Activity Off 6.5% in December; Applications Down 3.8% in 2006
(Westwood, Mass. – January 24, 2007) Applications for individually underwritten life insurance in North America were off -6.5% in December, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index. This marks the tenth consecutive month where 2006 activity was below that of the same month in 2005. Overall, 2006 application activity trailed that of 2005 by -3.8%. Coupled with declining years in 2005 (-3.3%) and 2004 (-2.3%), the industry is experiencing a three-year decline of -9.0% in applications for individually underwritten life insurance.
U.S. application activity in December was off -6.5% year-over-year, all ages combined. Overall, 2006 activity lagged that of 2005 by -3.8%; 2005 activity lagged that of 2004 by -3.4% for a two-year decline of -7.1%. Declines of applications in 2006 were seen across all three age groups: 0-44, down -4.6%; 45-59, down -2.9%; and 60+ down -2.0%. The age 60+ group showed
a slight fourth quarter upturn of +0.7%, compared to the same period 2005. The 0-44 age group
(62% of all application volume) has declined -8.7% over a two-year period (2004/2006).
Canadian application activity in December was off -6.9% year-over-year, all ages combined. Overall, 2006 activity lagged that of 2005 by -3.3%; 2005 activity lagged that of 2004 by -1.9% for a two-year decline of -5.1%. 2006 applications by age group declined or were flat: 0-44, -3.6%; 45-59, -3.4%; and 60+, +0.3% as compared to 2005.
“We’ve observed a three-year (2003/2006) decline of individually underwritten life insurance applications of just over nine percent as measured by the MIB Life Index,” states
Stacy Gill, MIB Solutions’ Chief Knowledge Officer. “Premiums rise, average face amounts rise and the middle and lower end of the market remain under-served.”
|Monthly Percent Change vs. 2005|
|Yearly Change by Age Group 2006 vs 2005|
|0 – 44||-4.6%||-3.6%||-4.5%|
|45 – 59||-2.9%||-3.4%||-2.9%|
|Monthly Percent Change vs Previous Month|
Note: Due to problems with data feeds on Canadian application activity, MIB will be changing the methodology for the MIB Life Index effective with the January, 2007 release. The December MIB Life Index has been produced using MIB’s existing methodology.
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.
MIB is the life and health insurance industry’s most trusted resource for risk information and analytical services. Owned by the industry it has served for more than a century, MIB is uniquely positioned to aggregate industry insights in order to develop products and services for our members that improve their risk management decisions. MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the MIB Group, Inc. Visit www.mib.com.