Executives from Reinsurance Group of America Inc. say it’s too early to know how either the current influenza season or the new coronavirus might affect the life and annuity reinsurance business.
But RGA executives did give some details about how they analyze the risk that severe, widespread disease outbreaks could lead to a spike in life insurance and health insurance claims.
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RGA executives talked about mortality trends Wednesday, during conference call the company held to go over earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019 with securities analysts.
RGA is a Chesterfield, Missouri-based company that provides what amounts to insurance life, health and annuity issuers. It also has risk management experts who help insurers analyze their exposure to major flu pandemics and at other life and health catastrophes.
During many quarterly life insurer and life reinsurer earnings calls, the analysts ask mainly about matters such as interest rates and stock buybacks.
During the latest call, the analysts asked several questions about flu and coronavirus mortality.
Anna Manning, RGA’s chief executive officer, said the U.S. flu season did get off to an early start.
But “it’s too early to predict what that means, from a mortality impact standpoint, for the season,” Manning said.
Australia is in the southern hemisphere of the Earth, and its flu season typically peaks in what are the summer months in the northern hemisphere.
This year, the flu season in Australia looked bad in the beginning but ended the year quietly, and overall mortality was about average, Manning said.