What is the MIB?

If you’ve ever applied for life insurance you may have heard your agent talk about the MIB, which is short for Medical Information Bureau. The MIB is responsible for maintaining a database of information used by insurance companies when evaluating risk associated with an applicant.

This information is used by underwriters for life insurance, as well as health, disability income, critical illness, and long-term care insurance policy applications.

MIB Group, Inc. is a member-owned corporation that has operated on a not-for-profit basis in the United States and Canada since 1902. MIB’s Underwriting Services are used exclusively by MIB’s member life and health insurance companies to assess an individual’s risk and eligibility during the underwriting of life, health, disability income, critical illness, and long-term care insurance policies.


If you have applied for any of the above-mentioned types of insurance in the last 7 years, then odds are that you have a MIB consumer file. The MIB obtains this information from insurance companies that are members (most top-rated insurance companies are btw).

Your MIB file doesn’t contain actual medical conditions, lab results, etc, but rather codes that cover certain conditions, medications, etc. This high-level information is used by underwriters to either request more information from you, your doctor and/or any other appropriate source(s) to determine your insurability or to approve or decline your application.

Some codes that may appear on your MIB file are sufficient for a life insurance policy application be declined without further elaboration requested by the underwriter. Without knowing the specific details, the code itself represents something that is not insurable in that company’s underwriting guidelines.

If you have been declined insurance based on the contents of your MIB consumer file, you should request a copy of your file. Review it like you would your credit report. If anything is incorrect, there is a process you can follow to request a review and correction. Anything you can provide to support your request will help your case, a letter from your doctor being the most common thing required.

If a correction is made to your file, it should be attached to any life insurance application you submit for the following 6-12 months, to ensure that the underwriter is referencing up-to-date information.