MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), August 09, 2010 - Northwestern Mutual, the nation’s #1 direct provider of individual life insurance1, announced today that 2010 has been a landmark year for the company’s permanent life insurance product. From January through July, the number of new policies purchased increased more than 23% over the same time period in 2009. In addition, Northwestern Mutual is up more than 14% for total insurance product sales compared to 2009.

“These numbers represent rock-solid evidence of a distinct trend we are seeing in everything from our national research to consumer sentiment to our conversations with Americans across their kitchen tables,” said Dave Simbro, Northwestern Mutual vice president, life products. “People have adjusted their risk meters in direct response to the global economic downturn. They’re prioritizing their financial choices to achieve low-risk stability, steady growth over time, and long-term financial security from a company they can trust.”

In addition to increases in permanent life insurance, the number of policies has increased 10% for individual disability income insurance (DI) and nearly 37% for individual long-term care insurance (LTC) year to date over 2009. In fact, 2010 has been a record year for LTC in terms of both number of policies purchased and overall protection.

“We’re seeing more people insuring themselves, and a movement towards permanent life insurance,” added Simbro. “It’s encouraging that Americans are recognizing the need to manage long-term risk, and the critical role that insurance plays in their overall financial security.”

These sales figures underscore the findings of Northwestern Mutual’s Financial Realities: Changing Timeframes study, which showed that Americans have embraced a distinctly more conservative approach to their financial planning, priorities and product preferences. The study, released in June, indicated that 75 percent of people with financial goals have widened the time horizons in which they aim to accomplish them. Additionally, nearly three out of four Americans favor financial strategies that are lower-risk, stable and steady versus those that carry higher risk in the pursuit of aggressive growth. When respondents were asked about how various assets have held their value over time, permanent life insurance emerged as the far and away leader in terms of satisfaction levels – registering 60% greater satisfaction than investments.

“As people recognize the value of managing risk and are taking action, it’s also important to look long-term,” said Simbro. “The most effective financial plans address risk and investments holistically, and over the course of a lifetime. That’s why we continue to believe that an effective approach includes working with a trusted advisor who deeply understands your long term goals, and makes recommendations that reflect your evolving needs.”

Given the strong market demand and unique relevance of permanent life insurance in the current environment, Northwestern Mutual announced last week a new campaign called A Foundation For Life that highlights the flexibility, stability and consistency of their product. The campaign breaks from the traditional, lifestyle-driven creative that dominates the life insurance space, and Northwestern’s attributes are brought to life in two new TV spots and a Facebook “Life Stories” application.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual seeks to share its gains with policyowners and deliver consistent and dependable value to clients over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

1 A.M. Best, 2008. Northwestern Mutual’s calculation of U.S. direct life insurance market share includes new premium sales, renewal premium and dividend additions in the United States only