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Life and Health Insurers Might See Inflation: Q3 Earnings Calendar

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What You Need to Know

  • UnitedHealth posted earnings Thursday.
  • Most life, health and annuity issuer earnings start coming out Oct. 26.
  • Uncertainty about prices will give the executives something to talk about besides low interest rates and COVID-19.

U.S. prices might, or might not, be at the start of a long climb up, and that could give top executives at life, health and annuity issuers something new to talk about as they hold their new round of earnings calls.

If the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates in an effort to fight inflation, inflation could mean boom times for insurers with large blocks of disability insurance, long-term care insurance or some types of annuity guarantees on their books, by increasing bond yields, and investment earnings, without doing much to increase claim costs.

But inflation could also hurt insurers in some ways — for example, by raising claim costs for health insurers, and increasing the cost of any policy provisions that tie increases in customers’ benefits to the inflation rate.

Earnings Season

Companies that sell stock to the general public typically release earnings summaries and hold conference calls with securities analysts a few weeks after the end of every quarter. Financial professionals and clients can find links to the conference calls by going to the investor relations section on the issuer’s website.

The third quarter of 2021 ended Sept. 30.

More on this topic

UnitedHealth Group, a giant health insurer, posted earnings Thursday, with the takeaway message that COVID-19 bills haven’t been so bad.

Most other insurers will release their third-quarter earnings on or after Oct. 26.

For the past decade, executives at most life and annuity issuers have been taking many questions about the effects of low interest rates on their investment earnings, and about the effects of market volatility on hedging costs and sales.

For the past 18 months, securities analysts and others have been peppering executives with questions about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on claims and sales.

Questions

Here are some questions that analysts could ask as a result of the increased focus on inflation:

  • Are you thinking more about investing in real estate, gold or other hard assets?
  • What could inflation do to sales to different types of prospects?
  • What kinds of hedging arrangements do you have that might help you cope with rising prices?
  • What kinds of investments or hedging arrangements do you have that might be hurt by inflation?

The Earnings Release Calendar

Oct. 14

  • UnitedHealth (UNH)

Oct. 20

  • Anthem (ANTM)
  • Globe Life (GL)

Oct. 25

Oct. 26

  • Ameriprise Financial (AMP)
  • Centene Corp. (CNC)
  • Principal Financial Group (PFG)

Oct. 27

  • Aflac (AFL)
  • CNO Financial Group (CNO)
  • Molina Healthcare (MOH)

Nov. 2

  • Fidelity National Financial (Fidelity & Guaranty) (FNF)
  • Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW)
  • Kemper Corp. (NYSE:KMPR)
  • Prudential Financial (PRU)
  • Unum Group (UNM)

Nov. 3

  • Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH)
  • CVS Health (Aetna). (CVS)
  • Equitable Holdings (EQH)
  • Horace Mann Educators Corp. (HMN)
  • Humana (HUM)
  • Lincoln National Corp. (LNC)
  • Manulife Financial (MFC)
  • MetLife (MET)
  • Sun Life Financial (SLF)

Nov. 4

  • American International Group (AIG)
  • Brighthouse Financial (BHF)
  • Cigna Corp. (CI)
  • Reinsurance Group of America (RGA)

Nov. 8

  • American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL)
  • EHealth (EHTH)
  • Lemonade (LMND)
  • Primerica (PRI)

Nov. 9

  • GoHealth (GOCO)
  • Jackson Financial  (JXN)

Nov. 10

  • Oscar Health (OSCR)

To Be Announced

  • Midwest Holding (MDWT)

(Photo: Lucky-photographe/Shutterstock)