Final Expense new annualized premium rises 4% in 2017

Final expense life insurance new annualized premium increased 4% in 2017 according to a new Life Insurers Council (LIC) and Competiscan study released July 11.

“Sales for final expense sold through independent marketing organizations (IMOs) continue to be a strong source of growth. Eighty-nine percent of all new premium were sold through independent distribution,” said Jeff Shaw, executive director, Life Insurers Council. “This year’s study revealed carriers are looking to improve efficiencies wherever possible. Rules-based automated underwriting engines, call center sales processing, and electronic application submissions are emerging as higher priorities. We are also starting to see more carriers introduce tangible, non-insurance benefits into their sales process in an effort to improve persistency.”

The 2017 study collected data from 33 carriers, reporting $592 million in total new annualized premium. Most of sales were simplified-issue products (89%), with 11% sold through guaranteed issue and less than 1% fully underwritten. According to the survey, the average age of buyers for simplified and guaranteed issue policies were 63 years old, while the average age of fully underwritten policies was 56 years old.

More than 80% of survey participants require a personal health interview before issuing a policy, which took on average less than 14 minutes. The study finds over half of the participating carriers offer final expense insurance through an e-app.

The report included findings from a recent consumer study of Americans ages 50-85. The study found 7 in 10 of these Americans were aware of final expense insurance and nearly 8 in 10 believed planning for final expenses was important. The study finds more than half of consumers surveyed believe final expense insurance is relevant to their needs and 62% agree final expense insurance would benefit their family.

While 65% of people said they were very likely to go online to evaluate final expense life insurance, they were not as likely to buy online. The most common way people said they would prefer to buy the insurance is through an agent or advisor (47%); 32% said they would prefer to buy online from a carrier’s website.

This annual survey does not include companies that primarily sell direct-to-consumer, which generate a high volume of guaranteed issue product sales not represented in this report.

To read the full report, contact [email protected] or visit LIC members receive complimentary access to the report, and it is available for purchase by nonmembers.

About the Life Insurers Council: The Life Insurers Council ( is a council of LOMA that provides networking and practical business solutions for small-to-midsize life insurance companies, improving performance through shared excellence.

About Competiscan: Competiscan ( provides competitive intelligence for life, health and property insurance carriers, enabling them to track their competitors while gauging the impact of their own communications.