Some £117.4 million of life cover premiums were sold, up from £109.3 million in the third quarter (an increase of 7.5%).
However, sales for the year stood at £452.1 million, down slightly on the 2014 total of £453.5 million (a decrease of 0.3%).
Term assurance accounted for 43.0% of protection sales in 2015. Mortgage term assurance accounted for 17.8% of sales.
The data was collated from over 90 major product providers with inputs from more than 11,000 advisers.
Critical illness sales for the year grew by 33.3% compared to 2014, and sales of term assurance (including term policies with critical illness incorporated), was up by 11.0%.
Geoff Greensmith, director at Equifax Touchstone, said: "Protection growth was strong in the last quarter of 2015, driven by sales of pure critical illness policies and also critical illness riders.
"Mortgage term volumes also performed well, underpinned by strong mortgage applications in the third quarter.
"However, we anticipate that mortgage term assurance sales are likely to fall back in the first quarter of this year, given the reduced level of mortgage applications seen towards the end of 2015."
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