Life insurance application activity ended the second quarter up 7.3% for the year, the MIB Life Index reported.
June year-over-year activity was flat at +0.5%. For the quarter, life insurance application activity ended up 4.3% over Q2 2020, representing the eighth consecutive quarter with year-over-year quarterly gains and the highest Q2 YOY growth on record.
The second quarter 2020 numbers were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, MIB noted. Still, QC 2021 activity surpassed results for Q2 2019 (+5.2%) and Q2-2018 (+3.2%). Additionally, total volume for the first half 2021 is the highest on record since 2017.
Trends across age groups began to shift in the first half of 2021 with older age bands beginning to grow YOY and younger age bands slowing in growth or beginning to decline, MIB reported.
On a quarterly basis, all age groups are at growth in Q2 2021 over Q2 2020 with the percentage of growth increasing as age increases. Additionally, for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, YOY quarterly growth for age 71+ outpaced all other age groups.
Since COVID-19 affected 2020 results, MIB noted that trends are slightly different when comparing 2021 to pre-COVID activity. All age groups experienced growth for Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2019 except those ages 71+ who experienced a slight decline.
For the year, all age groups were at growth compared to mid-year 2020. When comparing to mid-year 2019, all ages are at growth except age 71+ where growth was flat.
Year-over-year for June and Q2 both saw aggregate growth across all face amounts up to $250,000 and over $500,000, and in double digits for amounts over $1 million. For amounts $250,000 to $500,000, June YOY saw declines while activity in Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2020 was flat.
When examining age bands, Q2 YOY activity was at growth for all face amounts across all age bands except for a minor decline for age 31-50 for face amounts over $250,000 up to and including $500,000 and a double-digit drop for ages 71+ for face amounts over $5 million.
Double-digit growth was seen for ages 0-30 for face amounts over $1 million up to and including $2.5 million and for amounts over $5 million; for ages 31-50 for face amounts over $1 million, for ages 51-70 for face amounts over $500,000; and for all face amounts up to and including $5 million for ages 71+.
While Q1 2021 saw growth across all product types when compared to 2020, Q2 YOY saw a shift with declines in term, growth in universal life and double-digit growth in whole life, MIB reported.
Term life experienced Q2 declines YOY across all age bands while universal life was flat for age 0-30, saw double-digit growth for ages 31-50 and 71+, and was at growth for all other age bands. Whole life was at double-digit growth in Q2 YOY across all age bands except ages 31-50, where growth was just under +10%.
While a trend to watch, the Q2 drop in term life activity has not yet impacted year-to-date figures, which at the half show all product types at growth with universal life and whole life in double-digit growth.