U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance rebounded in March from declines recorded in February and January, jumping 4.2percent over the year-ago period, according to a new report.
MIB Group Inc. published this finding in a summary of results from the latest release of the MIB Life Index. Published monthly, the industry gauge of U.S. application activity is based on the number of searches MIB life member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database.
The March gain stands in stark contrast to February and January, when the MIB index fell 4.5 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, year-over-year. Including March, the index registered a first quarter decline of 1 percent.
U.S. application activity was highest for individuals over age 60, rising 5.6 percent in March over the year-ago period. This compares with year-over-year declines of 3.3 percent and 2.6 percent for this age group, in February and January, respectively, the research shows.
The MIB index recorded the second highest gain in the 0-44 age group, as year-over-year application activity inched up 5.2 percent. In contrast, the index posted year-over-year declines of 3.9 percent and 1.7 percent in February and January, respectively, for this age group.
The rise in U.S. application activity was lowest among adults ages 45-59, the index recording only a 1.5 percent rise for this age group over March of 2012. The increase was, however, a significant improvement from February and January, when application activity fell 6.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, over the year-ago periods.
A MIB Group press statement attributes the March gains to "pent-up demand from the winter months."