September 29th, 2020

Those dying from COVID-19 are least likely to own life insurance

U.S. life insurers are paying out far fewer COVID-19 death claims than initially expected, largely because the virus is disproportionately killing people with little to no insurance. In the past few weeks, many life insurance companies have sharply reduced estimates of their exposure, as measured by payouts per 100,000 U.S. COVID-19 fatalities. Estimates have come down by an average of 40% to 50%, according to Credit Suisse stock analyst Andrew Kligerman.

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As COVID-19 Recession Extended Into Summer 2020, More Than 3 Million Lost Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage and 2 Million Became Uninsured

With continued weakness in the labor market, researchers conclude federal and state policymakers will need to act to prevent job losses from leading to further increases in uninsurance. At the federal level, expanded subsidies for marketplace coverage and restoration of funding for outreach and enrollment assistance can help more unemployed adults afford premiums and navigate their coverage options. At the state level, additional Medicaid expansions can prevent adults from falling into an assistance gap, where they are ineligible for both Medicaid and marketplace subsidies.

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Coronavirus drives more consumers to consider big tech for insurance

Insurers need to find new ways to build capabilities to meet the digital needs of their customers as big technology companies and non-traditional players enter the insurance market, according to the recently released World InsurTech Report 2020 (WITR) from consulting firm Capgemini and Efma, a global non-profit organization that facilitates networking between decision-makers at insurance firms and banks.

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What Customers Want: The Right Coverage And The Right Price

The latest research from Nationwide’s Agent Authority study highlights areas of opportunity for agents at a time when economic uncertainty has 84% of consumers reevaluating their budgets and insurance coverages. Consumers agree that working with a trustworthy and accessible agent is a priority, but there are gaps agents can address to enhance these relationships.

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Lemonade Is An Interesting Technology Play In The Insurance Industry

Lemonade (LMND) is a pioneer of the rapidly growing insurtech industry. The company is leveraging technology to improve efficiencies and reduce bureaucracy in insurance. Lemonade, which is built upon an entirely digital substrate, is looking to upend the traditional insurance industry with the use of bots and machine learning.

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COVID-19 Prompts More Adults To Consider Life Insurance

The coronavirus pandemic gives millions of Americans—especially younger adults, those with children at home, and minorities—an opportunity to reconsider how they manage their finances. According to a new Unum survey,* 41% of adults said the pandemic has changed how their family handles finances. And nearly one in four (22%) will consider increasing their life insurance coverage this year.

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Consumers and the new reality – Insurance

These are extremely challenging times for individuals, families, businesses and indeed whole societies and economies. The insurance industry has a key role to play in supporting customers and societies through COVID-19 and the recovery. Insurance customers are becoming more demanding of their insurance companies, with more people seeking greater ease and clarity, specifically wanting improved functionality on digital platforms, proactive communication on the effect of Coronavirus on their service offering, clear direction on communication channels as well as prioritization of frontline workers.

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September 22nd, 2020

Insurtech’s place in a COVID-19 world

COVID-19 has impacted every sector of the economy, and insurance is no exception. The pandemic has highlighted inefficiencies and created new friction points for carriers and customers alike — but the experience has also validated carriers’ efforts to innovate and invest in a digital future. Insurtech is likely to play a vital, ongoing role in bringing digital innovation to the insurance sector overall. However, in the short term, many insurtech companies may face significant challenges.

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3.3M Lost Employer-Based Health Insurance Over The Summer

An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau survey data finds 3.3 million non-elderly adults in America lost employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) over the summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 recession. As a result, researchers estimate 1.9 million adults became newly uninsured from late April through mid-July.

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New Voya Survey Finds Most Americans Plan on Spending More Time Reviewing Their Workplace Benefits as a Result of COVID-19

While most working individuals (84%) believe that their core benefits (e.g. medical, vision and dental) are sufficient in helping cover unplanned medical expenses, Voya’s new survey also found that roughly 7-in-10 employees (71%) plan to spend more time reviewing voluntary benefit options offered by their employers as a result of COVID-19 than they did during the last enrollment period. Plus, more importantly, the survey reveals that more than half (53%) plan to make changes to their benefits coverages.

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MetLife to buy PE-backed Versant Health for $1.68 billion

Insurer MetLife Inc MET.N said on Thursday it will buy vision-care benefits company Versant Health for $1.68 billion from an investor group led by Centerbridge Partners and FFL Partners, to strengthen its vision insurance business. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, will add to the insurer’s earnings and free cash flow, MetLife said. Once the deal is completed, MetLife will become the third largest vision insurer in the U.S. by membership, according to the company.

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COVID-19 Speeds Up The Modernizing Of The Life Insurance Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the significant role life insurance plays in the cycle of life, as well as the importance of modernizing the sales model to withstand dramatic disruptions to the ways the industry typically operates. The current situation has emphasized the fact that the future is unpredictable. This is one of the main drivers behind why people purchase life insurance – to hedge against some of that unpredictability.

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National survey by Erie Insurance reveals top reasons people do and don’t get life insurance

Life insurance can pay for final expenses and provide financial security for loved ones left behind, but a new national survey from Erie Insurance shows many people are confused about it. Large percentages of respondents were unsure how various occupations and health conditions might affect who can or can’t get life insurance, and many significantly overestimated the cost.  Respondents also shared the reasons they first got life insurance, and the reasons they do – or don’t – have it now.

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September 15th, 2020

ACORD’s 2020 Insurance Digital Maturity Study of Top Global Insurance Carriers Finds That Fewer Than 30% Have Truly Digitized the Value Chain

A rapidly evolving insurance ecosystem, paired with financial uncertainty amid a global pandemic, have led to a need for insurers to modernize that is more urgent than ever. Yet the ACORD study indicates that much work remains to be done. Among the 130 largest worldwide insurers, fewer than 30% have truly digitized the value chain while 13% are not leveraging digital technologies within their current business processes. Further, more than half of the insurers in the study are still exploring how digitization can be applied against their business model.

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Cigna Will Expand Obamacare To More Than 200 Counties In 10 States For 2021

Cigna is the latest health insurer to increase its individual product offerings to more states, joining companies like Centene, Oscar Health and several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans that have been expanding their individual coverage under the ACA known as Obamacare.

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Top Health Insurers Report Billions in Profit During the Pandemic

During the pandemic, we’ve seen millions contract COVID-19 and file for unemployment, and small businesses fight to stay open. With many in the U.S. struggling during the pandemic, it’s health insurance companies that are thriving. Top health insurance companies UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Anthem reported billion-dollar second-quarter profits that doubled year over year.

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Policygenius Launches Life Insurance Price Index Showing Monthly Pricing

Policygenius, the nation’s leading online insurance marketplace, announced today the launch of the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which displays average monthly life insurance rates using current data from leading life insurance carriers. This free index launches in tandem with Life Insurance Awareness Month and new data will be published on a monthly basis going forward to illuminate pricing trends for consumers.

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Liberty Mutual and SafeButler partner to offer instant renters insurance

Liberty Mutual has partnered with insurance comparison site SafeButler to provide instant access to comprehensive renters insurance plans. Liberty Mutual’s API has been integrated into SafeButler’s website and will instantly return a guaranteed renters insurance quote that will remain valid for 30 days. The coverage and cost to the consumer are no different from purchasing directly from Liberty Mutual.

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Life Insurance Sales Increase 2% In 2Q As Agents Adapt To COVID

The data is in and it was a good news, bad news second quarter for life insurance policy sales — and COVID-19 impacts were felt all over. Total individual life insurance new policy sales increased 2% in the quarter, but new annualized premium fell 5%, compared with second-quarter 2019 results. Year-to-date, total policy count was up 1% and new annualized life insurance premium dropped 3%, according to LIMRA’s Second Quarter 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.

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September 8th, 2020

COVID-19 insurance, agent tech partnerships: Insurtech roundup

AXIS Insurance has partnered with AllDigital Specialty, an MGA, to launch a low-touch digital platform for quoting and binding small private company management liability coverage in the U.S. AXIS will provide paper and capacity as the underwriter for D&O and EPL policies, distributed through its wholesale broker network.

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CMS Care Compare Empowers Patients when Making Important Health Care Decisions

Care Compare provides a single user-friendly interface that patients and caregivers can use to make informed decisions about healthcare based on cost, quality of care, volume of services, and other data. With just one click, patients can find information that is easy to understand about doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care services instead of searching through multiple tools.

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Cigna, Anthem won’t have to pay damages over failed merger, judge decides

Cigna Corp. and Anthem Inc. won’t have to pay damages to one another over their failed $48 billion merger deal, a Delaware judge decided Monday, potentially resolving a bitter, yearslong legal battle that had the two insurance giants trading accusations of skulduggery.

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2Q Life Insurance Sales Decline ‘More Severe’ Than Expected: Wink

Life insurance sales struggled mightily during a pandemic-marred second quarter, according to new data from Wink’s Sales & Market Report.

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Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurer Metromile Signs Deal with Ford

Auto insurer Metromile said it is teaming up with Ford Motor Co. to provide owners of Ford vehicles with connectivity technology with personalized car insurance. Ford is Metromile’s first agreement with a major manufacturer and Metromile said its models are the most popular domestic make among its insueds.

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Need for Life Insurance Heightened by the Global Pandemic

One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear is that life is fragile and a person’s financial situation can change very quickly. Yet, despite the fact that people generally recognize the value of life insurance, LIMRA research shows 46% of Americans are uninsured and many more do not have enough coverage. Before the pandemic, nearly 1 in 3 families said they would face financial challenges within a month if the primary wage earner died.

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September 1st, 2020

Amazon introduces Amazon Halo and Amazon Halo Band to help customers improve their health and wellness

Amazon  introduced Amazon Halo, a new service dedicated to helping customers improve their individual health and wellness. Amazon Halo combines a suite of AI-powered health features that provide actionable insights into overall wellness via the new Amazon Halo app with the Amazon Halo Band, which uses multiple advanced sensors to provide the highly accurate information necessary to power Halo insights.

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Seeing the ‘deep pocket’ effect when insurers pay for health care

Some Americans pay directly for their health care. Many others have it covered by their health insurance. Both groups should pay the same amount for the same services, but don’t. The “deep pocket” concept may be at work.

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State Auto collaborates with AWS to improve customer experiences

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company (State Auto) worked with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Digital Innovation Program, which is focused on helping customers bring better ideas to market faster, to develop a new platform designed to help independent insurance agents better serve State Auto policyholders.

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Coronavirus impacting life insurance customer experience: Survey

The coronavirus pandemic is having a major effect on customer experience strategies for life insurers when compared to their P&C peers, according to a survey from Novarica.

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Verily, Google’s health-focused sister company, is getting into insurance

Verily is launching a new subsidiary for the effort called Coefficient Insurance Company, which will be backed by the commercial insurance unit of Swiss Re Group. Coefficient plans to offer stop-loss insurance.

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August 25th, 2020

Colonial Life launches new coverage for COVID-19

America’s workers concerned about the financial impact of treatment for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases have a new option for protection. Colonial Life today released a new group critical illness plan with an optional rider that offers a lump sum benefit for hospitalization for treatment of COVID-19 and more than a dozen other infectious diseases such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Legionnaires’ disease, meningitis, Lyme disease and sepsis.

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Assurant acquires Fixt

Assurant announced it has acquired vendor network management company Fixt. Founded in 2014, the Baltimore-based startup and team of ~40 people has raised around $10 million in funding and it targets the enterprise sector. It provides service through a network of more than 1,500 repair technicians.

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Cleveland Clinic, Aetna team up on insurance plan, ACO

A survey the Business Group on Health published this week found large employers expect their spending on employee health coverage to increase by 5.3% next year, a slight uptick from the increases they’ve estimated for each of the previous five years.

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Transamerica Offers Funeral Planning Benefit For IUL Policies

Transamerica announced today that it is now offering a new funeral concierge benefit at no direct cost for qualifying life insurance policyholders. Transamerica developed this new benefit, the Concierge Planning Rider, to provide grieving beneficiaries valuable resources to help plan the funeral of the insured person.

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The 50 most profitable U.S. insurance companies

This year’s Fortune 500 list reaffirms that insurance companies are some of the most profitable businesses in the U.S. Fifteen property & casualty insurers on this year’s ranking generated $1 billion or more in profits in 2019, with two achieving $5 billion or more. Just eight property & casualty companies crossed the billion-dollar mark in profits a year prior.

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Report: COVID-19 led to surge in online auto insurance quote requests

Online insurance marketplace Pretected has published a new report outlining that ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the US, there has been a surge in demand for online auto insurance quotes.

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August 18th, 2020

Nationwide® and Compassion Society Benefits Launch First Caregiver Solution for Paid Family Leave Insurance

According to a recent survey conducted by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, more than four in ten Americans are concerned the pandemic will impact their ability to fulfill potential caregiving responsibilities due to financial strain (44%) or due to their own illness caused by COVID-19 (42%).

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Driver assistance helping keep accidents down despite bad habits

Distracted driving and major speeding violations are on the rise, and technology will play a key role in helping to keep drivers safe and shaping the auto insurance customer experience, according to a new report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a provider of advanced analytics services for businesses and governmental entities.

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The 5 Myths That Keep Black Americans From Buying Life Insurance

Some recent studies show that Black households are more receptive than other races to life insurance  — but the key is reaching that market. Nearly 80 percent of Black Americans said having life insurance is a goal for them, a 2019 New York Life study found, versus 63 percent of all adults. More than 90 percent of Black Americans said they believe life insurance helps future generations succeed.

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Berkshire Hathaway’s GEICO Sees Customer Numbers Surge in 2020

The pandemic has hurt some sections of the group more than others, and large gains from the equity portfolio covered up losses from write-downs as well as retail and transportation losses. However, there was one stand-out part of the business, and that was the GEICO insurance business.

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Pet insurance continues double-digit growth

U.S. dog and cat owners spent $1.56 billion on pet health insurance in 2019, a 24.3% jump, as the number of covered animals rose by 16.7%, to just over 2.5 million.

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New Research Report from Majesco Highlights Market Growth Opportunity for Life Insurers Who Reimagine Their Business and Customer Experience

Majesco (NASDAQ: MJCO), a global leader of cloud insurance software, today announced the release of their 4th annual primary consumer research, Rethinking Life Insurance: From a Transaction to a Life, Health, Wealth and Wellness Customer Experience, highlighting a shift from a focus on policy transactions to creating a broader life, health, wealth and wellness experience.

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August 11th, 2020

DOJ sues Cigna, alleging $1.4B in Medicare Advantage fraud

Cigna falsified the health conditions of its Medicare Advantage plan members to coax CMS into making larger payments to the insurer on behalf of beneficiaries, a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit alleges. This isn’t Cigna’s first brush with the DOJ — in 2016 it was temporarily banned from selling its MA plans after CMS found it failed to abide by compliance program requirements.

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Rewriting the rules: Digital and AI-powered underwriting in life insurance

COVID-19 reinforces the urgency to make life insurance purchasing simpler and more digitally enabled. To many consumers, buying life insurance can be painful. Many companies have failed to meaningfully scale their efforts to modernize underwriting.

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Humana joins peers in reporting depressed usage, larger income in Q2

The public health crisis gripping the globe has led to large second quarter profits for insurers as members’ utilization of healthcare is drastically depressed as care is put off amid the pandemic.

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American Family Renames Ameriprise Insurance as Connect

American Family Insurance has renamed the Ameriprise Auto & Home business that it paid almost $1 billion for in a deal that closed last October. The new name is CONNECT, which is accompanied by the slogan: “Powered by American Family Insurance.”

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Are Agents Meeting Customer Needs? Study IDs Potential Gaps

The latest in Nationwide’s Agent Authority research found that economic uncertainty and unpredictable markets have forced business owners and consumers to reevaluate their finances and insurance needs. This requires insurance agents to navigate unique challenges when helping customers interpret their property and casualty policies.

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Insurer strategies to manage new communication technology

Technology options and solution providers are plentiful, but the big question for insurers is how to leverage the right mix of these across the enterprise.

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U.S. Life Insurance Activity Soars in July Reports the MIB Life Index

After sharp submission declines earlier in the year, U.S. life insurance application activity has come back vigorously, up 14.1% in July YOY, according to the MIB Life Index. The most expansive YOY growth for a July on record, this month’s results show a significant demand matched by a resilient industry that has successfully adjusted to how business is acquired and underwritten.

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August 4th, 2020

6 States Taking A Multiyear Approach To LTC Costs

Facing mounting pressures on Medicaid budgets, some states are forging a vision for what is necessary to finance a growing need for long-term services and supports (LTSS).

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Humana partners with Heal and invests $100 million in the company’s doctor-on-demand service

“The doctor’s office is dead.” That’s the way Nick Desai,  the co-founder and chief executive of the Los Angeles-based startup Heal, describes the future of traditional healthcare delivery.

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Health-care business is down. Insurance premiums are another story, experts say

When COVID-19 smacked the United States in March and April, health plans feared medical costs could skyrocket, jacking up premiums drastically in 2021, when millions of the newly unemployed might still be out of work. 

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How Insurance Consumers Are Responding to Covid-19

Beyond Covid-19’s toll on human health, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have led to harsh economic conditions for many people. This turmoil has rippled through the insurance industry, in the form of shifting customer priorities and new operational models that rely far more on digital channels and work-at-home staffing.

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Insurtech Fundraising Rises in Q2 with $1.6 Billion Invested

Following the COVID-19-induced slowdown in global insurtech investment during the first months of 2020, insurtech firms raised $1.56 billion during the second quarter.

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Infographic: Loss of health insurance hits some states harder

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the daily lives of Americans. Just as the virus is currently hitting some regions harder than others, how well consumers are faring also depends on regional factors. And one major issue many are struggling with right now is access to health insurance.

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July 28th, 2020

Prudential, John Hancock see life insurance transformation post-COVID

At a time when consumers are hesitant to go out into the world and book appointments in doctors offices and insurance offices, they also want to ensure that their families are taken care of in the event of death. These circumstances have life insurance companies quickly transforming their services and offering digital options in the post-COVID era.

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Amazon now sells auto insurance in India

Amazon’s India business said on Thursday it has begun offering auto insurance to cover two and four-wheelers in the country, marking the American giant’s first foray into this financial services category globally.

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COVID-19, consumers and coverage: Survey shows what insurance buyers want now

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we’re learning a lot more about how insurance customers are being affected.

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Mutual of Omaha to Retire Corporate Logo

Mutual of Omaha today announced several new initiatives to address issues of racial equity and social justice, including the removal of Native American imagery from its corporate logo and additional funding for initiatives and charities addressing these issues.

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2Q Earnings To Reveal Accuracy Of Life Insurers’ COVID-19 Estimates

Texas-based insurer Globe Life estimates $2 million in life insurance claims per 10,000 lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tesla Invites Actuaries to Help It Create a ‘Revolutionary’ Insurance Company

Tesla, which has been testing an insurance product for its drivers in California, is preparing to build an insurer, one CEO Elon Musk says will be “revolutionary.” And he’s inviting actuaries to join his cause.

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Insurers Back Off Age Restrictions, Make Pricing Changes

Several life insurers are reversing COVID-19 restrictions on underwriting, even as the pandemic continues to infect record numbers of Americans.

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Insurers lobby for federal pandemic insurance program

U.S. businesses are losing an estimated $1 trillion a month as businesses are disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Yet, insurers collect only $4.5 billion a month for all commercial property policies.

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July 21st, 2020

Life Insurance Activity Rises Again In June, MIB Reports

After pandemic-related declines in March thru April, U.S. life insurance application activity rose for the second consecutive month, up 1.2% in June year over year, according to the MIB Life Index.

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Pandemic Job Losses Could Leave 10M Without Health Insurance

More than 10 million people could lose health insurance due to a pandemic-related job loss by the end of the year, but many will regain coverage by other means, according to new analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data.

A much smaller portion of those individuals — an estimated 3.3 million people — who are unable to get coverage elsewhere will become uninsured, according to a new report by the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank in Washington.

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Appeals court upholds Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health plans

The US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday upheld the Trump administration’s expansion of controversial short-term health plans, many of which are being sold as a less expensive alternative to Obamacare policies.

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Voya offers financial planning solution for clients’ furloughed employees

Voya Financial has teamed up with financial wellness platform Savvi Financial to provide a COVID-19 planning tool designed to help employees who have been laid off, furloughed or working reduced hours as a result of the pandemic.

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How Nationwide and other carriers can support agents going digital post-COVID

We knew 2020 was going to be a year of change, but no one could have anticipated how significantly the COVID-19 crisis would reshape the business environment and accelerate the need for change in the insurance industry. Challenges created by social distancing and economic volatility have presented new opportunities for insurance agencies.

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