NU Online News Service, June 11, 2003, 1:41 p.m. EDT – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 12% fewer life insurance applications in May than they checked in May 2002.

U.S. activity has dropped for eight straight months, and it may be down again this month, MIB reports.

“Examining recent trends in the MIB Life Index suggests a declining forecast for June,” says Stacy Gill, MIB’s chief knowledge officer. “It’s reasonable to expect a 4% [to] 5% year-over-year decline next month.”

In May, U.S. activity was flat for applicants over the age of 59, down 9.9% for applicants between the ages of 45 and 59, and down 14% for applicants under the age of 45.

Canadian insurers did better than the U.S. insurers. The Canadian activity level was only 0.3% percent lower in May than in May 2002, and the Canadian activity level actually increased 7.3% between April and May. At U.S. insurers, activity was 7% lower in May than it was the previous month, 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.