Life insurance and annuities recession-proof

By Alain Thériault | April 26 2009 08:32PM

Despite the recession and job losses, new annualized life insurance premium sales in Canada climbed by 3% from 2007 to 2008, reaching $1.1 billion.

Insurers' annuities, including segregated funds, posted identical growth of 3% between 2007 and 2008, for a Canadian total of over $15.9 billion. These findings come from two surveys done by LIMRA International, one on life insurance and the other on annuities. They compiled the results for all of 2008 and for Q4 2008 alone. Seg funds attracted two-thirds of all deposits, at almost $10.7 billion, equal to growth of 7% in 2008, compared with deposits in 2007.

The survey on life insurance shows that whole life premium sales advanced by 13% between 2007 and 2008. Term sales, including Term 10 and Term 20, were up 12% during the same period. Term-to-100 insurance saw the bleakest results in life insurance in Canada in 2008: new premium sales declined by 21% since 2007. Sales of new universal life insurance premiums fell by 3% between 2007 and 2008.

The number of life policies sold in Canada in 2008 rose by 2% in 2008. Term insurance grew most with 4% more policies sold in 2008 than in 2007. Whole life insurance follows, with growth of 3% in the numbers of policies sold between 2007 and 2008. Term 100 saw a 29% drop in policies sold in 2008 compared with 2007. The number of universal life policies sold was stable between 2007 and 2008.

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