New York Life Insurance Co. announced record life insurance sales and solid growth in agent recruiting for the first nine months of the year.

Agency life insurance sales increased 8% through September from a year earlier. New York Life said this is its best nine-month start to a year on record.

The growth was mostly driven by increased sales of permanent insurance and term products.

New York Life clients are using whole life insurance for the death benefit it provides as well as the living benefits afforded by the product's cash value, such as retirement and education financing.

Policyholders are also putting more money into existing policies to build additional guaranteed cash value for future needs.

New York Life's recruitment of new agents was up 9% through September from a year earlier.

The company released the data last week.

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