U.S. Life Insurance Activity Dips Sharply in Q4 with 2018 Finishing down -1.1% YTD, Reports the MIB Life Index

Older Age Life Applications Take Charge

Braintree, MA. (January 18, 2019) — U.S. life insurance application activity was relatively stable across the first three quarters of 2018, but precipitously declined -3.5% in the fourth quarter, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index. The Index lost ground in all but three months of 2018 with the most significant declines observed in the year's final quarter. At year-end, the composite MIB Life Index was off -1.1% YTD 2018/2017; December 2018/2017 was off -2.7%; December/November 2018 was down -2.8%. The Q4 2018 downturn was somewhat tempered by high index values in the Q4 2017 comparative period. A five-year lookback using YTD index values shows the 2018 MIB Life Index is down -2.9% from its 2012 YTD high point.

In the age demographics, after 12 consecutive months as the best performing of three age groups, ages 0-44 lost its leadership position to application activity ages 60+. All age groups were tightly banded through March of 2018; younger ages gave way to ages 60+ in April, and again gave way to applications ages 45-59 in July 2018. In the final two quarters of 2018, application activity ages 0-44 declined -1.7% (Q3 2018/2017) and -8.1% (Q4 2018/2017), respectively. Life insurance application activity ages 0-44 are a key driver of the composite Index making up 54.2% of the total volume. At year-end 2018, application activity ages 0-44 were off -2.7% YTD, ages 45-59 age were off -0.7% YTD and ages 60+ age were up 3.3% YTD.

"Our discussions with MIB members confirm the year-end challenges life insurers experienced, particularly those with younger age buyers," said Lee Oliphant, MIB Group’s Chief Executive Officer. "As an industry, we continue to make investments that reinvent the insurance purchasing process to capture younger age insurance buyers; 2018 results imply that challenges in this age group still persist."

The 2018 analysis of MIB's top 60 insurers1 in the 0-44 age group showed 20 insurers had losses of greater than 10%; and of those, the bottom 9 had losses of greater than 20% 2018/2017. Only 9 insurers had gains in application activity greater than 10%; and of those, the top 4 had gains of more than 28% 2018/2017.

By comparison, in 2017, 16 of the top 60 insurers had losses in the 0-44 age group of greater than 10%; and of those, the bottom 5 had losses of greater than 20% 2017/2016. Last year, 13 insurers had gains in application activity greater than 10%; and of those, the top 4 had gains of more than 30% 2017/2016.

Login to the Enhanced Life Index Portal to download the 2018 MIB Life Index Annual Report at no charge or register to view at: www.mibsolutions.com/regLI. Watch the 2018 MIB Life Index "At the Half" video by visiting: https://wi.st/2agvX62. Our "2018 Year-in-Review" video with MIB CEO Lee Oliphant will be available in early February.

1Based upon MIB Checking Service inquiry volume.


Monthly Percent Change
Composite Index
(year-over-year)

Dec-18 -2.7%
Nov-18 -4.7%
Oct-18 -2.8%
Sep-18 -0.4%
Aug-18 -0.1%
Jul-18 0.8%
Jun-18 0.7%
YTD - 2018
-1.1%
YTD - 2019
-1.8%
Q4-2018
-3.5%
Q3-2018
0.1%
Q2-2018
-0.6%
Q1-2018
0.0%



U.S. Monthly Percent
Change
vs Prior Month


Dec.

-2.8%


% Change
Age Groups
(year-over-year)




0-44



45-59



60+
YTD
-2.7%
-0.7%
3.3%
Dec - 18
-7.4%
-0.9%
10.5%
Nov - 18
-9.4%
-2.4%
7.2%
Oct - 18
-7.3%
-0.7%
8.3%
Sep - 18
-2.0%
0.2%
3.3%
Aug - 18
-1.9%
0.6%
4.4%
Jul - 18
-1.2%
2.1%
4.8%
Jun - 18
1.0%
-0.4%
1.6%



Monthly Percent Change
Composite Index
(year-over-year)

Dec-18 -2.7%
Nov-18 -4.7%
Oct-18 -2.8%
Sep-18 -0.4%
Aug-18 -0.1%
Jul-18 0.8%
Jun-18 0.7%
YTD - 2018
YTD - 2017
-1.1%
-1.8%
Q4 - 2018 -3.5%
Q3 - 2018
0.1%
Q2 - 2018
-0.6%
Q1 - 2018
0.0%

 


U.S. Monthly Percent
Change
vs Prior Month


Dec.

-2.8%

% Change
Age Groups
(year-over-year)




0-44



45-59



60+
YTD
-2.7%
-0.7%
3.3%
Dec - 18
-7.4%
-0.9%
10.5%
Nov - 18
-9.4%
-2.4%
7.2%
Oct - 18
-7.3%
-0.7%
8.3%
Sep - 18
-2.0%
0.2%
3.3%
Aug - 18
-1.9%
0.6%
4.4%
Jul - 18
-1.2%
2.1%
4.8%
Jun - 18
1.0%
-0.4%
1.6%

 

 

 

 

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