Total individual life insurance policy sales increased 11% in the first quarter, compared with first quarter 2020. This is the highest growth in the number of policies sold in a quarter since 1983. New annualized premium also experienced significant growth, up 15% from prior year, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.

“In 1983, the double-digit policy count growth was driven by universal life replacement. We believe the policy sales in the first quarter represent organic growth, driven by increased consumer awareness about the need for life insurance and the steps companies took during the pandemic to make it easier and faster for people to buy the life insurance they need,” said David Levenson, president and CEO, LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global. “What is particularly important is that so many more people are now becoming properly insured. But, of course, there’s a lot more work to do.”

Whole life (WL) new premium jumped 20% and policy count rose 13%, compared to prior year. First quarter WL premium growth represents the highest growth since second quarter 2010; and WL policy sales growth was the sharpest growth in at least 30 years. Whole life held 36% market share in the first quarter, based on premium.

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