Sales of individual life insurance policies increased 11% in the first quarter, compared with the first quarter of 2020, marking the highest growth in the number of policies sold during a quarter since 1983, according to Limra, the insurance research group.
“In 1983, the double-digit policy count growth was driven by universal life replacement. We believe the policy sales in the first quarter represent organic growth, driven by increased consumer awareness about the need for life insurance and the steps companies took during the pandemic to make it easier and faster for people to buy the life insurance they need,” David Levenson, the group’s president, said in a statement.
Sales of whole life new policies jumped 20% and the policy count rose 13% compared to prior year, LIMRA said. By premium, whole life held a 36% market share in the first quarter.
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Term life new policy sales increased 7% and the policy count grew 11%, the strongest policy count growth since 2000. Term life represented 22% of premium market share.
Both universal life new policy sales and policy count rose 6% in the first quarter, driven by 13% growth in indexed UL sales. Sales of fixed UL new policies, which are struggling under extremely low interest rates, fell 11% and the policy count dropped 3%. UL held 32% market share in the first quarter, based on premium.
Variable universal life new policy sales and policy count jumped 54% and 31%, respectively, with VUL accounting for 10% of the market based on premium.
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