The COVID-19 pandemic has done many cruel and terrible things, but it has increased U.S. consumers’ interest in life insurance.
Susan Neely, the president of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), talked about the effect of the pandemic on life insurance sales earlier this week, at a webinar organized by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).
“Anecdotally, we’re hearing there’s a 30% to 50% increase in the sale of life insurance policies at this time,” Neely said.
- A link to a recording of the NAIFA webinar is available here.
- An article about IRI’s ideas for helping retirement savers is available here.
Neely said LIMRA, a major life insurance industry research organization, is still gathering the official life insurance sales data for the second quarter of 2020.
Life insurance market reports from the period right after the 1918 influenza pandemic show that the amount of in-force life insurance increased 46%, Neely said.
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about low interest rates, stock market turmoil, and concerns about the effects of COVID-19 on health and longevity have caused some insurers to suspend sales of certain products and product features.
Neely said ACLI member are simply trying to understand the risks they face.
“We want to provide these protection products,” Neely said. “We want them to be as available as possible.”
COVID-19 is showing that America needs stronger safety-net programs, and that may create opportunities for private insurers to help provide that safety net, Neely said.
NAIFA, a group that represents about 25,000 financial professionals, organized the webinar partly to highlight its own members’ role in helping clients with financial security needs.
Kevin Mayeux, NAIFA’s chief executive officer, talked about the need to modernize.