(Westwood, Mass. � December 16, 2004) Applications for life insurance in North America declined -4.7% in November, year-over-year, marking the third consecutive month of decreasing activity. February through May�s flat year-over-year activity has given way to declining trends in subsequent months with November�s Index marking the steepest overall year-over-year decline in activity since last January. The change in year-to-date (YTD) activity over last year shows the U.S. off
-1.8% and Canada flat at -0.2%; totaling -1.7% for North America. On the same basis, 2003 year-to-date figures for the U.S. and Canada were -4.0% and -3.5% respectively.
November�s MIB Life Index SM for the U.S. showed a -5.5% decline in application activity compared to the same period last year. Activity for the month declined across all three age groups; 0-44 off -5.5%, 45-59 off -6.2%, and the 60+ age group off -3.5% year-over-year. Year-to-date, the 0-44 and 45-59 age groups declined -2.2% year-over-year and the 60+ group is running +1.1% ahead of 2003 YTD levels.
Canadian application activity showed a modest gain of +0.8% year-over-year; the first gain in three months and the fifth monthly increase seen this year. The 0-44 age group declined, slightly off -0.8%, while the age 45-59 and the 60+ age group gained 3.3% and 5.0% respectively. YTD, the 60+ age group is running +4.6% ahead of 2003 levels through eleven months.
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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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