In COVID-19 is sure to kill you, but life insurance rates haven’t changed (August 21, 2021), I cited a December 2020 study of life insurance rates from 100 different companies. COVID-19 was killing so many healthy folks in their prime that the insurance companies hadn’t bothered to raise rates.
It’s been almost a year. Vaccines are available for the faithful. Every day we read about an unvaccinated person getting his/her/zir/their just deserts, gasping for breath and then dying on a ventilator in an overcrowded ICU.
What’s happening in the life insurance market? As Phil Connors found out in Groundhog Day, it is easy to talk to life insurance agents. I chatted with one outside Loxahatchee Ice Cream Company and learned that rates remain about the same or slightly lower than in 2019. Business was good. Consistent with “Your Vaccination Status Won’t Affect What You Pay for Life Insurance — for Now” (Money), the agent said that carriers were not interested in whether an applicant for insurance had been or would be vaccinated.
The second agent with whom I chatted was at the Stuart Air Show. He agreed that rates were flat-to-down compared to 2019, but his business had changed dramatically. “It used to be difficult to get people to focus on a plan,” he said, “but people have been sitting at home with plenty of time on their hands. It’s easy to get them on the phone and easy to sell them policies.” None of his carriers are interested in COVID-19 vaccination status (i.e., the elixir that we’re constantly reminded will determine whether we live or die is of no interest to the folks who have to pay $500,000 in the event that we die).
So… if we believe that life insurance actuaries are competent at their jobs and correctly pricing risk, we should be grateful that, despite the deaths we read about in the media, the world has not, in fact, become more lethal.
Speaking of the air show, here are some folks on whom I would not be in a hurry to write a policy (12 cylinders, 1,500 horsepower, 75+ years old; what could go wrong?):