NU Online News Service, Aug. 13, 3:53 p.m. – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says Canadian insurers helped heat up the North American life market in July.

The U.S. insurers MIB serves checked 2% more individual life applications last month than they did in July 2001, and consumers over age 60 accounted for most of that growth.

In Canada, insurers increased their application volume 19%, and much of the growth came from applications filled out by younger consumers, MIB says.

Canadian volume was so strong it helped pump the total North American volume increase up to 3.6%.

The increase appears to be more than a statistical fluke: Canadian insurers have recorded double-digit application growth in five of the last seven months, MIB says.

MIB is a nonprofit group that collects information on individual life insurance customers for most U.S. life and health insurance companies. The group uses the search activity for its own databases to compute life application activity statistics.