Will life insurance companies be able to
to pay any death claims that can be attributed
to COVID-19 that comes on top of death claims that are not directly related to
Triple-I chief economist Dr. Steven
Weisbart says they can.
How many additional deaths should COVID-1
As of this writing, approximately 90,000 Americans have officially died
from COVID-19. In addition, there have been other deaths that seem excessive
in relation to "normal" statistics in previous years, which indicates the COVID-19 figures
is a subset. So is
possible that "lockdown" introduced almost nationally at the end of March,
April, and in part of May, is added totally through suicide, drug overdoses,
untreated conditions that would have been processed and handled in the absence of
the pandemic and the violence.
Let's assume that COVID-19 and related tensions for the full year 2020 are causing
300,000 additional deaths. To make it easier, we will ignore any reduction-related reductions
in the event of death – for example from fewer traffic accidents, air pollution and
other causes – which can be attributed to the pandemic.
it is unlikely that all people who have died from COVID-19 had individual lives
because many were 60 years or older, says Weisbart. “Although we assume a
one third of these were insured – and in addition two thirds of younger people
who died, also had life insurance – and that all these claims were in addition
to other causes of death, there would be 150,000 claims. ”
2018, the last year for which we have data, recipients
under 2.7 million individual life insurance received death benefits.
So even though 150,000 additional death claims represent a major human toll, they
would only be a 5.6 percent increase over the baseline of 2.7 million.
"It would result in total death benefits being paid to 2.85
million beneficiaries, says Weisbart. “This is about the same thing that happened in
2015 and well below the peak of 3.5 million in 2012. ”
In other words, even with our conservative assumptions, we pay
further death claims due to the pandemic are well within the industry's financial
and operational capability.