Insurers see sales leap

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EVIDENCE of a boom in savings and investment mounted yesterday as two of the UK's largest insurers announced a leap in sales in the first three months of the year.

General Accident Life said new business in the first quarter had jumped by 25.5 per cent. That included a boost of 31.7 per cent in the amount of one-off, single premium savings brought in by its sales force.

A leap in sales of single-premium investments saw customers take up pounds 208m of GA's Portfolio Bond, the company's flagship investment. New single premium pensions totalled pounds 118m.

Commercial Union, set to merge with GA, also reported a sharp boost in new business to its life insurance arm, particularly in one-off sales.

Worldwide, customers put premiums worth pounds 981m into CU's coffers, up by 22 per cent from last year.