With confidence in the economy improving, the demand for certain types of life insurance has increased. With the economy steadily improving, but interest rates remaining relatively low, the demand for indexed and variable Universal (UL) products is increasing. This has led to an overall increase in premium growth in the first quarter of 2013.
While the total number of individual policies slipped 5 percent in the first quarter, with all products but term life insurance slipping, premiums increased overall according to the First Quarter 2013 Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey from LIMRA. UL premiums rose 8 percent during that time because of strong indexed sales, and was also up 23 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the 16th straight quarter of growth for these products. At the same time, the number of UL policies across the country dipped 18 percent from the end of 2012 to March 2013.
Ashley Durham, a senior analyst with LIMRA Product Research, noted that UL was the biggest driver of growth in the first quarter, with indexed policies being perhaps the most attractive to buyers, the report said. This was largely due to Indexed UL policies offering upside potential along with downside protection.
Meanwhile, whole life policies saw premiums increase 7 percent, making it the 15th straight quarter in with a rise in value, the report said. At the same time, term premium ticked up 3 percent, and policies climbed 1 percent. Variable policies saw premiums rise 10 percent but policy count dipped 5 percent. Through the end of the first quarter, UL premium makes up 40 percent of the individual life insurance market, while whole life had a 33 percent share, the report said.
There appears to be more demand for certain types of insurance products with the economy improving, so there is optimism for achieving premium growth and new sales. With this potential, it is important that companies adjust there marketing efforts to offer the products that appeal the most to potential new insured's they are marketing to.