Total US life insurance new annualised premium grew 5% in Q4 2016 – resulting in a 3% increase in 2016 – according to LIMRA’s Fourth Quarter Retail Life Insurance Sales Survey.

Whole life insurance new annualised premium in the US jumped 11% in Q4 2016. For the year, whole life premium improved 9%. 

Seven of the top 10 whole life writers in the US reported growth in Q4 2016 . This was the 11th consecutive year of growth for whole life premium, which has never happened since LIMRA started reporting on product-level data in 1983.

Universal life (UL) new annualised premium in the US increased 6% in Q4 2016. Both indexed UL (IUL) and lifetime guarantee UL (LTG) recorded growth in the quarter, which LIMRA said has not occurred in more than three years. 

Variable universal life (VUL) new annualized premium in the US dropped 9% in Q4 2016 with only 3 in 10 carriers reporting VUL growth in the quarter. For the year, VUL premium fell 11% in the US.

VUL market share was 6% of total sales in 2016, far lower than the 33% market share held in 2000.

After eight consecutive quarters of growth, term life insurance new annualized premium in the US fell 1 percent in the fourth quarter.

However, LIMRA said term premium ended 2016 1% higher than prior year. Term market share in the US was 21% in 2016.  It has been in the 21-22 range since 2011.