NU Online News Service, Nov. 12, 3:45 p.m. – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 1.9% fewer life insurance applications in October than they checked in October 2001.

But the decrease is probably the result of a spike in applications following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks rather than a decrease in enthusiasm about life insurance, MIB says.

“Year-to-year comparisons of U.S. application activity over the last eight months suggest modest but discernible market growth for 2002,” says Stacy Gill, a vice president at MIB’s e-Services Corp. unit. “Life insurers continue to trade market share with the size of the U.S. market, struggling for continued growth.”

MIB is a nonprofit group that collects information about 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.