Led by an influx of life insurance applications from older Americans, the latest edition of the MIB Life Index shows U.S. life insurance application activity was up 2.1% in January compared to January 2018.
Braintree, Mass.-based MIB notes this is the first year-over-year increase for the composite index in any month since July 2018, and it comes on the heels of a -3.5% fourth quarter decline in 2018 compared to 2017.
Principal drivers of growth in the composite was strength among older and middle age life insurance applicants. Application activity in January 2019 was up 1.3% vs. December 2018, which MIB says is typical for this time period.
In age demographics, the under age 45 application activity remained negative and activity ages 60+ continued to soar. In January, ages 0-44 were off -4.4%, ages 45-59 were up 4.6%, and ages 60+ were up 18.2%.
While still negative, the performance of younger age buyers is showing slow improvement over the past three months, digging out of the November 2018 trench. The 45-59 age demographic showed some resurgence in January; applications ages 60+ had their ninth consecutive month of YOY gains, setting a record high in January.
MIB also announced its “2018 Year-in-Review” video with CEO Lee Oliphant reporting on the industry’s results is now available and can be viewed at this link: https://bit.ly/2018mibli. Those interested can log in to the Enhanced Life Index Portal to download the 2018 MIB Life Index Annual Report at no charge or register to view at: www.mibsolutions.com/regLI.
The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry’s timeliest measure of application activity across the U.S. Released to the media in the second week of each month, the Index is based on the number of searches member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database. Since the vast majority of individually underwritten life premium dollars in the U.S. include an MIB Check as a routine underwriting requirement, the MIB Life Index provides a reasonable means for estimating new business activity.