COVID-19 Has Changed Life Insurance - Forever?
The impact of the world's response to COVID-19 has changed how we do things in significant ways.
Even if the powers-that-be officially announce the end of the pandemic, the coronavirus' influence has left a lasting mark on the life insurance industry. This article lists a few of the noticeable shifts in the life insurance market in 2021.
Life insurance is being bought and sold more rapidly. To start with, the way we buy and sell life insurance may never be the same. Underwriting has become a much quicker process with our heavier reliance on automation and quicker remote/online processes. The social distancing mandates have even reduced the frequency of medical examiner visits to customers' homes.
More young customers are filling out applications for life insurance policies. Kids don't like the unknown either - and there's plenty of uncertainty given the pandemic, recent civil and political unrest, and global health policies. So it's no surprise that U.S. life insurance application rates among young adults rose 8% in 2020. As millennials show an increased interest in smaller, affordable life insurance policies, the market for these policies may expand substantially, reduce insurers' risk, and lead to better prices.
Uncertainty over future life expectancy levels remains an unknown variable for life insurers. The CDC is still trying to estimate the deadliness of COVID-19 and its future impact on mortality rates and life expectancy. Until they release a definitive projection, insurance companies are stuck wondering whether or not to raise the premium prices for those at risk of contracting the coronavirus (especially the elderly). Insurance carriers grappling with these unknown factors have seen some of the biggest and fastest changes in how they sell their insurance products. For instance, a few insurance companies have stopped selling some life insurance products(or hiked the premium prices) to their older customer base due to the coronavirus' reported impact on adults 70 years and older.
Underwriters won't require your vaccination history to issue life policies - yet. Insurers never used to consider a person's vaccination history while underwriting a life insurance policy. Even with COVID-19, insurers will need to study further whether vaccination rates lower the risk of contracting, spreading, or restarting the virus, before considering vaccination a vital factor of life insurance eligibility.
What does this mean for you in your hunt for good life insurance coverage? The path to buying life insurance has not changed much - it's always been a tricky task. Don't let that dissuade you from buying the coverage you know you need to protect your loved ones.