Braintree, MA — U.S. life insurance application activity held its own in the dog days of summer, flat at -0.1% year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index. Once again application activity ages 60+ outshined all other age groups—positive for four consecutive months and showing lesser declines in months where losses occurred. August results left the composite index YTD unchanged at -0.2%. August’s application activity was off just -0.5% from that of the prior July period showing typical seasonality. Relatively speaking, the industry is doing far better in August 2018/2017 YTD (-0.2%) than it did in the same eight month period in 2017/2016 YTD (-2.9%).
August’s U.S. application activity showed year-over-year gains in two out of three age groups—ages 45-59 up 0.6%, and ages 60+ up 4.4%. After solidly leading all other age groups in 2017, application activity ages 0-44 continues to slide in 2018, off -1.9% in August. We will have to watch this trend carefully as life insurance application volumes increase in the fall and early winter. Year-to-date, ages 0-44 and ages 45-59 are off -0.6%, with ages 60+ up 1.4% YTD.