The life insurance story in the United States is some good news offset by a little bit of bad news. 

First, the bad news: Just 52% of U.S. adults report having life insurance, down from 63% in 2011, LIMRA reported. On the plus side, a record-high number of Americans (39%) say they plan to purchase life insurance this year. 

There was more good news than bad, according to new LIMRA data. 

“The industry experienced broad growth with 6 in 10 carriers reporting increases in premium. Of the top 10 carriers, eight reported, on average, 15% growth,” said Karen Terry, assistant vice president, head of LIMRA Product Research. “This quarter whole life, term and variable universal life experienced the highest premium growth rates, driving the overall positive results in premium. We believe sales will continue to improve in the second half of the year spurred by the stronger economic conditions.” 

An opinion survey earlier this year revealed that Americans place a high value on life insurance. 

Life insurance premium up

Total U.S. life insurance new annualized premium was $4 billion in the second quarter 2023, a 1% increase, according to final results from LIMRA’s Second Quarter U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales survey.

For the first half of the year, new annualized premium was $7.7 billion, 3% below the same period in 2022. 

For the second consecutive quarter, policy sales increased. In the second quarter total policy sales rose 3%, due largely to indexed universal life products. Year-to-date, policy sales increased 4% over the same period in 2022.

Indexed universal life was equally a mixed bag of sales results. New premium fell in the second quarter, but total policies sold skyrocketed. Fixed universal life sales on the other hand were down in both categories.

Like many other lines, the number of Americans with term insurance policies has declined over the past two decades. But the face value is on the rise. In the second quarter, both term premium and policy sales rose. 

It was the best quarter for term insurance in two years.

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