5 Ways the New Stock Market Rollercoaster Could Affect Life Insurers

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/06/16/5-ways-the-new-stock-market-rollercoaster-could-affect-life-insurers/

Excerpt:

1. Clients could swarm on life and annuity products with benefits guarantees like ants on a candy bar that fell under the picnic table.

Sales of products such as non-variable indexed annuities and non-variable indexed universal life insurance policies soar, as clients flocks to arrangements that can protect them against further drops in stock prices but help them share in gains if and when prices go back up.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 16 June 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

South Carolina Withdraws From Interstate Insurance Compact

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/06/13/south-carolina-withdraws-from-interstate-insurance-compact/

Excerpt:

South Carolina — one of the leaders in the effort to create the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact — has withdrawn from the compact because of a conflict over long-term care insurance rate increase application reviews.

Members of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, the body that oversees the compact, voted in December 2021 to keep a rule that lets the compact review and approve requests for LTCI rate increases under 15%.

The rule conflicts with a new South Carolina law that requires the director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance or a director designee to review and rule on all LTCI rate filings.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 13 June 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Top 10 Medicare Bills Introduced in 2022

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/04/28/top-10-medicare-bills-introduced-in-2022/

Excerpt:

Here’s a look at the top-performing Medicare bills introduced since Jan. 1.

We searched Congress.gov for new Medicare bills, then ranked the bills based on co-sponsorship bipartisanship and numbers.

Some of these bills could pass on their own. Others could surface as provisions in much larger bills, such as a Ukraine aid bill or a COVID-19 pandemic response funding bill.

What It Means

These measures seem to have the legislative mojo to go places.

Each sponsor has managed to overcome the current hostility between Republicans and Democrats and persuade at least one member of the opposite party to sign on as a co-sponsor.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 28 April 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Life Application Activity Cools Again

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/10/life-application-activity-cools-again/

Excerpt:

Policygenius, a life insurance web broker, uses its term life pricing information to provide monthly term life price index reports.

The company bases the index on prices for coverage with a 20-year-level premium term.

The lowest price shown is for coverage for a 25-year-old female nonsmoker who wants $250,000 in death benefits; The highest price is for a 55-year-old male smoker who wants $1 million in death benefits.

Policygenius figures suggest rising premiums may not be causing life application friction.

This month, the lowest price in the tables fell slightly, to $14.21, from $14.25 last month.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 10 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 Deaths Cause More Than $700M in Q1 Claims

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/09/covid-19-deaths-continue-to-hit-life-insurers-hard/

Excerpt:

COVID-19 returned to killing older Americans at a much higher rate than younger Americans in the first quarter, and that helped to hold down life insurers’ death claims.

The pandemic killed about 155,000 U.S. residents in the latest quarter. That was up from 127,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021, but down from 191,000 in the first quarter of 2021, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public and private sources.

Some life insurers and reinsurers that posted earnings last week skipped COVID-19 mortality details.

…..

MetLife: $230 million in world group life claims this quarter, down from $280 million a year earlier.

Hartford Financial: $96 million before taxes this quarter, down from $185 million a year earlier.

Unum: 1,400 deaths at an average of $55,000, or $77 million, down from 1,725 deaths at an average of $65,000, or $112 million, a year earlier.

Lincoln Financial: $53 million in group life claim claims and $18 million in group disability claims this quarter, down from $83 million in group life claims and $7 million in group disability claims a year earlier.

Voya: $35 million in group life claims this quarter, up from $29 million a year earlier.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 9 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 Deaths Cause More Than $700M in Q1 Claims

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/09/covid-19-deaths-continue-to-hit-life-insurers-hard/

Excerpt:

Reinsurance Group of America — a Chesterfield, Missouri-based reinsurer — said its U.S. COVID-19 individual life claims fell to $260 million in the latest quarter, from $340 million a year earlier.

“Our U.S. individual mortality results are very consistent with what we are seeing in the general population this quarter,” Jonathan Porter, RGA’s global chief risk officer, said Friday, during a conference call with securities analysts. “We saw a reduction in our claim cost per 10,000 general population deaths as compared to the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2021. This improvement, we believe, is in part due to the lower proportion of deaths in working ages.”

Here’s what happened to U.S. COVID-19 claim statistics at some other life insurers, including some that are known mainly for group life:

MetLife: $230 million in world group life claims this quarter, down from $280 million a year earlier.

Hartford Financial: $96 million before taxes this quarter, down from $185 million a year earlier.

Unum: 1,400 deaths at an average of $55,000, or $77 million, down from 1,725 deaths at an average of $65,000, or $112 million, a year earlier.

Lincoln Financial: $53 million in group life claim claims and $18 million in group disability claims this quarter, down from $83 million in group life claims and $7 million in group disability claims a year earlier.

Voya: $35 million in group life claims this quarter, up from $29 million a year earlier.

Primerica: $16 million in life claims this quarter, down from $21 million a year earlier.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 9 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Blackstone Doubles Insurer Assets, Faces Questions About Role

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/04/22/blackstone-doubles-insurer-assets-faces-questions-about-role/

Excerpt:

Blackstone loves managing assets for insurers, but it has no interest in assuming a large amount of investment risk itself.

Blackstone Executives talked about the skin-in-the-game idea Thursday, during a conference call the company held to go over first-quarter earnings with securities analysts.

Patrick Davitt, an analyst with Autonomous Research, asked Blackstone executives Thursday about reports that some insurance regulators have concerns about independent money managers’ role in handling insurers’ investments.

“Some observers have suggested that an outcome of these reviews could be a requirement of more skin in the game for the managers, particularly those that aren’t consolidated with their insurance counterparties,” Davitt said. “So, first, what is your position on this focus? Do you think there’s a risk that regulators will require more skin in the game?”

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 22 April 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Older Consumers Keep Shopping for Life Insurance

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/03/10/older-consumers-keep-shopping-for-life-insurance/

Excerpt:

Older U.S. consumers were out shopping for life insurance policies in February.

Application activity for shoppers ages 71 and older was 4.2% higher last month than in February 2021, as the overall level of individual application activity dropped 3.8%, according to MIB.

MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts-based group that helps life insurers share some of the information used in life insurance underwriting. It uses its own application-checking volume data to provide an early look at life insurance shopping activity.

MIB figures reflect the performance of part of the retirement planning market as well as of the protection life insurance market, because many of the applicants expect to use their policies to provide cash in retirement, or to support long-term care plans.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 10 Mar 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Dialysis Provider Expects COVID-19 Mortality to Stay High

Link:https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/02/11/dialysis-provider-expects-covid-19-mortality-to-stay-high/

Excerpt:

A company that provides care for people with serious kidney disease is assuming that COVID-19 mortality will be higher this quarter than it was in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Executives from DaVita, a Denver-based kidney dialysis provider, talked about their pandemic mortality outlook Thursday, on a conference call the company held to go over earnings for the latest quarter with securities analysts.

DaVita’s patient population is much older and sicker than any commercial life or health insurer’s enrollees, but the company’s experience could give insurers a preview of what might happen to the mortality level for their highest-risk insureds.

….

“While it’s too early to accurately forecast incremental mortality in 2022, given a significant uptick in infections in January, we expect COVID-driven mortality in the first quarter to be at or above what we experienced in Q4,” Joel Ackerman, DaVita’s chief financial officer, said on the earnings call.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 11 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 Is Increasing Individual Life Claims, Too: Analysis

Link:https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/02/14/covid-19-is-increasing-individual-life-claims-too-analysis/

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The increase in the number of individual life claims was lower than for group life claims in some quarters but higher in others.

The analysts emphasize that the numbers are incomplete and subject to change.

Early results show that the number of claims was higher in the fall than in the summer both for individual life and group life.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 14 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

New York May Develop Life Policy Disclosure Rules

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/01/24/new-york-may-develop-life-policy-disclosure-rules/

Excerpt:

An NAIC committee formed the Life Insurance Illustrations Working Group in 2016.

The working group chair report said states should become the laboratories for disclosure standards.

The committee disbanded the working group and put the disclosure standards effort back in the hands of the states.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 24 Jan 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID Waves in 2020 Caused Bigger U.S Death Rate Spike Than 1918 Flu: Actuaries

Link:https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/01/26/covid-waves-in-2020-caused-bigger-u-s-death-rate-spike-than-1918-flu-actuaries/

Excerpt:

The pandemic led to the biggest U.S. death rate increase from causes other than COVID-19 since 1936.

The death rate in the highest-income counties increased to 736.1 deaths per 100,000 people, from 638.4 per 100,000 in 2019

For people ages 5 through 44, increases in the death rate from causes other than COVID-19 were much bigger than the increase caused directly by COVID-19.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 26 Jan 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor