NU Online News Service, Jan. 13, 2004, 5:36 p.m. EST – The MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., says U.S. life insurers checked 4.9% more life insurance applications in December 2003 than they checked in December 2002.[@@]

During most of 2003, activity for U.S. applicants over age 59 showed strong growth while activity for U.S. applicants under age 45 plummeted. But MIB says activity for U.S. applicants under age 45 increased 2.7% in December. Activity for applicants over age 59 increased 9.7%.

MIB also found that activity was weaker in Canada than in the United States.

Canadian insurers did better in terms of total 2003 application activity than U.S. insurers did. For the full year, the Canadian activity level was down 1.4%. That compares with a 4.1% decline in U.S. 2003 activity. But the Canadian activity level increased only 3.5% in December 2003, MIB reports.

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.