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Life insurers adapt pandemic risk models after claims jump

By Carolyn Cohn and Noor Zainab Hussain | 13 February 2022

REUTERS — A coronavirus pandemic which lasts five years, another pandemic in a decade, and ever more transmissible variants are among the scenarios life insurers are predicting after COVID-19 claims jumped more than expected in 2021.

The global life insurance industry was hit with reported claims due to COVID-19 of $5.5 billion in the first nine months of 2021 versus $3.5 billion for the whole of 2020, according to insurance broker Howden in a report on Jan 4, while the industry had expected lower payouts due to the rollout of vaccines.

“We definitely paid out more than I had anticipated at the beginning of last year,” said Hannover Re (HNRGn.DE) board member Klaus Miller.

The increase in claims was largely down to the emergence of the Delta variant, twice as transmissible, and more likely to cause hospitalisation than the original coronavirus strain. read more

Claims rose most in the United States, India and South Africa due to the more lethal variants and a rise in fatalities or illness among younger and unvaccinated groups. […]

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