North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was up +1.1% in February, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index. The MIB Life Index provides a monthly snapshot of the underwriting activity for the North American life insurance industry and is based on the number of searches life member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database.
Application activity from January to February 2009 was up +12.9%. Year-to-date, North American activity is off -1.7% compared to the same two months last year. U.S. application activity was up +1.0% in February year-over-year, all ages combined. Application volumes for people ages 45 to 59 and ages 60+ grew by +3.9% and +14.9% respectively, year-over-year while ages 0 to 44 were off -2.9% in February. Application activity is off -1.6% all ages combined year-to-date.
Percent changes in February's Life Index may be attributable to the Life Index methodology rather than a change in underlying industry trends, according to MIB. MIB notes that the February MIB Life Index, has one fewer business day in February 2009 versus February 2008 for the United States. The period February 2009 versus prior January has one fewer in the United States.
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