Individual whole life new annualized premium increased 6% in the second quarter, driving overall individual life insurance premium to improve 1% for the second quarter, according to LIMRA's Second Quarter 2014 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales report, released Sept. 3.
For the first six months of 2014, total individual new annualized premium dropped 4%, compared with the same period in 2013.
"Holding 34% of the market, whole life's rebound from a weak first quarter fueled the positive second quarter results for overall individual life premium," said Benjamin Baldwin, associate analyst, LIMRA Insurance Research. "Over the past six years, whole life has demonstrated strong, consistent growth, which has buoyed overall insurance sales."
Overall individual life insurance policy count improved 4% for the quarter, which is the first positive quarterly growth in policy count for six quarters. Year to date, policy count is 3% lower than prior year.
Universal life (UL) new annualized premium fell 8% in the second quarter and 13% after the first half of the year. A 33% decline in guaranteed UL in the second quarter contributed substantially to the overall performance of UL in the second quarter.
UL market share was 36% of total life sales at the end of the second quarter.
Indexed universal life (IUL) premium improved 14% in the second quarter, resulting in a 13% percent increase in the first half of 2014. Almost three-fourths of IUL carriers reported increased sales compared with the first half of 2013. IUL represented 42% of total UL premium, and 17% of overall individual life premium in the second quarter.
Variable universal life (VUL) sales rose 30% in the second quarter, growing 23% year-to-date. This is the seventh consecutive quarter of positive growth for VUL. Through half of 2014, all of the top 10 carriers have experienced positive growth. VUL represents 7% of total life insurance sales.
Term life insurance premium was flat in the second quarter, resulting in a 3% decline year-to-date. Term market share remained steady at 23% in the second quarter.
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