Commentary May 10, 2022 at 07:44 AM Share & Print
What You Need to Know
- Activity for the 71-and-older age group was relatively strong.
- Universal life applications held up the best.
- Whole life activity fell the most.
U.S. individual life insurance application activity continued to cool in April, according to the new MIB life application activity report.
Application activity was 7.7% lower in March than in March 2021.
In April, application activity was 12% lower than in April 2021.
MIB Group has published those figures in its latest monthly activity index report.
The Braintree, Massachusetts-based group helps member life insurers share underwriting data. It bases the monthly index reports on the number of applications flowing through its systems.
What It Means
Life insurers spent years fighting consumer apathy and financial weakness.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sales at first, then helped sales, by showing consumers why they needed protection against the financial impact of sudden, unexpected death.
Now that the focus on the pandemic is fading, life insurers face tougher year-over-year application activity comparisons, and it’s possible that inflation, rising interest rates and other factors are affecting consumers’ ability to pay for life insurance.
Here are the activity change figures, broken down by age group, for April:
- Ages zero-30: down 14%.
- Ages 31-50: down 12%.
- Ages 51-60: down 12%.
- Ages 61-70: down 11%.
- Ages 71 and older: down 1.3%.
Universal life application activity was down just 6.6%; whole life activity dropped 21%.
Term life was in the middle, with an activity decrease of 12%.
Activity at the $5 million-and-up coverage level increased by 10% or more for consumers ages zero-30, ages 61-70, and ages 71 and older.
The 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.
Policygenius figures suggest rising premiums may not be causing life application friction.
This month, the lowest price in the tables fell slightly, to $14.21, from $14.25 last month.
The highest price, for the 55-year-old male smoker, fell even more — to $1,016.10, from $1,019.02.