MIB Life Index Reports U.S. Life Insurance Activity off -1.4% in December

2010 Application Activity down -1.2%; Strong Q4 Boosts Results

Jan 26, 2011, 15:15 ET from MIB Group, Inc.

BRAINTREE, Mass., Jan. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined by -1.4% in December year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index (http://www.mib.com/lifeindex). At year-end, the U.S. Life Index was off a modest -1.2% year-over-year, all ages combined — significantly less than the three percent plus annual declines the industry experienced from 2006-2008, and only one percent off December 2009's YTD close (-0.2%). "2010's modest decline demonstrates resilience in the markets when compared to the past," states Lee B. Oliphant, MIB's President and CEO. "Applicants in the 45-59 age group, surged by more than 11% in the fourth quarter as compared to the third quarter, making up lost ground to finish flat; applicants ages 60+ continued to drive the market, albeit at a somewhat diminished pace."  All ages combined, U.S. application activity was up +9.4% in the fourth quarter as compared to Q3.

U.S. application activity by age group at year-end was: ages 0-44, off -4.4%; ages 45-59, flat at -0.1%; and ages 60+, up +9.9%, year-over-year. Given past trends, the 45-59 age group did well this year despite its flat finish.  After five years of declining application activity, ages 45-59 turned positive in 2009 up +1.8%, year-over-year. In 2010, quarter-over-quarter results show this group up +2% and +11.4% in Q1 and Q4, respectively regaining losses of -9.9% and -3.7% in Q2 and Q3, respectively.

The six-quarter trailing trend for the U.S. MIB Life Index tells the broader story. The industry's resurgence from the recession was marked in the final two quarters of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 — up +0.3% (Q3-2009), up +2.9% (Q4-2009), and up +1.3% (Q1-2010) year-over-year. The remaining three quarters of 2010 broke that trend with activity off -1.8% (Q2-2010), -2.6%(Q3-2010), and -1.8% (Q4-2010) year-over-year.  For more year-end trends and analysis, register to view MIB's 2010 Life Index Annual Report at www.mibsolutions.com/regLI or login at www.mibsolutions.com/loginLI.

U.S. Monthly Percent Change

(2010  /  2009)





Q4 2010


YTD 2010


U.S. Monthly Percent Change by Age

(2010  /  2009)




0 - 44




45 - 59




60 +




Monthly Percent Change

vs. Prior Month

December 2010


About the MIB Life Index

The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry's timeliest measure of application activity across the U.S. and Canada. Released to the media each month, the Index is based on the number of searches life member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database. Since the vast majority of individually underwritten life premium dollars in North America include an MIB search as a routine underwriting requirement, the MIB Life Index provides a reasonable means to estimate new business activity.  

About MIB Group, Inc.

MIB Group, Inc. is the premier provider of Internet-based information and knowledge services to the risk management market in North America and is a leading facilitator of electronic insurance commerce.  MIB Group, Inc. companies include MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc. (www.mib.com).


David O. Aronson

MIB Group, Inc.



SOURCE MIB Group, Inc.