After two months of declines during the pandemic quarantine, U.S. life insurance application activity jumped 5.2% year-over-year in May in what appears to be a V-shaped recovery, according to the MIB Life Index.
Using month-over-month comparisons, the recovery was even more impressive: February/March was off -6.7%, March/April off was -5.5%, and April/May bounced back an unprecedented 1.5% in a time period historically off -5.0% or more as the summer months approach.
On a year-over-year basis, May 2020 index was up 5.2% with two less business days than in the 2019 comparative period. Year-to-date, the composite MIB Life Index is a percent higher than last month, up 1.6% at the end of May.
May’s Life Index age groups showed strength in the younger and middle ages. Ages 0-44 gained 7.1%; ages 45-59 gained 6.9% ; and ages 60+ were off -1.9% year over year. Year-to-date, ages 0-44 are up 3.4%; ages 45-59 are up 0.5%; and ages 60+, while down -1.6%, remain ~10% higher than pre-2019 numbers.
"As carriers and agents adjust to the new normal and society returns, we remain cautious about identifying any trends given the impact of the COVID-19 exogenous event," MIB said in a news release.
Looking at month-over-month gain/loss (April 2020/May 2020), application activity ages 60+ showed the greatest recovery from COVID-19 declines, up 4.4%, while ages 45-59 gained 1.2%, and ages 0-44 gained 0.6%.