Pru moves away from door-to-door sales: Collections cut back in favour of new business

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PRUDENTIAL Corporation's door-to-door sales of life insurance have slumped by two-thirds as Britain's largest insurer moves away from the traditional bedrock of its business.

Regular premium sales of life insurance through the Pru's 'industrial branch' fell from pounds 29m to pounds 10m in the first half of the year. This fall was responsible for the drop in total UK annual premium business from pounds 172m to pounds 153m. The worldwide annual premium total fell 5 per cent to pounds 266m.

Prudential has raised the minimum IB premium it is prepared to collect to pounds 20 a month. It is reorganising its sales force, with the loss of 2,000 jobs, to move away from regular collection towards selling new insurance policies.

Single-premium sales remained strong, with the with-profit Prudence bond taking pounds 625m (up 70 per cent) in the six months. Single premiums for individual pensions rose 29 per cent to pounds 199m, with another pounds 281m coming from rebates from the Department of Social Security.

Jackson National Life in the US contributed pounds 736m in annuity sales, 11 per cent up in dollar terms on the depressed 1992 result. The group's total worldwide single premiums rose 40 per cent to pounds 2,885m.

At London & Manchester, the much smaller home service insurer, annual premium business fell 28 per cent, reflecting the shrinking of its troublesome tied agency sales arm. The less valuable single-premium business rose 34 per cent to pounds 125m.

Clerical Medical, the mutually owned life office, reported a 138 per cent rise in its new business.