose 6 percent in the second quarter and 5 percent year to date.
Universal life (UL) new annualized premium was 13 percent higher in the quarter, compared with prior year, resulting in a 10 percent increase in the first half of the year.
Lifetime guarantee UL (GUL), which saw a bit of growth in the first quarter after nearly two years of declines, fell 1 percent in the second quarter. GUL represents 21 percent of UL sales and 8 percent of total life sales. In 2009, GUL represented 53 percent of the total UL market and 20 percent of all of individual life sales.
Index UL the primary driver
Indexed UL was the primary driver of overall UL sales growth, increasing 24 percent in the quarter and 18 percent year to date. It now represents 53 percent of UL and 20 percent of all individual life premium sold during the first half of the year.
UL represents 38 percent of all life sales in the second quarter.
After 10 consecutive quarters of positive growth, VUL premium sales fell 15 in the second quarter. Seven in 10 writers sold less VUL premium in the second quarter of 2015 than the prior year, and 6 in 10 were down for the year. In the first six months of 2015, VUL growth was flat.
VUL’s market share was 6 percent of total sales in the second quarter.
Whole life new annualized premium jumped 12 percent in the second quarter and improved 11 percent in the first half of 2015. While affiliated agents sold the most WL premium, independents, direct and worksite experienced double-digit growth. WL now represents 35 percent of the total life market.
Term sales growth was modest but represents the third consecutive quarter in positive territory. Term new annualized premium increased 1 percent in the second quarter. Year to date, term premium growth improved 2 percent.
Term’s market share was 21 percent in the second quarter 2015