Total individual life insurance premium grew 3 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the prior year, according to a new report.

LIMRA of Windsor, Conn., published this finding in a summary of results from a survey of U.S. life insurance sales trends. The report reveals that overall policy count rose 5 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

"The biggest driver behind both total premium and policy count growth continues to be whole life," says Ashley Durham, senior analyst, LIMRA product research. "We saw growth in whole life sales across the industry, including three quarters of our survey's participants, and all but one of the dominant top 20. 

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