January 19, 2021
Canadian life insurance application activity finished 2020 flat at -0.3%, according to the Canadian MIB Life Index. December had the strongest YOY growth of any month in 2020 at +12.2%, continuing a growth trend that started in September and offsetting negative patterns during the first 6 months of 2020, peaking in double-digits during April and May.
When looking at 2020 compared to 2019, growth by the younger 0-30 age group of +2.9% was offset nearly entirely by declines in ages 51-60 of -6.0% and ages 61-70 of -3.5%. Activity among the 31-50 and 71+ age groups remained flat (+0.3% and +0.4% respectively).
The first 5 months of 2020 saw declines, with March and April in double-digit decline due to the impact of COVID19. Recovery began in June and July, with a slight decline again in August, but as of September, the numbers began to grow with December having the strongest YOY month of the year. However, growth was not enough to fully offset declines on a cumulative basis for the year.
YOY growth for the full year 2020/2019 was seen in aggregate for face amounts over $250K up to and including $2.5M. However, trends varied greatly by age group. Younger age groups 0-50 saw 2020/2019 YOY growth in face amounts over $250K up to and including $2.5M. For ages 51-70,YOY activity across all face amounts was flat or at negative growth while the 71+ age group saw steady growth in face amounts under $250K and declines in all other categories.
Term submissions YOY for the full year 2020 over 2019 remained relatively flat (+.71%). Declines in Universal Life products (-40.5%) were offset by increases in Whole Life submissions (+11.1%) resulting in relatively flat YOY numbers of -1.34% for permanent products.