NU Online News Service, Dec. 11, 2:43 p.m. – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 7.8% fewer life insurance applications in November than they checked in November 2001 and 14.6% fewer than they checked in October.

MIB had hoped a smaller October decrease was the result of a spike in applications following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks rather than a decrease in demand for life insurance, and MIB says November is usually slower than October.

“In the U.S. marketplace, November’s activity has lagged October’s in six of the past seven years,” says Stacy Gill, a vice president at MIB’s e-Services Corp. unit. “However, this year’s drop of 14.6% is the second largest October-to-November decline since 1997.”

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.