A line chart where the line zigzags from January through June, then shoots up like a rocket in July (Credit: MIB)

U.S. residents under age 45 spent July shopping for life insurance as if it were a hot new phone, or hand sanitizer.

Consumers in that age group filed close to 20% more life applications last month than they did in July 2019, according to MIB Group.

The under-45 group has been the strongest-performing age group since February, after years of being the weakest-performing age group.

MIB’s overall life application activity index was 14.1% higher in July than in July 2019.

Here are actual the MIB activity numbers for each age group for July:

  • Ages 0-44: Up 18.9%
  • Ages 45-59: Up 12.9%
  • Ages 60 and older: Up 4%

MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts-based life and health underwriting data consortium. MIB analysts base MIB’s life insurance application activity index on 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.

Part of the increase in the application activity level for people under 45 may reflect the underlying U.S. population structure.

Members of “Generation X” are part of a relatively small “baby bust” generation. They were born from 1965 through 1979, meaning that the oldest GenXers are turning 55 this year, and the youngest are turning 41.

Members of “Generation Y,” or the millennial generation, were born from 1980 to 1996. The youngest members of that generation are turning 24 this year, but the oldest are turning 40 and are in their protection life insurance purchasing prime.

Another reason for the increase in the application activity level for young consumers may be COVID-19-related underwriting changes.

Life insurers have responded to the social distancing rules by adding or expanding fast, digital-only underwriting processes that may have been especially attractive to younger applicants.

Many life insurers have limited the ability of people with chronic health problems and people over a certain age to use the new underwriting processes. It’s possible that older consumers’ level of interest in life insurance increased about as much as younger consumers’ level of interest did, but that underwriting restrictions and fear of buying coverage online held down sales to older consumers.

— Read Michael Fosbury to Lead MIBon ThinkAdvisor.

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