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Strong Whole Life Demand Boosts Application Activity

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What You Need to Know

  • Growth in application activity was strongest for consumers ages 51 through 60.
  • Growth in activity was weakest for applicants ages 61 through 70.
  • The monthly term life premium for a 55-year-old male smoker who wants $1 million in coverage is lower than it was in October 2020.

Strong consumer interest in whole life insurance helped lead to a 2.9% increase in life insurance application activity between November 2020 and November 2021, according to new data from MIB Group.

MIB reported a 1.5% drop in activity for October, but it has been reporting increases in year-over-year activity comparisons most months this year as consumers, life insurers and agents recover from the application freeze that the COVID-19 pandemic caused in early 2020.

Whole life saw growth across all age bands,” MIB says.

Activity for term life and universal life was up for some age groups but down for others.

The numbers may mean that some life insurers that had imposed tough underwriting restrictions on older consumers as a result of the pandemic have now lifted those restrictions.

MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts–based organization that helps U.S. and Canadian life insurers share underwriting information. It uses its application-checking activity data to compile the application activity reports.

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The Details

Here are the age-group activity figures for November:

  • Ages 0–30: up 2.5%.
  • Ages 31–50: up 3.2%.
  • Ages 51–60: up 31.7%.
  • Ages 61–70: up 0.8%.
  • Ages 71 and older: up 12.0%.

Policygenius Price Index

In late 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic was underway, Policygenius started using the term life information that life insurers feed into its website to prepare monthly term life price index reports.

The company bases the index on prices for coverage with a 20-year-level premium term.

The lowest price shown is for coverage for a 25-year-old female nonsmoker who wants $250,000 in death benefits.

The highest price is for a 55-year-old male smoker who wants $1 million in death benefits.

This month, the lowest price in the tables increased to $14.25, up from $14.22 in late 2020.

But the highest price, for the 55-year-old male smoker, fell to $1,021.06, from $1,036.76.