Although applications for life insurance slowed during the second half of the year, the Medical Information Bureau's (MIB) Life Index closed 2016 at 82.38, bringing the industry back to where it stood at the end of 2008.
Each month, MIB gathers information about new applications for individually underwritten life insurance in the United States. Last year, applications were up by 1.3% compared to 2015, with most of these sales coming during the first and second quarters of the year.
As we reported earlier, sales to younger clients helped to generate eight consecutive quarters of growth for the index. However, the age 0-44 group lost ground in the final two quarters of last year, as did ages 45-59, while ages 60+ stayed positive across all four quarters. In the end, application activity in ages 0-44 and from those over 60 both finished 2016 up 1.8%, and ages 45-59 posted a 0.1% decline.
"Over the past few years we’ve seen the industry achieve solid growth in reaching younger age applicants, reflecting on-going investments in marketing and product strategies that target this demographic,” comments MIB Group’s Chief Executive Officer Lee Oliphant. “We remain cautiously optimistic that December’s uptick and traditional strength observed in past January’s will put the industry back on-track for a healthy 2017 performance."