2004 Yearly Applications Decline 2.3%
( Westwood, Mass. � January 21, 2005) Applications for life insurance in North America were off -8.7% in December, year-over-year, marking 2004�s sharpest decline and the ninth month of declining activity for the year. North American applications for 2004 were off -2.3% compared to 2003. After a January decline of more than five percent, the year was characterized by modest but sustained monthly declines, which further eroded toward year end. December�s 2004 activity trailed this past November�s by -1.2%.
For the year, the U.S. MIB Life Indexsm lagged that of 2003 by -2.5%. By comparison, 2003 activity lagged that of 2002 by -3.0%. For 2004, U.S. life insurance applications below age 60 were off -2.8% versus 2003. For applicants age 60+, 2004 finished ahead of 2003 by +0.5%. December�s U.S. activity decreased by
– 9.2% year-over-year; declines were observed across all three age groups � ages 0-44 off -9.1%, ages 45-59 off -10.3%, and ages 60+ off -6.4%.
Canadian application activity finished 2004 slightly behind that of 2003, by -0.6%. For the year, Canadian activity in the age 0-44 age group trailed 2003 by -1.5%, the age 45-59 segment led 2003 by +0.5%, and age 60+ activity surpassed 2003�s level by +3.7%. December�s Canadian activity decreased by -5.2% year-over-year; declines were observed across all three age groups.
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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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