Canadian life insurance application activity declined in January, with year-over-year activity off 6.5 per cent, according to the MIB Life Index. On a monthly basis, January 2021 activity was relatively flat compared to December 2020 at 1.02 per cent. January also saw decreased activity over December among older age groups (age 51 and over) and increases among younger age groups of those 050.
Declines in January year-over-year were seen across all age bands, but were most notable for those ages 51 and up, down between 12 per cent to 13 per cent. Younger age groups also declined with those aged 0-30 down 3.7 per cent and 31-to-50 off 4.5 per cent.
The composite year-over-year decline in January was largely driven by face amounts up to and including $250,000 and also those over $1 million up to and including $5 million.
Older age group application activity dropped year-over-year
When looking at age bands, results were mixed. Activity for ages 31-50 grew in all categories over $250,000. Ages 0-to-50 saw double-digit growth for policies over $5 million. Conversely, the 0-to-50 age group declined for policies up to and including $250,000. The 0-30 age group saw double-digit declines for policies over $1 million up to and including $5 million. Applications by older age groups of 51 and over decreased year-over-year across all face amounts, reflecting double-digit declines for face amounts above $2.5 million, compared to January 2020.
There was a strong demand for universal life, up 22.7 per cent while whole life increased across all product types. Age groups 51 and over saw increases in term life activity and double-digit declines in universal life.