(Westwood, Mass. � May 17, 2005) According to the MIB Group, Inc., April applications for individually underwritten life insurance in North America declined -5.0% year-over-year, marking the third consecutive monthly decrease in the first four months of 2005. Year-to-date, application activity is off -3.1% for North America; off -3.2% and -2.9% for the U.S. and Canada, respectively.
The U.S. MIB Life Indexsm declined -5.7% in April year-over-year for all ages combined. Notably, the trend line shows April 2004 application activity level with that seen in April 2003. Declines were observed across all age groups: -7.2%, -4.1% and -1.2% for age groups 0-44, 45-59 and 60+ respectively, compared to April 2004 levels. This is the first decrease in the 60+ age group this year, but the 7th decline over the past 12 months. Month-over-month trends typically show April�s U.S. application activity falling from March levels, even after normalizing for the number of business days. However, 2005�s -9.4% significantly exceeds the -5.5% and the -6.3% seen in 2004 and 2003, respectively.
Canadian application activity increased slightly in April, up +0.7% year-over-year. Age 0-44 activity remained unchanged, ages 45-59 increased by +2.7%, while the 60+ age group declined slightly at -0.9% from April 2004 levels. Canada�s +7.2% increase in April over March activity compares favorably to the small declines seen between March and April in 2004 and 2003 (-1.0% and -0.6%, respectively).
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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.
MIB is the life and health insurance industry’s most trusted resource for risk information and analytical services. Owned by the industry it has served for more than a century, MIB is uniquely positioned to aggregate industry insights in order to develop products and services for our members that improve their risk management decisions. MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the MIB Group, Inc. Visit www.mib.com.