We must chart a course that continues producing robust mortality gains absolutely critical to our bottom lines … despite the challenges posed by the incipient 2020 Great Recession and the protean consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article identifies and discusses core factors that I believe will determine how all of this sorts out over the next decade. It also suggests how we can greatly minimize mortality-related adversities via prudent changes in how we underwrite life insurance.
Life insurers were prepared to embrace the COVID-19 challenge. Most carriers had pre-planned models and analytics ready for such an eventuality. The companies immediately calibrated their responses to the pandemic and responded with their own versions of shutdowns through product withdrawals, price increases in some cases, age limitations, offer restrictions, and postpones for clients with pre-existing conditions.
Pandemic-driven pressures are magnifying existing challenges within the underwriting profession. RGA's Lars Haaland and Catie Muccigrosso look into potential solutions that might help insurance companies emerge as leaders post-COVID-19. The key is to implement processes and partnerships geared toward the future of underwriting.
Critically important containment measures have been shown to ‘flatten the curve’ of new SARS-CoV-2 infections, save lives and ease the pressure on healthcare systems and medical supplies. At the same time, there are indications that these and other COVID-19 related measures will, depending on their extent and duration, also impact on the future mortality and morbidity trends of other areas of disease and health.
Why do some COVID-19 patients experience critically low blood-oxygen readings? Why has mechanical ventilation been of varying benefit? RGA's Heather Lund explores these and other pertinent questions surrounding COVID-19-associated coagulation abnormalities. Insights shared and learned can only help to better understand, manage, and predict possible disease outcomes of this novel pathogen.
There remains much debate about Coronavirus and the many ways in which it has affected, is affecting and will affect societies: for example, the death tolls so far and in future, ways to suppress its activity, the value of testing, tracing and monitoring, the economic impact of ‘lockdowns’ and whether governments have responded appropriately in a timely manner.
LIMRA worked with the Society of Actuaries and Oliver Wyman to conduct a series of short surveys on the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential effects on the insurance industry.
Undoubtedly, after hours and hours of CNN and network news coverage, we are all “experts” on coronavirus, something we likely knew nothing about entering this new year. How it spreads, what to do to avoid it, how to practice social distancing, sheltering in place—all part of our new vocabulary in this stressful time. Just as it affects our daily lives, it also affects life insurance applications and how we are handling different steps in the process.
COVID-19 has had the biggest short-term effect on life insurance in two ways
Life insurers are demonstrating flexibility in response to the pandemic, smoothing the sales process through digital channels, relaxed underwriting requirements and coverage extensions.