On the one hand, I'm used to seeing unlikely information coming out of the insurance industry, but this is kind of strange:
"U.S. individual life insurance sales rose 7 percent in new annualized premium in 2006, a pace unmatched since 2000, according to the quarterly survey by LIMRA International."
So who's (or what's) LIMRA, and why is this strange?
First things first:
LIMRA is the Life Insurance Marketing and Reseach Association (on whose Producer Panel I serve, along with thousands of my closest friends). They're kind of an industry-sponsored think-tank and research bureau. In a March 7, 2007 press release, LIMRA announced that the industry was breaking all kinds of production records. Well, not the industry so much as insurance agents.
"North American Application Activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined 7.4% in January year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index. Applications were off 3.3% when compared to December 2006."
Seems like quite a disconnect. I say "seems" because it appears that while the LIMRA piece touts sales growth for the whole of 2006, the MIB report indicates things slowed down in January 2007, which is apparently typical. What's still troublesome, though, is that "(y)ear-to-year activity comparisons have been falling since March 2006."
Something to watch.