Individual life insurance premium sales increased five percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same quarter one year ago, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter 2017 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey, released June 6.

LIMRA says that almost 60 percent of companies participating in its survey reported higher sales during the quarter. This includes nine of the top 10 carriers.

Growth across every product line

“U.S. individual life insurance premium sales increased all but one year since the Great Recession in 2009, and 2017 has started off solid with growth across every product line except for variable universal life,” said Ashley Durham, associate research director, LIMRA Insurance Research. “LIMRA expects growth to remain positive throughout the year, with whole life and universal life continuing to drive results.”

In Q1 2017, the total number of policies sold declined two percent, compared with Q1 2017, says LIMRA’s report. Universal life (UL) sales were up six percent in the quarter. “Total UL premium represented 37 percent of all life insurance premium sold in the first quarter 2017,” says the LIMRA report.

Whole life insurance

In the first quarter, whole life (WL) premium sales increased seven percent. “WL premium has increased for the past 11 years and represents 37 percent of the total life market,” says the report.

Meanwhile, term life insurance new premium was up two percent in the first quarter. “Term’s market share has been relatively flat since 2011 and remains at 21 percent,” says LIMRA.