U.S. life insurers may have received fewer requests for individual coverage in January than they did in January 2007.

The MIB Group Inc., Braintree, Mass., says U.S. life insurers used MIB databases to check 1% fewer individually underwritten life insurance applications in January than they used to check applications in the comparable month a year earlier.

The year-over-year U.S. application activity level change has been negative in most months since March 2006.

MIB U.S. application query volume was down 2.8% for U.S. applicants ages 0 to 44; up 0.2% for applicants ages 45 to 59; and up 6.4% for applicants ages 60 and over.

The increase for applicants ages 45 to 59 was the first reported in many months, and the increase for applicants ages 60 and over was the largest recorded for that age group since 2002, MIB says.