NU Online News Service, Aug. 13, 2003, 11:03 a.m. EDT – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 1.4% fewer life insurance applications in July than they checked in July 2002.

But application activity fell only 0.6% from June, and Stacy Gill, MIB’s chief knowledge officer, says July is usually a slow month for applications.

“Over the past five years, the summer drop-off between June and July in the U.S. typically ranges from 1% to 16%,” Gill says. “This year’s June-to-July drop in the U.S. was less than 1%, suggesting further erosion in life insurance activity has not occurred.”

U.S. application activity increased in June for the first time in nine months.

A 14% increase in the activity level for U.S. applicants over age 59 helped compensate for a slump in sales to consumers under age 45.

Canadian insurers have been doing better than U.S. insurers for most of the past 12 months, but they faltered last month. The Canadian activity level was 5.8% lower in July than in July 2002, 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.