BRAINTREE, Mass. – Application activity for individually underwritten life insurance closed 2014 off -0.6% YTD from levels observed at year-end 2013, according to the MIB Life Index.
December's activity increased +2.6% year-over-year. First quarter declines of -5.4% (Q1-14/Q1-13) moderated over the second and third quarter, with the fourth quarter showing the most significant growth at +2.6% (Q4-14/Q4-13). November and December 2014 showed the sharpest increases up +5.2% and +2.6%, respectively. November's activity was unusually strong, up +10.6% as compared to October; December's activity declined -8.3% as compared to November, the largest decrease on record for this time period.
"The life insurance industry has recognized the need to develop transformative strategies, products and services that provide value to new and existing customers. After sluggish sales activity in the beginning of 2014, we saw increasing levels of momentum for the majority of the year and we are hopeful these favorable trends continue into 2015, despite a less than inspiring economy," said Lee Oliphant, MIB Group's Chief Executive Officer. At year-end 2014, the U.S. life insurance industry was -2.4% below its previous low in 2010, as measured by the MIB Life Index.
The MIB Life Index age groups showed a mixed, yet improved picture from year-end 2013. In 2014, ages 0-44 were off -1.5% YTD, ages 45-59 were off -0.8% YTD, and ages 60+ were up +2.8% YTD. The largest monthly decline in the 2014 MIB Life Index occurred in January (composite off -7.9%; 0-44, -9.1%; 45-59, -8.7%; 60+, -2.9%) with all age groups gradually improving over subsequent months. November and December showed the largest increases across all ages with ages 60+ in positive territory for the last nine consecutive months. 2014 marks the 60+ age group's return to positive territory after losing ground in 2013, off -1.2% YTD, levels not seen since mid-2007.
About the MIB Life Index The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry's timeliest measure of application activity in the United States. Released to the media each month, the Index is based on the number of searches MIB 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. For past releases, methodology or to subscribe visit www.mib.com/lifeindex.
About MIB MIB is the life and health insurance industry's most trusted resource for risk information and analytical services. Owned by the industry it has served for more than a century, MIB is uniquely positioned to aggregate industry insights in order to develop products and services for our members that improve their risk assessment. MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of the MIB Group, Inc. (www.mib.com and www.mibsolutions.com).
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