Braintree, MA. � (January 26, 2011) U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined by -1.4% in December year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Indexsm. At year-end, the U.S. Life Index was off a modest -1.2% year-over-year, all ages combined – significantly less than the three percent plus annual declines the industry experienced from 2006-2008, and only one percent off December 2009�s YTD close (-0.2%). “2010�s modest decline demonstrates resilience in the markets when compared to the past,� states Lee B. Oliphant, MIB�s President and CEO. �Applicants in the 45-59 age group, surged by more than 11% in the fourth quarter as compared to the third quarter, making up lost ground to finish flat; applicants ages 60+ continued to drive the market, albeit at a somewhat diminished pace.” All ages combined, U.S. application activity was up +9.4% in the fourth quarter as compared to Q3.
U.S. application activity by age group at year-end was: ages 0-44, off -4.4%; ages 45-59, flat at -0.1%; and ages 60+, up +9.9%, year-over-year. Given past trends, the 45-59 age group did well this year despite its flat finish. After five years of declining application activity, ages 45-59 turned positive in 2009 up +1.8%, year-over-year. In 2010, quarter-over-quarter results show this group up +2% and +11.4% in Q1 and Q4, respectively regaining losses of -9.9% and -3.7% in Q2 and Q3, respectively.
The six-quarter trailing trend for the U.S. MIB Life Index tells the broader story. The industry�s resurgence from the recession was marked in the final two quarters of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 � up +0.3% (Q3-2009), up +2.9% (Q4-2009), and up +1.3% (Q1-2010) year-over-year. The remaining three quarters of 2010 broke that trend with activity off -1.8% (Q2-2010), -2.6%(Q3-2010), and -1.8% (Q4-2010) year-over-year.
|0 – 44||-4.4%||-3.0%||-3.4%|
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.