March 8, 2021
U.S. life insurance application activity continues rise with Year-over-Year (YOY) activity up +7.3%, according to the MIB Life Index. Year-to-Date (YTD) activity was up by +5.5%, continuing a growth trend that dominated most of 2020, with the exception of a brief pandemic driven stall in April and May.
U.S. Report ChartWhile growth was seen across all age bands under age 71, middle age groups 31-60 showed the highest gains in February. Ages 0-30 grew YOY by 5.1%, ages 31-50 by +11.0%, ages 51-60 by +8.4% and ages 61-70 grew by +4.3%. In contrast, ages 71+ continued on a decline trend that began last March and dropped YOY by -6.2%.
Composite YOY growth percentages increased as face amounts increased, with growth ranging from +8.9% for face amounts up to and incuding $250,000 to +15.7% for face amounts above $5M. Ages 0-60 produced the most growth YOY, with double digit increases across all face amounts above $250K. All age groups saw growth for amounts up to $250K YOY, with double digit growth for ages 31-60. Ages 61-70 also saw growth for face amounts over $2.5M, in double digits for amounts over $2.5M up to and including $5M. In contrast, age 71+ saw double digit declines in amounts over $250K up to and including $500K and over $1M.
All product types had YOY composite growth, with double-digit growth seen for Term and Universal Life. All age bands under age 70 had growth for all product types, with double-digit growth in Universal Life for ages 0-50 and in Term Life for ages 31-60. Ages 71+ saw a downward trend in Universal Life in favor of growth in Term and Whole Life.
On a monthly basis, activity in February 2021 grew by +5.9% compared to January, despite the short month, President's Day holiday and weather challenges in the southern U.S. Of particular note, February was the first month since September 2020 where all age groups saw month-over-month increases (ranging from +4.4% - +8.0%).
Methodology Change for 2021:
MIB has changed the way we report trends in application activity. Effective immediately, 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.