The MIB Life Index for Canada, published by Massachusetts-based MIB Group Inc., shows that application activity grew in the second quarter of 2023, both year-over-year and year-to-date. If the figures are modified to remove those applications where a product type was missing in the information obtained by MIB, activity declined both year-over-year in June and year-to-date.

“About 36 per cent of total life index volume for Canada in Q2-2023 did not include a product type. We believe the vast majority of these submissions are for life insurance applications and have included them in the composite analysis presented in this report,” say authors of the June 2023 MIB Life Index report for Canada.

That composite analysis paints a much rosier picture, with Canadian life insurance application activity ending the second quarter of 2023 up 3.3 per cent year-to-date in June, and up 6.2 per cent, year-over-year. Activity for the whole quarter was up 4.3 per cent compared to the second quarter in 2022.

Compared to May 2023, June activity was down slightly, declining 1.1 per cent. MIB says all age groups showed year-over-year growth in June, in the double digits for applications for clients over age 61.

Broken down, they say activity was flat for applications for face amounts between $250,000 and $1-million, declined for face amounts over $5-million and growth for all other face amounts, “in the double digits for amounts over $1-million, up to and including $5-million,” they write. “On a quarterly basis, Q2-2023, when compared to Q2-2022, saw year-over-year declines for face amounts over $250,000, up to and including $500,000, flat activity for amounts over $500,000 up to and including $1-million and growth for all other face amounts.” 

Where product types were identified and submitted to MIB, universal life products saw double digit growth in application activity of 19.8 per cent year-over-year in June. Whole life applications increased 2.4 per cent and term life activity declined 16 per cent.

That said, the report’s authors also state that missing product type has a significant impact on the Canadian analysis. “When looking solely at submissions identified as life insurance products, we saw a reversal of trends with activity down 3.3 per cent in June, year-over-year, down six per cent when comparing Q2-2023 to Q2-2022 and down 6.6 per cent, mid-year, year-to-date.”