(Westwood, Mass. – October 21, 2005) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined -2.8% in September, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Indexsm. This marks the Index�s eighth consecutive year-over-year decline in the last nine months. Third quarter activity was off
-3.2% versus same quarter 2004. Year-to-date (YTD) North American activity has held steady for the past two months at -3.3%. This is the fourth consecutive year third quarter activity has lagged that of the prior year�s third quarter. Application volumes August/September 2005 demonstrated typical seasonal growth for this period, up +2.8%. It was the second consecutive month-over-month increase.
U.S. application activity declined -2.8% September 2005/2004 and was off -3.3% Q3 2005/Q3 2004. YTD U.S. application volumes are off -3.4% for all ages combined. The period August/September 2005, shows growth in the 0-44 and 45-59 age groups, up +2.5% and +2.2%, respectively; however YTD negative averages for these age groups eased slightly at -4.4% and -2.5%, respectively. September 2005/2004 volumes ages 0-44 and
45-59 followed suit off -3.7% and -2.0%, respectively. The age 60+ group as measured September 2005/2004 was up slightly at +0.6%, flat August/September 2005 (+0.1%) remaining up slightly YTD at +0.8%.
Canadian application activity declined -2.2% September 2005/2004 and was off -2.2% Q3 2005/Q3 2004. YTD, Canadian applications are off -2.6% for all ages combined. Canada experienced significant seasonal growth August/September 2005 in all three age groups: 0-44 (+7.3%), 45-59 (+7.1%), 60+ (+12.0%); helping stem YTD declines in all three groups: -2.9%, -1.8% and -1.7%, 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.
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