Filed Under:Annuities, Fixed Indexed

AnnuitySpecs: Indexed Life Sales Soar

U.S. sales of indexed life insurance jumped to $224 million in the second quarter, up 35% from the total for the comparable quarter in 2010.

AnnuitySpecs.com, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, has reported those figures in a summary of results from a survey of 37 issuers in the U.S. indexed life market.

An indexed life insurance policy is a policy with an interest credit rating tied to the performance of an investment index.

Life insurers seem to be showing more interest in indexed life products, and some that had ordered distributors not to sell indexed life products are now developing indexed products of their own, according to Sheryl Moore, president of AnnuitySpecs.

AnnuitySpecs also polled 39 sellers of indexed annuities.

Indexed annuity sales amounted to $8.2 billion in the latest quarter, drifting down 1% from the total for the second quarter of 2010.

Indexed annuity sales are still strong by historic standards, but the current low level of the returns offered consumers is a challenge, Moore says.

"The rates on indexed annuities are miserable right now, just as they are with every other type of fixed money instrument," Moore says in a statement.

Life insurers back annuities by investing assets in government bonds and other high-quality bonds, and yields on high-quality bonds are low right now as a result of investors' concerns about the economic turmoil in Europe.

- Allison Bell

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