Individual life combo products grew 10% in 2012

Individual life combination products grew 10 percent in 2012 — the fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth, according to a new report.

LIMRA discloses this finding in a summary of results from a new survey, LIMRA’s 2012 Individual Life Combination Products Annual Review.”

The report notes that total new premium for life combination products reached $2.4 billion in 2012, representing 11 percent of total individual life insurance new premium. More than 86,000 combination policies were sold in 2012, an increase of 19 percent compared with 2011 results.  

“Sales of life combination products continue to grow at a remarkable rate, as new carriers enter the market and existing players refine their products to remain competitive,” said Catherine Ho, LIMRA product actuary, in a press statement. “This segment of the market weathered the storm pretty well during the recession, when individual life sales declined significantly. Now that sales growth has returned for individual life, we anticipate life combination products to continue their steady growth.”

All life combination product lines experienced growth in 2012, with whole life (WL) and universal life (UL) combination premiums each growing 10 percent and variable combination premium growing 3 percent. Whole life combination policy count jumped 23 percent; UL policy count rose 19 percent; variable policy count improved 4 percent.

Linked-benefit products, which are mostly single premium and all-in-one packaged products, dropped 1 percent in policy count and held only 24 percent of the market in 2012. Acceleration policies, which provide long-term care benefits up to the amount of the life death benefit and are more commonly riders that can be attached to many of the products in a carrier’s life product portfolio, grew 27 percent, capturing 76 percent of market share (by policy count).

LIMRA’s study found all but one distribution channel (independent RIAs) experienced double-digit growth in 2012, measured by both premium and policy count. Banks and savings institutions posted the largest premium growth, rising 21 percent; affiliated agents recorded 30 percent growth in policy count.

Similar to stand-alone long term care insurance, the majority of combination policies in force are insuring women with a greater portion of policies issued in their 60s. LIMRA’s study found that consumers under age 59 held more than half of in-force polices in 2012. Similar to long term care insurance, a greater number of life combination policies are insuring women — almost six in 10 policies in force are providing coverage to women.

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