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Immediate variable annuity sales take off. (Life/Health).

Sales of immediate variable annuities rose sharply in 2000, but the industry is still modest in comparison with the $138 billion in traditional variable annuity sales reported by the Variable Annuity Research and Data Service.

As of mid-2001, only 15 companies offered immediate variable annuities, according to a survey by the Diversified Services Group Inc., Wayne, Pa. But that didn't hinder the 69% increase in sales for 2000, according to VARDS. Diversified Services Group projected that sales of immediate variable annuities would total about $1.4 billion in 2001.

The 15 companies offered 17 immediate variable annuity products, and another 10 firms offered substitutes, up from five in the previous year. Substitute products included the use of deferred variable annuities converted to annuitization.

An immediate annuity is a product that begins payment at the end of the first prescribed payment period. For example, if an insured buys an immediate annuity with monthly payments, benefits would commence at the end of the first month after the purchase.

According to the survey, the average immediate variable annuities product sale was $130,000, with a per-company range of $72,000 to $233,000. An average immediate variable annuity sale was 24% larger than the average substitute sale, DSG said.

Of companies with no immediate variable annuities products, three indicated they would file for one in 2001, and 20 more said they plan to file a new product in 2002. In the 2000 survey, however, 11 companies indicated they would file in 2001, but only one of them had by late in the year, said DSG.
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Title Annotation:15 companies sell immediate variable annuities
Comment:Immediate variable annuity sales take off. (Life/Health).(15 companies sell immediate variable annuities)
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
Words:262
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