MIB Life Index

U.S. Life Insurance Activity Returns to Growth YOY in November, Reports the MIB Life Index

YTD Growth Remains Strong

December 7, 2021

U.S. life insurance application activity was at growth in November 2021 compared to November 2020 with Year-over-Year (YOY) activity up at +2.9%. While YOY comparisons are impacted by fluctuations in 2020 activity due to COVID, when comparing November 2021 results to 2019, activity remains at growth at +4.2%. On a Year-to-Date (YTD) basis, the industry remained at growth with November 2021 up +4.3% over November 2020 and up +7.9% over 2019.

November Months Trailing Chart2021_11_age_groups_trailing_us.png

Activity for all ages returned to growth YOY or flat activity. Activity for ages 0-30 was up +2.5%, ages 31-50 up +3.2%, ages 51-60 up +1.7%, ages 61-70 up +0.8% and for ages 71+ up by +12.0%.

Age band patterns have been an interesting trend to watch due to fluctuations during 2020 driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affect the YOY comparisons. When comparing age band activity in November 2021 to pre-pandemic levels in November 2019, we see growth across ages 0-60 while ages 61+ show flat or declining activity.

Activity YOY for face amounts over $250K up to and including $500K was relatively flat, while all other amounts showed growth, in the double digits for amounts over $2.5M. When examining age bands, YOY activity for ages 0-30 showed growth for all face amounts with double-digit growth for amounts over $1M. Worthy of noting, YOY activity for age 0-30 grew by more than 50% for face amounts over $5M. Ages 31-50 saw YOY growth for amounts up to and including $250K and over $500K, in the double digits for amounts over $1M while amounts over $250K up to and including $500K showed flat activity. Ages 51-60 showed YOY growth for all amounts, in the double digits for amounts over $2.5M. Age 61-70 saw YOY declines for face amounts over $250K up to and including $500K and amounts over $1M up to and including $2.5M while all other amounts showed growth, in the double digits for amounts above $2.5M and significant double digits (>75%) for amounts over $5M (>75%). Ages 71+ saw YOY declining activity for amounts over $500K up to and including $1M, flat activity for amounts over $1M up to and including $2.5M and growth for all other amounts, in the double digits for amounts up to $250K and significant double digits (>95%) for amounts over $2.5M.

November 2021 saw growth in Whole Life and Term application activity YOY of +13.0% and +2.1% respectfully while Universal Life declined by -11.2%. Activity for Term Life showed growth for ages 31-50, declined by double digits for ages 61+ and was flat for all other age groups. Whole Life saw growth across all age bands, in the double digits for ages 0-50 and 71+. Universal Life saw declining activity for ages 0-70, in the double digits for ages 31-50 and growth for ages 71+.

Methodology Change for 2021:

MIB has changed the way we report trends in application activity. Effective with our January report, variations with industry activity reflect a straight period over period percent changes (YTD, YOY, MOM, and QOQ) based on calendar days vs. the prior methodology based on a 2011 baseline index on a business day calculation. 

Monthly Percent Composite Index2021_11_monthly_percent_change_age_us.png



MIB Life Index
Interested in learning more?
Learn more about why MIB is the insurance industry’s partner of choice for data, insights and digital solutions.