(Westwood, Mass. – June 20, 2006) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined -4.5% in May year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index™. Year-to-date (YTD), U.S. and Canadian applications have declined -2.4% year-over-year compared to a -3.3% decline seen in the first five months of 2005. YTD, North American applications for individually underwritten life insurance are off -2.6% (ages 0-44), -1.5% (ages 45-59) and -3.2% (ages 60+).
U.S. application activity was off for the third consecutive month, down -4.4% year-over-year, all ages combined. May�s declines were seen across all three age groups: -4.5%, -3.8% and -5.2% for ages 0-44, 45-59 and age 60+, respectively. YTD, U.S. applications were down -2.5% for the first five months of 2006 compared to 2005. For five-years running, May U.S. activity has lagged that of April (-4.8% low end to -7.5% high end) in year-over-year comparisons; May-over-April 2006 was down -7.4% compared to the same period 2005.
Canadian application activity was off for the second consecutive month, down -4.9% year-over-year, all ages combined. Age group changes showed their largest decline in the 0-44 group, with a small activity increase in the 60+ group: off -5.8%, -4.4%, and up +1.8% for ages 0-44, 45-59, and 60+, respectively. YTD, Canadian applications were down -1.5% for the first five months of 2006 compared to 2005. For five-years running, May Canadian activity has exceeded that of April; May-over-April 2006 was up +5.9% versus same period 2005.
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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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