Life sales streak comes to an end

By Andrew Rickard | October 14 2016 11:30AM

Photo: Freepik

After eight consecutive quarters of growth, there has been a decline in the number of life insurance applications in the United States.

Each month, the MIB Life Index measures application activity for individually underwritten life insurance in the United States. The report for the third quarter of 2016 was released this week and it shows that demand for coverage has fallen by 0.6% year over year, marking the first decline in eight quarters. MIB notes that there was evidence of slowing momentum in the second quarter of this year, when activity was up by just 1% year-over-year for all ages combined.

All age groups are concerned

"U.S. life insurance application activity lost ground across all three age groups, with application activity in the older ages faring better than most. Ages 0-44 was off -2.6%, ages 45-59 was off -2.8%, and ages 60+ was off -0.7%, year-over-year," reads the report. "At the close of the third quarter, application activity ages 0-44 leads all others, up 3.0%, ages 45-59 are up 0.5%, and ages 60+ are up 2.0%, compared to the same nine months last year. Continued erosion in 2016 could put the middle age group underwater by year-end."

Despite this quarterly slowdown, the MIB Life Index remains up 2.2% year-to-date and September application activity was 2.8% higher than it was in August.