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2016 off to strong start for life insurance activity

Brian Anderson

BRAINTREE, Mass. — In continued expansion, application activity for U.S. individually underwritten life insurance was up 6.4% in January year-over-year, all ages combined, according to the MIB Life Index released on Feb. 16.

January’s results follow six straight quarters of expansion for the composite Index as growth accelerates with the underwriting of year-end sales activity. Composite application activity in January outpaced that of the prior December by 5.0%. It was the largest month-over-month percent gain for this time period since the Index started in 2001.

U.S. life insurance application activity was once again led by ages 0-44, which far outpaced all other demographics. Application activity ages 0-44 was up 8.4%, ages 45-59 was up 4.4%, and ages 60+ was up 3.9%, year-over-year. This January marks the start of the sixth consecutive quarter of solid growth for the 0-44 age group as insurers’ sales and marketing investments continue to reach younger age purchasers.

The MIB Life Index saw its largest historical year-end gain in 2015, up 2.7% from 2014. The strongest increase came in the third quarter, when the index rose 3.6% from previous year levels, while application activity increased 3.2% year over year in the fourth quarter. Excluding March, the index showed gains across every month in 2015.

In addition, the index saw application activity rise for all age groups in 2015, as activity in the 0-44 age group rose 3.9% compared with a decline of 1.5% in 2014. Application activity in the 45-59 age group rise 0.7% versus a decline of 0.8% in 2014, and the 60+ age group saw a 2.3% rise in activity compared with an increase of 2.8% in 2014.

Lower unemployment rates, a more receptive Millennial audience plus an industry focus on more simplified products, simplified issue workflow and automated underwriting are among the factors credited as leading to the rise in application activity.

For an analysis of all the trends, including January’s numbers, view the MIB Life Index year-in-review video available from www.mibgroup.com.

The 2015 MIB Life Index Annual Report is available for free from the Enhanced Life Index portal at www.mibsolutions.com/loginLI or register at www.mibsolutions.com/regLI.

About MIB: 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 assessment. Its MIB Solutions, Inc. subsidiary is the life insurance industry’s first appointed statistical agent, and has cost-effectively performed numerous regulatory data calls for 80% of the insurers that will be subject to principle-based reserving. MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of the MIB Group, Inc. (www.mibgroup.com).



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