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Sales of combination life insurance policies skyrocket
By Insure.com staff

Sales of new combination life insurance policies, which combine traditional life insurance with long-term care coverage, grew 62 percent to reach $1.2 billion in 2010, according to new research by LIMRA.

"Overall sales of combination products in 2010 were remarkable, especially coming off the double-digit growth experienced in 2009," Catherine Ho, LIMRA's research actuary, said in a media statement.

Insurance marketing campaigns along with strong buyer interest in alternatives to stand-alone long-term care insurance are driving up sales.

New sales of combination products represent 6 percent of the individual life insurance market based on new premium. The number of combination policies sold last year increased 69 percent from 2009, according to LIMRA.

Sales of universal life insurance still strongest

Universal life products continue to be the biggest segment of the combination market, in both premium and the number of new policies sold. New premium rose 58 percent from 2009, representing 80 percent of the combination market. Additionally, the number of policies jumped 60 percent from 2009 sales, LIMRA said.

Sales of variable life products have been down overall for two years, but new premium sales of variable universal life combination products increased 44 percent and policy count improved 88 percent in 2010.

LIMRA found that most buyers tend to be in their 60s, although acceleration products are gaining traction among younger buyers. Acceleration products, usually sold as riders to life insurance policies, provide long-term care benefits up to the level of the death benefit. The use of long-term care benefits draws down or "accelerates" the death benefit. Women account for almost 65 percent of in-force combination life insurance policies.

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