Frigid temperatures and obamacare put the chill on the number of life insurance applications

par Alain Thériault | March 17 2014 08:46PM

The MIB Life Index that tracks the number of individual life insurance applications submitted in the United States is sliding. The index shrunk by 7.9% in January compared with January 2013. This downturn comes on the heels of a 7.5% decline posted in December 2013 compared with December 2012, the worst result in five years for this month. Applications in January 2014 fell by 1.5% compared with those of December 2013.The office of medical information jointly supported by North American insurers, including many Canadian lifecos, pins this series of setbacks on frigid temperatures that struck several US states and the fact that the American health care reform has distracted consumers.

The index saw its sharpest decline in the group of Americans aged 0 to 44, at 9.1% in January compared with the same month the previous year. Insured aged 45 to 59 followed closely, with an 8.7% drop in the number of applications for the same comparison period. The 60 plus age group dragged down the index by only 2.9% during this period.