U.S. life insurance applications in steady decline

par Alain Thériault | January 28 2014 06:24PM

According to the MIB Life Index survey published on Dec. 11, the number of life insurance applications made in the United States during the first eleven months of 2013 declined by 3% compared to the same period in 2012.The index measures the ratio of individual life insurance applications to the number of business days in a given month. In November 2013, the number of applications calculated according to this method declined by 1.5% compared to November 2012. Between October 2012 and October 2013, the decline was 9.7%, although these numbers were skewed by the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The MIB notes that the storm hit the east coast of the United States in October 2012, forcing the New York Stock Exchange to close for two days. Otherwise, the MIB estimates that the decline for October would only have been 2.2%.

Nevertheless, the decline has been steady. In September of 2013, it reached 2.5% compared to the same month in 2012. The drop in applications is generally more marked among younger people. Applications from those aged 44 and under declined by 2.5% in September, while applications from those aged 45 to 54 dropped by 2.8%. There was only a 0.3% decline in applications made by those aged 60 and over.

Formerly known as the Medical Information Bureau, the MIB organization is jointly funded by North American insurers. MIB member companies have access to information and research services, including a centralized database of medical information about health and life insurance applicants.