Variable annuity sales expected to rise in 2011

Jul 13, 2011

A growing number of consumers shopped for variable annuities in 2010

Consumers looking to invest their life insurance policies over the long-term will increasingly choose variable annuities in 2011, pushing sales of those products higher, said a report.

LIMRA projects a 13 percent annual rise in the sales of variable annuities after the first quarter of 2011 saw a 24 percent year-over-year increase in the product's sales. Variable annuity sales reached $39.8 billion in the U.S. during the first three months of the year, and Joe Montminy, assistant vice president of annuity research for LIMRA, said sales have largely been on the rise since markets began to heal in 2009.

Experts also told the A.M. Best Company's news service that buyers of variable annuities are increasingly interest in guaranteed living withdrawal benefits, which are riders that can assure them a certain percentage of their benefits can be taken out each year of the policy's life.

Variable annuities are contracts taken out with life insurance companies that can provide seniors a steady income over a period of years. Experts recommend consumers consider the products carefully, advising they speak to a financial planner who is well versed in investments and retirement products.

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