Applications by Americans for life insurance rose 4 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2011, according to the MIB Life Index.
That's despite a leveling off in March, when the number of applications submitted was about the same year-over-year and was off 4.5 percent from the previous month.
Year-over-year growth in the first quarter spanned all ages. Applications for people up to age 44 increased 2.4 percent, the largest quarterly increase since the first quarter of 2002. Applications rose 3.5 percent for people ages 45 to 59, the largest quarterly increase since fourth quarter 2009. For ages 60 and up, life insurance applications rose 11.5 percent -- the largest quarterly gain since first quarter 2010.
Despite the increases, the MIB Life Index composite remains 20 percent below its par value of 100, established in January 2001.
The index is based on the number of searches life insurance companies perform on the MIB Checking Service database. Life insurers conduct a search on the database as a routine underwriting requirement for most individual life insurance policies sold.
MIB provides risk information and analytical services for member life and health insurance companies.