U.S. Life Insurance Activity Finishes Flat for 2019 Reports the MIB Life Index

Younger Age Application Activity is Cause for Concern as Older Age Life Applications Take Charge in 2019

Braintree, MA. (January 13, 2020) — U.S. life insurance application activity ended 2019 above par value, up 0.4% YTD, according to the MIB Life Index. This year's positive result marks a two-year climb from the Index's most recent year-end low in 2017, when the Life Index was off -1.8% YTD. The 2019 quarters showed mixed application activity with Q1 and Q3 Y/Y declines offset by gains in both Q2 and Q4.
Life Index Chart
Overall, the 2019 MIB Life Index gained ground in nine out of twelve months with Y/Y percent change gains in January (2.1%), June (3.3%) and November (6.0%) peppered by three strong declines in March (-4.9%), July (-3.2%) and December (-3.3%). In relative terms, the 2019 year-end index value (98.9) is 2.6% lower than its all-time high seen in 2012 (101.4).

An Age Group Story

Double digit gains in ages 60+ application activity, 10.1% YTD (the smallest segment of life index activity at 20.5%) successfully offset a -3.3% YTD decline in application activity ages 0-44 (the index's largest segment at 52.3%). Tension between these two age groups kept the MIB Life Index close to par value throughout 2019 as ages 45-59 activity remained stable during the course of 2019, up 0.9% Y/Y YTD.

Age group leadership of the Life Index swapped hands in Q1 2018 from ages 0-44 to ages 60+. Showing record-breaking strength in 2019, ages 60+ application activity led all four quarters posting double-digit Y/Y gains in Q1 (12.6%), Q2 (13.2%) and Q3 (10.0%) with Q4 activity up 5% to finish 2019 up 10.1% YTD. The year-end index value of 123.8, up 23.8% since 2011, is the highest on record for any age group.

Conversely, application activity ages 0-44 declined across all four quarters off -6.1% Q1, -2.7% Q2, -4.0% Q3, -0.1% Q4 to finish 2019 down -3.3% YTD. Application activity ages 45-59 trended slightly positive with only one negative quarter, up 0.5% Q1, up 1.9% Q2, off -0.2% Q3 and up 1.3% Q4 to finish 2019 up slightly at 0.9% YTD.

"Younger age buyers continue to pose significant challenges – balancing disposable income with the value of life insurance protection…" said Lee Oliphant, MIB Group’s Chief Executive Officer. "As an industry, we continue to make investments to educate consumers as to the value of life insurance and enhance the buying experience; 2019 results imply that challenges with this age group remain."

Download the 2019 MIB Life Index Annual Report for a full analysis bit.ly/2019MIBLIAR.

Watch the 2019 MIB Life Index "At the Half" video: https://mib.wistia.com/medias/7mo2pnv08r.
Our "2019 Year-in-Review" video with MIB CEO Lee Oliphant will be released in early February.


Monthly Percent Change
Composite Index
(year-over-year)

Dec-19 -3.3%
Nov-19 6.0%
Oct-19 1.4%
Sep-19 1.9%
Aug-19 0.5%
Jul-19 -3.2%
Jun-19 3.3%
May-19 1.1%
Apr-19 0.1%
Mar-19 -4.9%
Feb-19 0.4%
Jan-19 2.1%
   
YTD - 2019
0.4%
YTD - 2018
-1.1%
Q4-2019
1.3%
Q3-2019
-0.3%
Q2-2019
1.5%
Q1-2019
-1.0%



U.S. Monthly Percent
Change
vs Prior Month


December

-11.4%


% Change
Age Groups
(year-over-year)




0-44



45-59



60+
Dec-19
-4.2%
-3.8%
-0.1%
Nov-19
4.6%
7.2%
8.2%
Oct-19
-0.4%
0.9%
6.9%
Sep-19
-2.2%
2.7%
12.5%
Aug-19
-2.9%
0.1%
10.4%
Jul-19
-6.9%
-3.4%
7.2%
Jun-19
-1.3%
4.1%
15.6%
May-19
-2.8%
0.5%
13.3%
Apr-19
-4.0%
1.3%
10.8%
Mar-19
-9.1%
-4.5%
7.6%
Feb-19
-4.4%
1.9%
12.5%
Jan-19
-4.4%
4.6%
18.2%
YTD 2019
-3.3%
0.9%
10.1%





Monthly Percent Change
Composite Index
(year-over-year)

Dec-19 -3.3%
Nov-19 6.0%
Oct-19 1.4%
Sep-19 1.9%
Aug-19 0.5%
Jul-19 -3.2%
Jun-19 3.3%
May-19 1.1%
Apr-19 0.1%
Mar-19 -4.9%
Feb-19 0.4%
Jan-19 2.1%
   
YTD - 2019
YTD - 2018
0.4%
-1.1%
Q3 - 2019 -0.3%
Q2 - 2019 1.5%
Q1 - 2019 -1.0%

 


U.S. Monthly Percent
Change
vs Prior Month


December

-11.4%

% Change
Age Groups
(year-over-year)




0-44



45-59



60+
Dec - 19
-4.2%
-3.8%
-0.1%
Nov - 19
4.6%
7.2%
8.2%
Oct - 19
-0.4%
0.9%
6.9%
Sep - 19
-2.2%
2.7%
12.5%
Aug - 19
-2.9%
0.1%
10.4%
Jul - 19
-6.9%
-3.4%
7.2%
Jun - 19
-1.3%
4.1%
15.6%
May - 19
-2.8%
0.5%
13.3%
Apr - 19
-4.0%
1.3%
10.8%
Mar - 19
-9.1%
-4.5%
7.6%
Feb - 19
-4.4%
1.9%
12.5%
Jan - 19
-4.4%
4.6%
18.2%
YTD 2019
-3.2%
1.3%
11.0%

 

 

 

 

Download the 2019 MIB Life Index
Annual Report for a full analysis
bit.ly/2019MIBLIAR
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