In 2020, U.S. life insurance application activity rose four per cent – the highest annual year-over-year growth rate on record, according to the year-end MIB Life Index released Jan. 13. 

December 2020 was up 3.7% over December 2019, the highest YOY growth rate for the month of December since 2011. 
Younger age groups drove the growth with full year activity over 2019, increasing among ages 0-44 by 7.9% and 3.8% for ages 45-59. Activity for ages 60 and older decreased by -1.7%. 

“This is a change from the previous two years when the 60 plus age group experienced growth while the 0-44 age group saw declines, observes MIB. 

December activity declines 

Month-over-month, December 2020 was down -9.5% compared to November. MIB says this was “an expected, though somewhat stronger than usual, seasonal decline.” 

Growth was seen across all face amounts up to and including $2.5M, with double digit growth in face amounts above $5M.  

“Activity for the younger set ages 0-44 increased across all face amounts, with double digit growth in policies over $250K and up to and including $1M as well as over $5M,” says MIB.  

Activity for ages 71 plus increased only in face amounts over $5M, decreasing in all other categories. 

Growth was seen across all product types. “However, younger applicants up to age 30 appear to lean toward indexed or interest sensitive products whereas their older counterparts ages 61+ appear to be more concerned about guaranteed value,” stated MIB.  

There was an 11.2% increase in Universal Life insurance applications for ages 0-44 and increases in traditional Whole Life insurance applications for ages 61 and older (7-8%) as well as a decrease in term applications for ages 61 plus (in double digits for those 71 plus).