Although year-to-date numbers remain positive, Massachusetts-based, MIB Group, Inc. says Canadian life insurance application activity dropped 12.5 per cent year-over-year in July 2021 compared to July 2020 – the largest year-over-year decline recorded since the height of the pandemic in May 2020.

MIB says July is the fourth month in a row with flat or negative month-over-month growth. The July month-over-month drop of 18.8 per cent is the highest on record since December 2018.

The firm adds that all age groups experienced year-over-year declines in July, including double-digit declines in application activity for face amounts up to and including $500,000. Face amounts over $500,000, up to and including $1-million grew slightly. Conversely, while all age groups saw double digit declines for lower face amounts, the industry recorded significant double-digit growth of more than 25 per cent for face amounts over $1-million.

Year-to-date, application activity remains in positive territory, growing at 4.1 per cent. Year-over-year in July, universal life application activity continued to lead, with double-digit growth, compared to double digit declines in application activity for term and whole life policies.

“In a continuing trend, the younger age bands are driving this growth in universal life, with those ages 0 to 30 in triple-digit growth, year-over-year, and ages 31 to 50 at significant double-digit growth. Ages 51 to 60 had flat application activity for universal life, while ages 61 (and over) saw double digit declines,” MIB researchers write. “Term life and whole life both saw double digit declines across all age bands.”