Group Term Life – Results of 2021 U.S. Market Survey




Gen Re is pleased to share the results from our latest U.S. Group Term Life Market Survey, an industry benchmarking survey covering the Group Term Life (GTL) and AD&D industry. The survey tracks sales and in‑force results as well as lapse rate and employee-paid data.

Twenty-one of the 29 companies participating in the 2021 survey have provided Group Term Life data over the past 10 survey years.

Twenty-nine companies provided GTL results for 2021. Twenty-seven provided AD&D results. On a combined basis, total GTL and AD&D in‑force premium reached $31.6 billion, with GTL representing the majority (94%) of the total. (Exhibit A)

For GTL in‑force premium, reported industry growth has ranged between 2% and 5% over the past 10 years. In 2021, in‑force premium grew by 6% compared to 2020.

After a five-year low of 1% growth in 2020, AD&D in‑force premium rose by 3% in 2021. (Exhibit B)

Author(s): Nicole Conti

Publication Date: 7 June 2022

Publication Site: Gen Re

Individual Disability Carriers Steer Through Uncertain Times




Seventeen carriers participated in our 2021 U.S. Individual Disability Market Survey, representing 99% of the market and $5.1 billion of in‑force premium. New sales in 2021 were $399 million which was flat when compared to new sales in 2020. Breaking this down even further, both Non-Cancelable (Non‑Can) and Guaranteed Renewable (GR) sales were flat when compared to 2020. Non‑Can was down 0.1% and GR was up 0.5%. Of the $399 million in total new sales premium, Non‑Can products represent 84% or $334 million, and GR is 16% or $65 million.

When asked about meeting their 2021 sales goals, 47% of the responding companies said they missed theirs. 18% of the companies met and 35% of the companies exceeded their goals. Some of the reasons given for missing sales goals were:

COVID limited face-to-face contact with consumers

Agents were focused on other products such as life insurance

The number of new policies issued grew by 2% to over 251,000 and total benefit amounts increased by 3% to more than $1.6 billion. The medical market continues to be a main driver of new business. In 2021, close to 30% of all new policies sold were in the medical market; however, the industry did see some growth down-market with increases in the number of new policies sold in the blue collar space.

Author(s): Steve Woods

Publication Date: 3 Aug 2022

Publication Site: Gen Re Perspective

The Relation Between COVID-19 and Depression



A number of studies have looked at the incidence of Long COVID, including a recently published state-of-the-art review of post-acute sequelae of severe disease.1 This indicates that 33% to 98% of survivors have symptoms or complications for at least a month. The most common of these are fatigue (28.3%‑98%), headache (91.2%), dyspnoea (13.5%‑88%), cough (10%‑13%), chest pain (5%‑42.7%), anxiety or depression (14.6%‑23%) and deficits in smell or taste (13.1%‑67%). The importance of understanding the long-term effects of COVID‑19 is vital in planning future care and management strategies. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U. S. has recently allocated $470 million to build a national study population including diverse research volunteers and, to support large-scale studies on the long-term effects of COVID‑19. This is known as the NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) study.2


A recent study of the effects of the pandemic on anxiety and major depression has estimated a significant increase in the prevalence of both major depressive disorder, with an estimated additional 53.2 million cases worldwide, and anxiety disorders with an additional 76.2 million cases. These findings are particularly concerning because depression and anxiety were already leading causes of disability worldwide. By using the global burden of disease study model, the study gives estimates of additional disability-adjusted life-years (DALYS). Major depressive disorder caused 49.4 million DALYs, and anxiety disorders caused 44.5 million DALYS in 2020.9

Whether the increase in depression and anxiety can be solely ascribed to the effects of the pandemic or whether the disease itself can induce these conditions remains uncertain. Soon after the start of the pandemic, a UK‑wide surveillance study trying to identify neurological and neuropsychiatric complications identified patients with altered mental status, which fulfilled the clinical case definition for psychiatric diagnoses:10

21 of the 23 cases were new diagnoses.

10 had new onset psychosis.

6 had a neurocognitive syndrome.

4 had an affective disorder.

Author(s): Dr. John O’Brien, Life/Health Chief Medical Officer, London

Publication Date: Feb 2022

Publication Site: GenRe

Morbidity and Mortality Trends During Times of Economic Downturn



A study using data from the Great Depression in the U.S. found that mortality decreased during this period, and life expectancy increased for all ages (except older ages), gender and race groups. Specifically, infant mortality and tuberculosis mortality declined, except in areas with extraordinarily high unemployment where malnutrition generally increased. This shows that procyclical effects dominated during this study period.1

There are a few arguments to explain this counter-intuitive effect, namely:

Economic expansions have been linked to increased smoking and alcohol consumption, reduction in sleep, increase in work stress and faster and more strenuous labour.

Mortality as a result of traffic and industrial injuries are clearly related to economic expansions.

Higher levels of economic activity may lead to increased atmospheric pollution, which has proven impacts on cardiovascular and respiratory mortality.

Influences such as increased social isolation, lack of homecare and decreased social support are known to be linked to increased employment, work pressure and higher level of work-related migration.2

Author(s): David Hatherell and Tanya van Niekerk

Publication Date: 3 February 2021

Publication Site: Gen Re Perspective