Massachusetts-based MIB Group, which publishes the monthly MIB Life Index, says application activity in the United States was flat in July 2023, with year-over-year application activity down 0.6 per cent. Compared to the same month in prior years, July figures are 8.3 per cent lower than the same month in 2021, down 13.6 per cent from 2020 and 1.6 per cent from April 2019. 

According to the report released on August 7, year-to-date figures for July were down 2.9 per cent when compared to 2021 but were up 2.3 per cent compared to 2020 and up 5.4 per cent compared to 2019. 

The researchers found that application activity was highest for those between ages 31 and 50, this was up by 3.3 per cent. Activity was flat for applications made by those up to age 30. All other age groups saw a decline, with those between 51 and 60 down by 4.4 per cent, applications for those between 61 and 70 were down by 7.9 per cent, and those made for clients older than 71 were down by six per cent. 

"When examining year-over-year activity by face amount, declining activity was seen for amounts up to and including $250,000, and all other face amounts saw growth, in the double digits for amounts over $500,000," the researchers write.

By product, term life declined year-over-year by 1.7 per cent, while whole life activity was flat at 0.6 per cent, whereas universal life grew by 5.5 per cent, which adds to its continuous year-over-year growth since November 2022.