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Critical Illness Market Looks Strong: Gen Re

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What You Need to Know

  • The U.S. issuers that participated in the Gen Re survey sold about 2 million new critical illness policies in 2020.
  • The sales generated about $562 million in new annualized premiums.
  • Average benefit amounts ranged from $12,000 to about $22,000, depending on policy type.

Sales of U.S. critical illness insurance may have increased in 2019 and 2020, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Analysts at Gen Re have included data supporting that possibility in a new U.S. critical illness insurance market update.

A U.S. critical illness insurance policy pays a set amount of cash to an insured person with a specific health problem, such as having suffered a stroke or a heart attack, or has kidney failure or cancer.

Thirty-nine insurers participated in Gen Re’s latest critical illness insurance market survey.


The insurers actively marketing coverage said they generated about $562 million in new annualized premiums in 2020 from selling 2 million critical illness insurance policies.

Insurers in the market in both 2019 and 2020 said that premiums from new sales increased 3% and that the number of policies sold increased 6%.

Typical benefits ranged from about $12,000 to $22,000, depending on the type of policy sold.

Issuers had a total of 5 million in critical illness insurance policies in force, and they collected $1.5 billion in premiums for the in-force policies.

Product Performance

Gen Re found that 56% of the participants missed their critical illness insurance sales goals in 2020, but that 21% exceeded their sales goals for the product, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants said claims have been lower than expected. Some companies have responded by cutting premiums or adding benefits.

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