North American Life Insurance Applications Decline 3.8% in 2003

(Westwood, Mass. � February 26, 2004) North American life insurance applications declined 3.8% on an annualized basis year-over-year, marking the sharpest annual decline since 2000 (-4.8%). For the year, U.S. and Canadian application activity was off 4.1% and 1.4% respectively, compared to 2002. Quarter-to-quarter seasonal trends in the U.S. held steadfast, however 2003 application activity performed at a lower absolute level.

  Annual Percent Change vs. Prior Year
US Canada North America
2000 -3.5% -15.8% -4.8%
2001 -0.5% 6.0% 0.1%
2002 1.1% 9.1% 1.9%
2003 -4.1% -1.4% -3.8%

Year-to-date trends across age demographics mirrored activity observed all year. At year-end, U.S. application activity in the 0-44 age group declined 6.8%, the 45-59 age group was flat at 0.7% and the 60+ age group was up 5.4% versus last year, according to The MIB Life IndexSM. Notably, 2002’s growth in the 45-59 age group in the U.S. has all but dissipated. Canadian application activity in the 0-44 age group declined by 3.2%, the 45-59 was flat at 0.6% and the 60+ age group outperformed all others up 6.8% over 2002.

Despite a relatively flat performance in 2003, Canadian life insurance application activity, as measured by percent share of the total North American MIB Life Index, has increased in each of the last four years consecutively.

Going forward, a change in the methodology of the MIB Life Index permits a regional analysis of life insurance activity highlighting market specific behavior. The first such regional analysis is available in the 2003 MIB Life Index Annual Report.

The 2003 MIB Life Index Annual Report sums up the North American life insurance industry year-in-review, delivering insight with a four-year retrospective, age demographics and a regional market analysis of application activity. Distributed at no charge to MIB member companies, the report may be ordered for a nominal fee by visiting Multi-year discounts are available.

About MIB Group, Inc.

MIB Group, Inc., headquartered in Westwood, Massachusetts, is the leading provider of database and information management tools to the global risk management community, and is a leading facilitator of electronic insurance commerce via dedicated networks and Internet-based systems. MIB member companies underwrite more than 95 percent of the premium dollars of individual life insurance written in the United States and Canada. More information about MIB Group, Inc. is available at