The turbulent economic environment continues to hold the life insurance industry hostage, as premium from individual life insurance sales declined 26% in the first quarter of 2009, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales report.

“Historically, recessions have had little effect on individual life insurance sales; however, it appears the severity of this current economic downturn has impacted sales dramatically,” said Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. “To put it into perspective, the last time quarterly sales dropped this much was in 1943.”

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