Braintree, MA. (November 10, 2016) —Application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was off -0.9% in October, year over year, according to the MIB Life Index. October results show an easing of declines that first appeared this past August (-1.3%) and hastened in September (-2.3%). This recent downturn appeared after eight consecutive quarters of solid growth in the MIB Life Index. This slow down notwithstanding, the MIB Life Index is up 1.8% YTD as compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date index values show 2016 at 81.7, on track with application levels not seen since 2012 (81.9) for the same ten months. October’s activity was 5.5% higher than that of September. As we head into the year-end sales cycle, we remain optimistic the Life Index will finish strong.
U.S. life insurance application activity in October gained only in ages 60+, up 1.7%, with declines in age groups 0-44 and 45-59, down -1.6% and -1.2%, respectively. Year-to-date, younger age applications 0-44, continue to lead all others, up 2.5%, ages 45-59 are flat at 0.3%, and ages 60+ up 2.0%, compared to the same period last year. If this erosion trend continues, we could see leading application activity swap from younger to older age consumers by year-end.
Note: Effective January 2017, MIB will reset its benchmark comparison (basis=100) for the MIB Life Index from January 2001 to January 2011. The reset to a more current benchmark ensures that the MIB Life Index values are not biased from cumulative and exogenous historical market factors such as industry consolidation, economic shocks and/or regulatory changes occurring since 2001. The adjustment will have no net effect on monthly percent changes and only shift the underlying index values. Read more: http://bit.ly/2c908r5.
About the MIB Life Index
The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry's timeliest measure of application activity in the United States. Released to the media each month, the Index is based on the number of searches MIB 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. For past releases, methodology or to subscribe visit www.mib.com/lifeindex.