(Westwood, Mass. – May 04, 2006) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was off -2.8% in April year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index™. Year-to-date (YTD), U.S. and Canadian applications are off -1.7% compared to a decline of -3.1% seen during the first four months of last year. YTD declines for all ages are hovering about the same level: -1.9%, -0.8% and -2.8% behind the first four months of 2005 for ages 0-44, 45-59 and 60+, respectively.
U.S. application activity dropped -2.4% in April year-over-year, all ages combined. April declines were similar across all three age groups: -2.7%, -1.9% and -2.4% for ages 0-44, 45-59 and age 60+, respectively. For each of the last five years, April�s activity has lagged March�s, by as little as the -4.8% seen this year, to as much as the -9.4% seen last year. YTD, U.S. activity is off -1.9%.
After two consecutive months of solid increases, Canadian application activity fell -5.5% in April year-over-year, all ages combined. This -5.5% drop is the biggest one-month decline seen in comparison with same-month-prior-year changes since the -7.0% decline in March 2005 compared with March 2004. Age group changes showed the biggest decline in the middle age band, and smallest decline among the 60+ group. Changes were -5.8%, -6.1%, and -0.4% for the 0-44, 45-59, and 60+ age groups, respectively. YTD Canadian applications are level at -0.5%.
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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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