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Older Consumers Keep Shopping for Life Insurance

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Older U.S. consumers were out shopping for life insurance policies in February.

Application activity for shoppers ages 71 and older was 4.2% higher last month than in February 2021, as the overall level of individual application activity dropped 3.8%, according to MIB.

MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts-based group that helps life insurers share some of the information used in life insurance underwriting. It uses its own application-checking volume data to provide an early look at life insurance shopping activity.

MIB figures reflect the performance of part of the retirement planning market as well as of the protection life insurance market, because many of the applicants expect to use their policies to provide cash in retirement, or to support long-term care plans.

Overall life application activity was strong in February, but it suffered from tough comparisons with February 2021 activity, MIB says.

Social distancing hurt application activity starting around April 2020. When the restrictions eased later that year, pent-up demand for life insurance created a surge in application activity.

Even though overall activity was lower in February 2022 than in February 2021, it was 3.2% higher than in February 2020, according to MIB.

The Details

Here are the activity change figures, broken down by age group, for February:

  • Ages zero-30: down 4.4%.
  • Ages 31-50: down 5.1%.
  • Ages 51-60: down 3.4%.
  • Ages 61-70: down 2.4%.
  • Ages 71 and older: up 4.2%.

Policygenius Price Index

Policygenius, a life insurance web broker, uses its term life pricing information to provide 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.

Prices changed little between August 2020, when Policygenius created the index program, and February, but they’re up a little this month.

The lowest price in the tables increased 2.6% March 1 — to $14.26, from $13.90.

The highest price, for the 55-year-old man who smokes, increased about 0.4% — to $1,019.92, from $1,015.73.

(Image: Kostiantyn/Adobe Stock)