Last month we reviewed the voluntary industry's 2014 sales, which were up almost 4 percent to $6.89 billion. Now let's look at sales by products and platform.

Life insurance continued to take the largest share of total voluntary sales (27 percent) with more than $1.877 billion in 2014. Term accounted for 76 percent of the total life NBAP. Both universal life/whole life and term experienced virtually flat sales (each down 0.2 percent). Total term sales were $1.431 billion while UL/WL sales were $445 million.

Total disability sales were $1.363 billion in 2014 (20 percent of sales). Short-term disability sales still account for the majority of disability sales at 67 percent. STD sales were down 2 percent compared to 2013, but long-term disability sales increased just over 3 percent. With both life and disability sales sluggish this year, you might wonder which products were the "winners" in terms of increased sales. Critical illness sales ($392 million) led the way with an increase of just under 20 percent, and for the first time ever, exceeded cancer sales (down 4 percent to $343 million).

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