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COVID-19 Dinged 2020 Individual Disability Sales: Milliman

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What You Need to Know

  • The number of new policies sold fell 11%.
  • New annualized premiums from the policies sold fell just 5%.
  • The pandemic may be starting to affect underwriting and claims.

COVID-19, and disruption related to the pandemic, led to a sharp drop in U.S. individual disability insurance sales between 2019 and 2020.

The number of policies sold fell 11%, to 240,000, according to insurer survey results from Milliman.

New annualized premiums from the new individual policies sold dropped 5%, to $381 million.

Milliman is an actuarial consulting firm based in Seattle. Robert Beal and Tasha Khan gathered survey responses from 15 insurers. The participating insurers produce about 90% of U.S. individual disability insurance sales.

Just four of the insurers managed to increase sales in 2020.

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But the participating insurers appear to be happier with individual disability profitability than with sales: Just one said it was disappointed with 2020 individual disability insurance profitability.

Some participants said they are starting to see claims from “long COVID” and more applicants who appear to be uninsurable due to the effects of COVID-19.

But others said claim experience has been stable.


(Photo: Autsawin Uttisin/Shutterstock)