Sun Life sees rise in new premiums: Direct marketing through television helps to increase life sales

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The Independent Online
SUN LIFE, the life insurer half- owned by the quoted TransAtlantic Holdings, wrote new premium income of nearly pounds 1.1bn in the first six months of the year, representing a 27 per cent improvement according to the industry's standard measure.

Commercial Union reported a 22 per cent rise in new annual premiums to pounds 96.7m and a 5 per cent rise in single premiums to pounds 434.7m. This equates to a 16 per cent improvement.

At Sun Life the more valuable regular premium business rose 36 per cent to pounds 57.2m. Direct marketing using television advertising helped to push new life sales up 42 per cent to pounds 18.4m and a campaign boosted pensions business by more than a third to pounds 38.5m.

Despite Sun Life's withdrawal last year from the market in with-profit bonds, single-premium business increased by 23 per cent to pounds 1.04bn. One tenth of this amount is used to calculate the industry measure.

John Reeve, managing director, said single-premium sales were greatly helped by Sun Life's distribution fund products, which are defensively invested in government stocks, convertible preference shares and blue chip shares. Sun Life has nearly pounds 2bn in these funds.

Commercial Union's UK life business is only a third of its total. Without currency movements, new annual premiums were up 7 per cent and single premiums down 4 per cent.

The group's UK mortgage endowment business rose by 12 per cent to pounds 10m in a tough market.