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Indexed, variable UL growth lead individual life sales to healthy 8% spike in 1Q 2015

Brian Anderson

WINDSOR, Conn — Total individual life insurance new annualized premium increased 8% and policy count rose 5% in the first quarter of 2015, according to LIMRA’s Retail Individual Life Insurance Survey, released June 2.

Measured by new annualized premium and policy count, every product line recorded positive growth in the first quarter, compared with first quarter of 2014.

“This was a strong quarter for individual life insurance in the United States,” said Ashley Durham, assistant research director, LIMRA Insurance Research. “Indexed and variable universal life insurance sales recorded double-digit growth in the first three months of 2015, while whole life rebounded after stalling this time last year.”

Total universal life insurance (UL) new annualized premium grew 7% in the quarter and represented 37% of all life insurance premium sold in the first quarter 2015.

Indexed UL (IUL) sales drove overall UL growth, with new annualized premium increasing 11%. IUL sales now represent half of all UL premium and 19% of all individual life premium.

Lifetime guarantee universal life insurance (LTG) new annualized premium rose 1%, the first positive growth recorded in two years.

Variable UL (VUL) premium jumped 21% in the first quarter. According to the LIMRA survey, half of VUL writers experienced growth in the first quarter including 8 of the top 10. The top 10 writers now represent 87% of the VUL market. This the tenth consecutive quarter of positive growth for VUL but it still represents only 7% of total life sales.

Whole life (WL) new annualized premium rose 9% in the first quarter 2015, enjoying the largest growth in absolute dollars. WL now represents 34% of the total life market.

Term life insurance premium grew 2% in the first quarter. This is the second consecutive quarter of growth for term. Half of term writers reported positive growth to LIMRA. Market share for term life insurance remained steady at 22% in the first three months of 2015.

View the latest data table on U.S. life insurance sales trends. For more statistics, visit the newly updated Data Bank.

About LIMRA: LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting, and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.



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