(Westwood, Mass. – September 14, 2005) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined -3.1% in August, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Indexsm. It was the Index�s seventh consecutive monthly year-over-year decline since January 2005. Year-to-date, North American figures remained unchanged at -3.3%. Notably, the period July through August 2005 saw a +3.4% gain in North American application activity, the second consecutive year of gains for this monthly interval.
U.S. application activity declined -3.5% in August, year-over-year, for all ages combined. Year-over-year declines were observed across all three age groups: -3.7%, -4.1% and-0.5% for age groups 0-44, 45-59 and 60+, respectively. Year-to-date, U.S. applications are holding steady for the fourth consecutive month, off -3.4% from August 2004. Only the 60+ age group continues to run just slightly ahead of 2004 levels, up +0.9% year-to-date.
Canadian application activity declined slightly, off -0.6% in August, year-over-year; 2005�s fourth consecutive monthly decline and the sixth overall. August�s year-over-year application activity for Canada was essentially flat across all three age groups, off -0.7%, -0.4% and -0.5% for the 0-44, 45-59 and 60+ age groups, respectively. For the first time in four years, August�s activity showed an increase over that seen in July, up +1.2%. Year-to-date, Canadian activity was -2.6% below that of the same period 2004 for all ages combined.
Canadian application activity declined -3.9% in June, year-over-year, for all ages combined. Like the U.S., year-over-year declines were seen across all three age groups: -3.9%, -4.3% and -2.2% for age groups 0-44, 45-59, and 60+, respectively. For the second quarter, Canadian application volumes were -1.6% behind that of Q2 2004.
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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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