NU Online News Service, Sept. 17, 2003, 6:48 p.m. EDT – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 6.8% fewer life insurance applications in August than they checked in August 2002.

U.S. application activity has fallen in seven of the last eight months, MIB says.

Stacy Gill, MIB’s chief knowledge officer, says activity has been even weaker in Canada than in the United States.

“This summer’s results for the period June-July-August lagged last year’s activity both in the U.S. and Canada by almost 2% and 3% respectively,” Gill says.

But U.S. activity was much stronger among U.S. applicants over age 59 than among younger applicants.

A 2.5% increase in activity for older applicants helped compensate for the effects of a 9% drop in activity for younger applicants.

Canadian insurers did better than U.S. insurers throughout most of 2002, but they faltered last month. The Canadian activity level was 4.7% lower in August than in August 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 the life application activity statistics