Life insurance sales were very strong in 2019, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report, with indexed life sales smashing records.
Indexed life sales for the fourth quarter were $725.1 million, up 30.8% when compared with the previous quarter, and up 14.6% as compared to the same period last year. Total 2019 indexed life sales hit a record $2.3 billion. Indexed life sales include both indexed UL and indexed whole life.
“I anticipated that this would be another record-setting year for indexed life,” said Sheryl J. Moore, president and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc. “The deadline for 2017 CSO just made setting a sixth consecutive record in sales SO much easier for this product line.”
All insurers were required to come into compliance with the 2017 commissioners standard ordinary (CSO) mortality table by Jan. 1, 2020.
Items of interest in the indexed life market included Pacific Life Companies retaining the No. 1 ranking in indexed life sales, with a 13.4% market share. Lincoln National Life, National Life Group, John Hancock, and Transamerica rounded-out the top five, respectively.
Pacific Life Pacific Discovery Xelerator IUL 2 was the No. 1 selling indexed life insurance product, for all channels combined. The top pricing objective for sales this quarter was Cash Accumulation, capturing 67.6% of sales. The average indexed life target premium for the quarter $12,947, a decline of 3% from the previous quarter.
Non-variable universal life sales for the fourth quarter were over $1 billion; up 28.3% when compared to the previous quarter and up 9.6% as compared to the same period last year. Total 2019 non-variable universal life sales were $3.5 billion. Non-variable universal life (UL) sales include both indexed UL and fixed UL product sales.
Noteworthy highlights for total non-variable universal life sales in the fourth quarter included Pacific Life Companies retaining the No. 1 ranking overall for non-variable universal life sales, with a market share of 9.3%.
Pacific Life Pacific Discovery Xelerator IUL 2 was the No. 1 selling product for non-variable universal life sales, for all channels combined, for the second consecutive quarter.
Fixed UL fourth quarter sales were $351.8 million, up 22.2% compared with the previous quarter and up 0.8% as compared to the same period last year. Total 2019 fixed UL sales were $1.2 billion, a significant decline blamed on low interest rates.
Noteworthy highlights for fixed universal life in the fourth quarter included the top pricing objective of No Lapse Guarantee capturing 62.9% of sales. The average UL target premium for the quarter was $6,836, an increase of 61% from the previous quarter.
“While 2017 CSO lent to a double-digit in UL sales this for this quarter, it wasn’t enough to make a dent in the annual production, as total sales slipped by double-digits in 2019," Moore said. "Interest rates were just miserable.”
Whole life fourth quarter sales were $1.4 billion, up 24% when compared with the previous quarter, and up 18.5% as compared to the same period last year. Total 2019 whole life sales were $4.8 billion.
Items of interest in the whole life market included the top pricing objective of Cash Accumulation capturing 75% of sales. The average premium per whole life policy for the quarter was $3,580, an increase of more than 23% from the previous quarter.
“The life insurance pricing changes due to PBR and 2017 CSO also impacted whole life,” Moore said. “So, seeing the double-digit increase in sales this quarter wasn’t a big surprise. When you look at the big increase in the year’s sales though, it really speaks to how strongly consumers feel about guarantees.”
Wink currently reports on indexed universal life, indexed whole life, universal life, whole life, and all deferred annuity lines’ product sales. Sales reporting on additional product lines will follow in the future.