Insurers experiencing big drop in sales this year

Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. has announced that premiums for universal life (UL) insurance will be increasing in September.

The insurer revealed that effective Sept. 23, level cost of insurance (COI) rates on new UL insurance products will increase by varying amounts, depending on the product, policy type and age of applicant.

The most significant impact will be on limited pay policies, with level COI rates increasing by between 0% and 25% for single life policies and between 0% and 50% for joint last-to-die policies.

For level to 100 policies, including Manulife UL Level Gold, Manulife UL Level CIS, InnoVision Level to Age 100 and Security UL, COI rates will increase by between 0% and 15%.

The larger increases will apply to younger issue ages, the company said.

The changes will impact new business, as well as policy changes on in-force policies, with a coverage date on or after Sept. 23.

The changes in rates at Manulife mark the latest increase in UL rates, as sustained low interest rates and changes to the tax rules have forced many insurance carriers to raise premiums and tweak features on these products in the past couple of years.

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