The Post-Pandemic Life Insurance Boom
Is it too early to call this the post-pandemic era? No one knows; time will tell. What is known is that the first few months of 2021 recorded a significant uptick in the number of life insurance policies sold.
According to the insurance industry research and analytics group LIMRA, life insurance policies were sold during the first quarter of the year at a pace unmatched in decades. Sales rose 11% over the previous quarter, and new premiums were signed at a rate 15% higher than the first quarter of 2020. LIMRA reported that early 2021 recorded the highest growth in policies sold since 1983.
Growth does not appear to be limited to specific carriers or niches; eight of the nation’s top-ten carriers reported double-digit increases in new policies signed during the first quarter. Out of the new sales, 88% were whole and term life insurance policies. The largest growth area was in variable universal life policies, which recorded a 31% increase over the same period from last year.
Along with the positive results, projections indicate that the spike is likely not a passing trend. LIMRA’s 2021 Insurance Barometer Study measured a notable increase in consumer’s intentions to purchase a policy in the near future; 36% of survey respondents reported they “intend to buy a policy within the next year” – the highest percentage the survey has ever recorded over eleven years of existence.
Two main factors are driving increased demand. One is the pandemic. Years and years of diminishing sales were brought to a stark halt by the reality of the coronavirus pandemic. Life as we knew it ground to a stop, and people of all ages were forced to reckon with their own mortality. Industries changed overnight and unemployment skyrocketed. The reality of financial ruin was an unavoidable consideration for all – the pandemic forced us to consider how to best prepare for the worst and provide for our families in the event of the unthinkable.
The second factor driving the boom is the removal of barriers for selling policies. Technology had already advanced to the point where underwriting decisions could be made instantly and at the point of sale; the pandemic served to hasten the public’s comfort with online-only service options.
Consider the advances in recent history. Fifteen years ago, a potential policy-seeker might meet with an agent and schedule a doctor’s appointment. Five years ago, one might print off a form and mail it to office headquarters. Now, the necessary medical and personal records required for underwriting decisions are accessed online immediately through automation and analyzed through AI.
Leading the charge in the technological revolution that has spurred the boom in life insurance volume are firms like Management Research Services (MRS). Behind the scenes, MRS’s insurance services platform uses cutting edge AI and automation to ensure that underwriting decisions can be performed within moments and at the point of sale, saving carriers and end users time and resources.
MRS was recognized as an “established player” in Novarica’s 2020 year-end report (which summarizes options for life insurance underwriting business systems); their software is an industry leader and among the most respected brands.
MRS works with businesses of all sizes to customize insurance-offering platforms and eApps. Their solutions have no up-front costs, no license fees, and are built from the ground up to suit customer needs with rapid integration times. To learn more about how MRS is changing the way businesses and carriers offer life insurance, go to https://managementresearchservices.com/.