Strong June life application activity brings MIB composite index into positive territory halfway into 2019

Thanks to the over-60 crowd, June was a big month for life insurance activity, and all that activity was enough to nudge the MIB Life Index above par on a year-to-date basis for the first time since last February.

A report released July 9 showed overall U.S. life insurance application activity rose 3.3% in June 2019 compared to 2018, marking the strongest monthly percent gain of 2019 and ending the third consecutive month of slowly increasing year-over-year activity in what was an uneven first six months of 2019.

At the close of Q2 2019, the MIB Life Index composite is up 0.2% YTD. Second quarter activity was up 1.5% overall (Q2 2019/Q2 2018), offsetting a Q1 -1.0% decline (Q1 2019/Q1 2018). June’s application activity was up 2.2% from that of May.

Source: MIB Life Index

Older age life insurance buyers once again predominated. While still negative at Q2’s close, application activity ages 0-44 continued to show improvement and ages 45-59 stepped up a bit in June. Application activity ages 0-44 were off -1.3%, ages 45-59 were up 4.1%, and ages 60+ were up 15.6% for June 2019 compared to June 2018.

At the second quarter’s close, YTD application activity ages 0-44 was off -4.5%, ages 45-59 rose 1.2%, and ages 60+ surged 12.9%.

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.