Life Insurance

U.S. Life Insurance New Premium Tops $3.7 Billion In First Quarter 2024

Term life, IUL and fixed UL posted new premium gains in the first quarter

For the first time, LIMRA announces top 20 sales rankings for individual life insurance.

WINDSOR, Conn., June 4, 2024 — Total U.S. individual life insurance new annualized premium fell 1% year over year to $3.73 billion in the first quarter, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Life Insurance Sales Survey.

The total number of policies sold in the first quarter of 2024 were level with prior year’s results.

“Given the dominant role the top 20 carriers have on the U.S. life insurance market (representing 65% of the total new premium), LIMRA believes transparency is important and has decided — for the first time — to begin publishing the top 20 life insurance sales leaders,” said John Carroll, senior vice president, head of Life and Annuities, LIMRA and LOMA. “LIMRA has been publishing top 20 annuity sales rankings for the past decade, which has helped the broader industry stakeholders distinguish the key factors driving annuity market growth. Similarly, we expect knowing the life insurance sales leaders will help expand understanding about the market dynamics at play.”

Indexed Universal Life

In the first quarter 2024, indexed universal life (IUL) posted the largest growth year over year in absolute dollars, up 4% to $871 million. More than half of IUL carriers reported gains in the first quarter, including 7 of the top 10, which sold more than three quarters of the industry’s IUL premium. The number of policies sold jumped 13% in the first quarter, with a majority of carriers posting positive growth. IUL premium represented 23% of the total new annualized premium in the first quarter.

“Carriers that reported the strongest sales growth cited an increased sales force, rising demand for accumulation-focused products, and/or higher survivorship sales, due to the scheduled drop in the estate tax exemption amount next year,” said Karen Terry, assistant vice president and head of LIMRA Insurance Product Research. “Given the current economic environment, LIMRA is forecasting IUL sales to experience moderate growth in 2024 and 2025.”

Term Life

Term new premium rose 4% in the first quarter to $762 million with all of the top 10 carriers posting premium gains. Policy count grew 3% in the quarter. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of growth in both premium and policy sales. The sales increase is credited to the expansion of digital platforms and accelerated underwriting, additional distribution partners and product enhancements. In the first quarter, term new annualized premium held a 20% share of the total U.S. individual life insurance market.

Carriers that reported the strongest sales growth cited an increased sales force, rising demand for accumulation-focused products, and/or higher survivorship sales, due to the scheduled drop in the estate tax exemption amount next year...

Fixed Universal Life

For the third consecutive quarter, fixed universal life (fixed UL) new premium increased. In the first quarter. Fixed UL new premium was $247 million, up 6% year over year. While several companies reported an increase in their lifetime guarantee UL sales, the rise in fixed UL premium was mainly driven by hybrid life/long term care product sales. The number of fixed UL policies sold fell 4% from first quarter 2023 results. Fixed UL premium represented 7% of the total new annualized premium in the first quarter.

Whole Life

Whole life new premium totaled $1.46 billion in the first quarter, down 7% from prior year’s results. Half of the whole life carriers reported declines in the quarter, including 7 of the top 10, which represent more than 50% of the whole life market. The number of whole life policies sold fell 5% in the first quarter, compared with first quarter 2023. Whole life insurance new premium held 39% of the total new annualized premium sold in the first quarter.

Variable Universal Life

Variable universal life (VUL) new premium fell 7% in the first quarter to $398 million. While half of the VUL carriers reported sales growth, the carriers that reported declines represent several of the top VUL manufacturers. The number of policies sold, however, grew 4%, compared with first quarter 2023. VUL premium held 11% of the total U.S. life insurance market in the first quarter.

LIMRA’s Fact Tank

For more details on the sales results, go to First Quarter 2024 U.S. Life Insurance Industry Estimates in LIMRA’s Fact Tank.

LIMRA’s Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey represents 85% of the U.S. life insurance market. Since 1921, the U.S. life insurance industry has relied on LIMRA’s benchmark sales study for accurate data and trending insights.

 

 

 

About LIMRA
Serving the industry since 1916, LIMRA offers industry knowledge, insights, connections, and solutions to help more than 700 financial services member organizations navigate change with confidence. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.