Massachusetts-based MIB Group, which publishes the monthly MIB Life Index, says application activity in the United States was flat in April 2023, year-over-year, down 1.4 per cent. When comparing April 2023 to the same month in prior years, the figures are 13 per cent lower when compared to 2021, 3.6 per cent lower than in April 2000 and down 7.1 per cent when compared to April 2019.

Year-to-date figures are decidedly better, with April 2023 application activity up 3.5 per cent when compared to the same period in 2022. This figure was down 3.8 per cent when compared to 2021 figures, it was up six per cent when compared to 2020 and up 6.5 per cent compared to 2019.

“On a month-over-month basis, April was down 21 per cent compared to March, following a normal seasonal pattern of declines,” the MIB’s researchers write, adding that this is the third year in a row of double-digit month-over-months declines in April.

They say declining activity was seen for amounts up to and including $250,000, flat activity for amounts over $500,000, up to and including $1-million and growth for all other face amounts, “in the double digits for amounts over $2.5-million up to and including $5-million,” they add.

By product, universal life product application activity grew while all other product lines saw declining activity. Universal life was up 5.7 per cent year-over-year, term life down 3.2 per cent and whole life activity declined 3.7 per cent. “It is interesting to note that universal life has consistently seen year-over-year growth since November 2022,” they add.