Massachusetts-based, MIB Group Inc. says life insurance application activity in the United States slowed in May 2021 – activity is up just 1.9 per cent year-over-year and came in lower than May figures reported in 2019 and 2018. However, year-to-date activity in 2021 continues to be the strongest on record with May 2021 up 8.6 per cent year-to-date over May 2020.

At the same time, on a month-over-month basis, May 2021 application activity declined over April by 13.8 per cent, representing the second consecutive month-over-month decline greater than 13 per cent. “While May has historically experienced month-over-month declines compared to April, the drop in 2021 was greater than most years,” MIB writes in its monthly report on the MIB Life Index.

Younger age group saw decline in applications 

Year-to-date, only the under 30 age group declined in the number of applications submitted while all other age groups experienced growth. Application activity was highest among those over age 71 for the second consecutive month. 

Year-over-year May activity was flat for face amounts up to $250,000. Application activity in all other categories increased during the month. “As face amounts increased, year-over-year growth percentages also increased with double-digit growth for face amounts over $500,000, including over 65 per cent growth for face amounts over $5-million,” MIB researchers write. “Notably, triple digit growth was seen for ages 61 to 70 for face amounts over $5-million and for ages 71+ for face amounts over $2.5-million, up to and including $5-million.” 

By product, they add that applications for term life products saw a year-over-year decline of 4.7 per cent, while universal life and whole life saw increases of 9.5 per cent and 5.2 per cent, respectively.