NU Online News Service, Jan. 29, 2:53 p.m. – MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked only 1.1% more life insurance applications in 2002 than they checked in 2001.

U.S. activity boomed early in the year, then tailed off.

But “it was a solid year for the U.S. life insurance market in light of 2001′s flat performance,” says Stacy Gill, a vice president at MIB’s e-Services Corp.

The performance was especially impressive given the fact that the major stock indices were all down 15% to 30%, Gill says.

Canadian activity remained strong all year, and the Canadian life activity rate was up 9.8% in 2002, MIB says.

Age also made a difference: insurers checked 9% more applications in 2002 for U.S. and Canadian consumers over age 59, but they checked 0.4% fewer applications for consumers under age 45.

MIB is a nonprofit group that collects information about individual life insurance customers for most U.S. and Canadian 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 insurers that account for more than 95% of all U.S. individual life premium revenue, MIB says.