In Q2 2012, total individual life insurance new annualized premiums increased 4 percent, and for the first half of the year, have grown 3 percent, according to LIMRA's sales survey. The policy count year-to-date is 3 percent, but was unchanged for Q2 following 5 quarters of consecutive growth.

"The biggest driver behind premium growth was indexed universal life, soaring 37 percent in the second quarter," said Ashley Durham, senior research analyst with LIMRA product research. "Indexed universal life continues to attract consumers who are interested in the opportunity for cash value growth potential while protecting their principal, which this product provides."

Indexed universal life (IUL) was up 29 percent in the first half of the year, accounting for 25 percent of universal life (UL) sales, according to LIMRA's sales survey. Universal Life new annualized premium increased 6 percent for the quarter and 3 percent for the first half of the year. Policy count for UL grew 1 percent for the quarter, the thirteenth-consecutive quarter of growth. For the first half of 2012, UL policy count grew 3 percent.

UL sales overall were dragged down by lifetime guarantee (LTG) UL premiums, which declined 8 percent, according to LIMRA's sales survey. LTG products accounted for 35 percent of new UL premium, however IUL products are catching up. In 2009, there was a 40 percentage-point gap between LTG UL and IUL in 2009, now the gap has closed to 10 percentage points.

Whole life premium rose 9 percent for the second quarter and 9 percent year-to-date as three-quarters of WL writers reported positive growth, according to LIMRA's sales survey. Policy count improved 3 percent for the quarter and is up 5 percent in the first half of the year. WL premium market share was 33 percent for the quarter, the highest since 1998.

Variable UL premium dropped 6 percent and is down 7 percent for the first half of the year, according to LIMRA's sales survey. Fewer than one-quarter of the VUL writers increased sales over the first half of last year. Term premium growth dropped 3 percent for the period and has declined 1 percent during the first six months of the year. Half of the term manufacturers increased sales in the first six months of the year. Term policy count declined 3 percent during the second quarter, and is flat so far this year.

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