Life Insurance

U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Inched Up in First Quarter 2019

Total number of policies sold down 3%

New sales data from LIMRA tracks life insurance sales trends

WINDSOR, Conn., May 30, 2019—U.S. Individual life insurance new annualized premium increased just 1% in first quarter 2019, compared to first quarter 2018, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter 2019 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. The total number of individual life insurance policies sold in the first quarter decreased 3%, compared with the same quarter of the prior year.

Universal life (UL) new annualized premium was flat in the first quarter. This was primarily driven by the 15% decrease in fixed UL sales. Lifetime guarantee UL (LTGUL) new premium fell 12%, compared with prior year. This is the eighth consecutive quarter of declines for this product. LTGUL represented 15% of total UL sales and 5% of total life premiums in the first quarter. Indexed universal life (IUL) new annualized premium grew 9% in the first quarter. This is the 10th consecutive quarter of growth for IUL. In the first quarter, IUL represented 68% of UL and 24% of all individual life premium.

Total UL premium represented 36% of all life insurance premium sold in the first quarter 2019.

Whole Life Off Slightly, VUL & Term Rise

Whole life (WL) new annualized premium dropped 1% in the first quarter, compared with prior year. Half of the WL writers, including half of the top 10 WL carriers, reported declines for this quarter. WL premium represents 36% of the total individual life insurance market.

Variable universal life (VUL) new annualized premium rose 12% in the first quarter. While the protection-focused VUL products contributed to most of this growth, accumulation-focused VUL products experienced an increase as well. This is the sixth consecutive quarter of increases to VUL. VUL holds 6% market share of total life insurance sales in the first quarter.

Term life insurance new annualized premium grew 2% compared to first quarter 2018. Half of term writers and seven of the top 10 recorded increases in the first quarter. Term’s market share is 22%. Term life insurance market share has been in the 20-22% range since 2011.

LIMRA’s First Quarter 2019 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey represents approximately 80% of the U.S. individual life insurance annualized premium market.

The latest data table is below, and additional statistics on U.S. life insurance sales trends can be viewed in the newly updated Fact Tank.

 

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About LIMRA
Serving the industry since 1916, LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization, is the trusted source for industry knowledge, helping nearly 600 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countries. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.