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Report: Unprecedented gains in 2015 U.S. life insurance activity

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Application activity for individually underwritten life insurance posted its largest historical year-end gain in 2015, up 2.7 percent year-to-date, according to the MIB Life Index.

Continuing the expansion seen in the last two quarters of 2014, application activity progressively gained momentum across all four quarters of 2015, suggesting continued growth heading into 2016. Excluding March, the MIB Life Index showed gains across every month in 2015, up 2.8 percent in December, year-over-year.

Trending year-end Index values show 2015 rebounding to just slightly below the Index’s most recent highpoint in 2012, on par with those seen in 2010 and 2011.

Month-to-month, December’s activity was 8.2 percent less than that of prior month. The dip contrasts with a very strong November (up 9.7 percent), but was consistent with previous trends for the same period.

For the first time in the history of the Index (2001), the 0-44 age group led all other age groups in year-over-year percent growth at the close of 2015. 

  • Ages 0-44 jumped 4.5 percent in December and finished the year up a record-breaking +3.9 percent YTD.

  • Ages 45-59 were flat at 0.1 percent in December, up +0.7 percdent YTD; and

  • Ages 60 percent were up +2.0 percent in December and up 2.3 percent YTD.

The past year showed a marked handoff in life insurance buyer behavior. Previously led by growth in ages 60-plus, this group’s percent gains remain positive but diminishing, with ages 0-44 showing solid strength for five consecutive quarters.

“More than one-in-three American workers today are millennials (adults ages 18 to 34), according to Pew Research—the peak ages for raising families and buying homes,” says MIB Group Chief Executive Officer Lee Oliphant.

The transformative sales, underwriting and distribution strategies insurers have been focusing on appear to be taking hold, as this year’s Life Index results reflect very positive trends for this age group.”

See also:

What’s really behind the life insurance industry’s sales stall

The new life insurance sales process

The salesman who doesn’t sell

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