(Westwood, Mass. � October 15, 2004) Applications for life insurance in North America declined -3.2% in September year-over-year. Activity for the third quarter 2004 lagged that of Q3 2003 by -1.5%; it was the third straight year where Q3 activity lagged that of the prior year. Year-to-date, U.S. and Canadian activity was off -1.4% and -0.3%, respectively, in what continues to be a relatively stable year for individually underwritten life insurance applications.
In the U.S., September’s MIB Life Indexsm shows a -3.3% decline in application activity year-over-year, with year-to-date levels continuing negative at -1.4%. Declining activity for the month was observed across all three age groups on a year-over-year basis: -2.7% for 0-44, -4.6% for 45-59 and -3.3% in the 60+ age group. Year-to-date, all age groups have declined with the exception of the 60+ group, increasing +1.8% year-over-year.
Canadian application activity declined -2.2% year-over-year, with year-to-date activity statistically flat at -0.3%. Consistent with the U.S., all three age groups showed year-over-year declines: -1.4% for 0-44, -3.5% for 45-59 and -4.9% in the 60+ age group. Year-to-date, 0-44 declined, 45-59 was up slightly and the 60+ age group grew +4.7% year-over-year. Compared to August’s activity, overall Canadian applications jumped 9.3% in September.
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About the MIB Life Index
The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry’s timeliest measure of application activity across the U.S. Released to the media each month, the Index is based on the number of searches life member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database. Since the vast majority of individually underwritten life premium dollars in North America include an MIB search as a routine underwriting requirement, the MIB Life Index provides a reasonable means to estimate new business activity.
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