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Annuities reign supreme for TIAA as it plans to exit life insurance market

TIAA has reportedly decided to exit the life insurance market at the end of 2019, and an analysis shows that its new individual life insurance premiums have been falling since 2016.

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Combined new individual premiums, reported as first-year and single premiums within regulatory filings, were $1.26 billion in 2018. However, only $198.4 million of that total came in TIAA's life business lines. In 2016, the company recorded $282.8 million in new individual life premiums. That year, the company posted $1.53 billion in total new individual premiums.

After adding renewal premiums into the mix, TIAA's total individual life insurance premiums were $593.7 million in 2018, good enough for 48th place in the industry.

By comparison, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. was the largest writer of individual life insurance in 2018. It wrote $14.38 billion in new and renewal business that year.

Term insurance makes up the bulk of the existing book of individual life insurance business for TIAA. As of year-end 2018, the insurer had almost 150,000 policies in force with 81% being term policies. The amount of insurance for the term block was $53.38 billion, compared to a total of $11.17 billion for other product lines combined. TIAA will continue to service its block of life business after it officially exits the market.

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TIAA's decision to stop underwriting its life insurance products will not affect its annuity business. TIAA's group and individual annuity considerations in 2018 were $8.37 billion and $6.77 billion, respectively. The insurer's annuity business is also off to a fast start for 2019; it recorded $4.45 billion in total annuity considerations in the first three months of the year.

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Click here to view a template that shows life companies' market share by line of business.