Two-thirds of life insurance executives surveyed recently by LIMRA said sales of their products in 2011 will remain at about the same level as before.
The standard distribution channels, according to the LIMRA survey, could see significant contraction in 2011, as more than 75 percent of respondents predicted cuts to their sales forces. That said, sales to the middle market should help boost the number of life insurance policies, LIMRA noted.
Finding new ways to target this market sector should, therefore, be a central challenge for the industry, according to LIMRA.
A co-author of LIMRA's report, Robert Baranoff, said innovation would prove to be the way forward.
"Generally speaking, significant growth in life insurance sales is driven by new products in the market. While overall sales may not substantially grow in 2011, LIMRA predicts that certain products will stand out in this low-interest environment," he said.
Another factor that could push sales in 2011 is the historically high number of American households without existing life insurance policies, LIMRA said.
Rates should stay relatively low, given the middling performance expected for life insurance in 2011, experts say.