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U.S. life insurers’ efforts to improve digital sales processes may be starting to lead to increased sales of individual life insurance to young consumers.

Consumers under the age of 45 continued to post stronger application activity numbers in June than consumers in the other two age groups MIB Group Inc. tracks, for the fifth straight month.

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

  • Ages 0-44: Up 3.7%
  • Ages 45-59: Up 1.3%
  • Ages 60 and older: Down 5.5%

MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts-based organization that helps life insurers some of the information used in life and health insurance underwriting. MIB analysts create MIB’s life insurance application activity index by using MIB database search statistics.

Resources

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

MIB’s overall life application activity index was 1.2% higher this past June than in June 2019.

That was down from a 5.2% year-over-year increase for May.

Activity for the first half of the year was up 1.5% from the activity level for the first half of 2019.

The COVID-19 Effect

Many life insurers and underwriting exam firms shifted to work-at-home mode in mid-March, because of concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many life insurers have tried to shift to more use of digital application submission and processing systems, and some have made more use of automated or semi-automated underwriting procedures.

Some life insurers have tightened underwriting standards for applicants believed to be at relatively high risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Other Two Age Groups

Perhaps as a result of the underwriting procedure and rule changes, application activity levels for consumers in the 45-59 and 60-and-older age groups have followed different paths.

In January and February, the MIB activity index for consumers ages 60 and older looked the strongest. Application activity was up 3.4% for that age group in January, and up 6.4% in February.

Starting in March, when the COVID-19 changes swept in, application activity for consumers ages 60 and older has been down every month. In April, for example, activity for consumers ages 60 and older was 9.7% lower than in April 2019.

Consumers in the middle, 45-59 age group looked worse than any other age group in January and February: Their application activity increased just 0.1%, year-over-year, in January, and 2.6% in February.

Since March, however, consumers in the 45-59 age group have been in the middle in terms of application activity every month.

— Read Michael Fosbury to Lead MIBon ThinkAdvisor.

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