NU Online News Service, Sept. 12, 10:23 a.m. – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass. says the U.S. insurers it serves checked 5% fewer individual life applications in August than they did in August 2001.

Application growth at Canadian insurers also stalled. Canadian application activity increased 19% in July but fell to 0% in August.

Because Canadian activity was unchanged and U.S. activity fell so sharply, overall North American activity fell 4.6%, MIB says.

MIB found that, in the United States, life insurers continued to have better luck selling to older consumers than to younger consumers. In August, activity for applicants over age 59 increased 3%, but activity for applicants under age 45 fell 7.6%.

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 statistics for its own databases to compute life application activity statistics.

The life index includes results for policies that account for more than 95% of all U.S. individual life premium revenue, MIB says.