Term Life Insurance Sales Down, Whole and Universal Up

July 11, 2011

A.M. Best Co. has released results of a recent study which shows that last year, the face amount of life insurance issues declined 3.1% from the previous year, to a total of $2.87 trillion. On a business-issued basis, term life insurance saw a greater decline, decreasing 11.7% to $1.13 trillion, while group life business also dropped to $1.13 trillion, though in that case it only declined by 1.5%. The report, a compilation of five Statistical Studies featured in BestWeek looked at how much credit life, group life, ordinary life, term life and total life insurance was issued.

According to Andrew Edelsberg, a vice president in the life and health division of A.M. Best Co., the reason for lower term life insurance sales last year was a combination the sluggish economy and higher rates. He explained, “Term pricing generally increased as carriers were, in many cases, forced to self-fund Regulation XXX reserves as alternative solutions became relatively expensive.” Edelsberg added, “We saw an increase in whole life and universal life sales due to consumer’s demand for cash value policies, as well as universal life with no-lapse guarantees.”