NU Online News Service, March 11, 12:43 p.m. – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 7% fewer life insurance applications in February than they checked in February 2002.

February marks the fifth consecutive month of declining activity in the U.S. market.

Application activity among Canadian residents increased 1.8%, according to MIB.

The continuing decline in U.S. application activity “may be seen as more discouraging news for the insurance industry, which is reporting large losses for 2002,” according to Stacy Gill, MIB’s chief knowledge officer.

Gill says he is not sure why the Canadian is so much stronger than the U.S. market.

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.