(Westwood, Mass. – August 28, 2006) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was off -5.0% in July year-over-year, the fifth consecutive month of 2006 declines, according to the MIB Life Indexsm. Year-to-date (YTD), U.S. and Canadian application activity was off -3.1% compared to the same seven month period in 2005.
U.S. application activity was off -5.3% in July year-over-year, all ages combined. Declines were consistent across all three age groups: -6.3%, -4.5% and -1.9% for ages 0-44, 45-59 and age 60+, respectively compared to same period 2005. The YTD decline in U.S. applications has increased from the six-month level of -3.0%, to -3.3% in July versus same period 2005. The -4.8% drop in activity from June to July 2006 is consistent with prior years� declines for the same period of -5.2% (2005) and -4.2% (2004).
Canadian application activity was off -2.3% in July year-over-year, all ages combined. Declines of -2.3% and -2.8% were seen across the 0-44 and 45-59, respectively while the 60+ age group was flat at +0.1% when compared to July 2005. YTD, Canadian applications remained at the prior month�s level, down -1.8% in July versus same period 2005. The -10.8% decrease seen in Canadian activity between June and July is characteristic of a recent trend where 2004�s June-July drop was -11.9% and 2005�s was -11.8%.
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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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