NU Online News Service, May 15, 2003, 4:53 p.m. EDT – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 9.6% fewer life insurance applications in April than they checked in April 2002.

April marks the seventh straight month of decreases in activity, MIB reports.

“The prolonged weak economy continues to challenge the life insurance industry,” says Stacy Gill, MIB’s chief knowledge officer. “Application activity is down across the board in all age groups.”

U.S. insurers have done better this year with consumers over age 59 than with younger consumers, and Canadian insurers have done better than the U.S. insurers.

But U.S. application activity for consumers over age 59 was down 3.2% in April from the activity level for April 2002, and the Canadian application activity level was down 4.9%, MIB says.

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. and Canadian individual life premium revenue, MIB says.