An arrow pointing down (Credit: Allison Bell/ALM)

U.S. life insurance application activity increased a little for young consumers in March but fell for older consumers, according to MIB Group Inc.

The Braintree, Massachusetts-based group says overall application activity was 2.2% lower last month than in March 2018.

Here are the MIB activity numbers for each age group for March:

  • Ages 0-44: +0.3%
  • Ages 45-59: -4.2%
  • Ages 60 and older: -6.2%

MIB is a nonprofit industry group that helps life insurers share some of the information used in the underwriting process.

Resources

  • A copy of the latest MIB life application activity report is available here.
  • An article about the MIB life application activity figures for February is available here.

The application activity figures reflect trends in use of MIB databases.

Market Forces

About three-quarters of the U.S. consumers now in the 45-59 age group are members of the small “Generation X” generation, or people born from 1965 through 1980.

Sales of products to adults under age 45 may benefit from the fact that members of the relatively large Millennial generation, or people born from 1981 through 1996, are now in their prime insurance buying years.

Life insurers recently completed a shift to use of new mortality tables and new reserving rules, and that shift may be affecting prices and application flow.

Life insurance marketers are also looking to see how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect life insurance sales.

The pandemic could help sales by making consumers more aware of the risk of sudden death.

Life insurance publications reported in 1919 and 1920, for example, that the catastrophic 1918 influenza pandemic led to a strong increase in consumers’ hunger for life insurance.

The COVID-19 pandemic could also hurt sales, by pushing life insurers to tighten underwriting standards and processes; forcing interest rates lower and life insurance premiums up; reducing prospects’ income; and disrupting traditional, face-to-face sales efforts.

— Read Brian Winikoff to Lead MIBon ThinkAdvisor.

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