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Final Expense premium increases 5% in 2015; 80% of policies sold by independents

Brian Anderson

WINDSOR, Conn. — Final expense life insurance sales increased 5% and policy count rose 4% in 2015 (compared to 2014 results), based on survey data released July 21 by the Life Insurers Council, CSG Actuarial, Inc. and Competiscan.

“While some carriers have been very successful selling final expense life insurance directly to consumers, more than 80% of policies were sold through independent agents or independent marketing organizations (IMOs),” said Jeffrey Shaw, executive director, Life Insurers Council, a subsidiary of LOMA. “We saw policies sold direct were most likely guaranteed issue contracts with limited initial death benefits and those sold through IMOs tended to be simplified issue contracts with full immediate death benefits. Given the operational challenges involved with managing high-volume, low-premium simplified issue policies, we anticipate more carriers expanding their direct distribution channel.”

Thirty-one carriers participated in the 2015 survey but only 23 reported sales for both 2014 and 2015. Of the reporting 2015 data, 60% of the policies sold were to women and 40% to men. The average age of purchase was 63 years old. There has been a gradual increase in average issue age over the past nine years (66.5 in 2012 to 66.8 in 2015). Researchers note that many companies have stopped selling to consumers 50 years old and younger, which could be contributing to the rise in average issue age.

Although there are a few companies that sell very high volumes of final expense business on a direct to consumer basis, 81% of the final expense premium sold in 2015 was through independent agents. Affiliated agents sold 18% of the final expense premium in 2015. The study found that agents selling final expense life insurance generally sell simplified issue policies with full death benefits. Ninety-one percent of the premium sold in 2015 was simplified issue. Limited death benefit policies are offered to a small segment of their prospects that do not qualify for a full death benefit due to health reasons. This contrasts with direct selling companies that focus primarily on guaranteed issue contracts, which was only 6% of the premium collected.

To read the full report, contact [email protected]. Life Insurers Council members receive complimentary access to the report, and it is available for purchase by nonmembers.

• How does your book align with these figures? Selling to more women than men? Average age of buyer around 63? Agree with the assessment that more carriers will expand their direct distribution channel? Visit this thread to comment: Just-released FE sales data shows 5% premium increase in 2015

About LOMA: Established in 1924, with 1,200 plus member companies in over 80 countries, LOMA is committed to a business partnership with its world-wide members in the insurance and financial services industry to improve their management and operations through quality employee development, research, information sharing and related products and services. To find out more about LOMA and the learning opportunities it offers, visit www.loma.org.

About Life Insurers Council: The Life Insurers Council is a subsidiary of LOMA that provides networking and practical business solutions for small-to-midsize life insurance companies, improving performance through shared excellence. To learn more, visit www.loma.org/lic

About CSG Actuarial:CSG Actuarial is an actuarial consulting firm that specializes in the individual life and health insurance markets, offering online competitive intelligence tools for agents, agencies, and carriers. More information can be found at www.csgactuarial.com.

About Competiscan: Competiscan provides competitive intelligence for life, health and property insurance carriers, enabling them to track their competitors while gauging the impact of their own communications. To learn more, please visit (www.competiscan.com)



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