EXECUTIVES at the largest insurance companies in the United States are alarmed that teenagers, young and white-collar Americans in the prime of life are dying at a record rate, causing a ‘monumental outflow’ of death claims and drag on profits that is shaking the industry and causing some to take a fresh look at the problem.
According to an October 26 report in InsuranceNewsNet, US insurance companies saw death benefits rise 15.4 per cent in 2020, the biggest one-year increase since the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, followed by a record $100.28billion — nearly double the historic norm — in total death benefits paid out by the industry in 2021.
‘The numbers were naturally forecast to climb during the pandemic, but some industry and health authorities are concerned the rates haven’t greatly diminished as Covid infection rates have declined,’ InsuranceNewsNet reported.
It said that insurers are especially concerned by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that show ‘mortality rates alarmingly rising for different categories’ including younger adult mortality rates up more than 20 per cent on historic norms in 2023.
The CDC numbers reported in August show the death rate for Americans aged 15-45 rose 20-24 per cent above normal in 2020, and soared in 2021 to a nearly 30 per cent death increase for 15-year-olds and a more than 45 per cent increase for 45-year-olds.
Most troubling to insurers, CDC data reported in August showed that Americans in the period January-May 2023 were still dying at abnormally high rates with the pandemic long over. Mortality rates were 25 per cent higher than normal among 15-19-year-olds and 20 per cent higher among 45-year-olds considered in the prime of life.
Even twenty-somethings were dying at a rate nearly 15 per cent above normal and thirty-somethings at a pace 20 per cent higher than usual, the CDC data show.
The excess deaths and the record drag on insurance company revenue, and the predictive chaos in actuarial tables they represent, alarmed the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the world’s largest professional actuarial organisation.
Life insurance executives and actuaries told InsuranceNewsNet, ‘The numbers are alarming and could continue to drag earnings and surge death claims for years to come.’
Yet in its latest report issued in May, the SOA Research Institute found no connection between the historic US death rates and insurance payouts starting in 2021 and Covid-19 vaccine mandates that rolled out the same year.