2015 Critical Illness Market Survey Shows Continued Growth and Product Interest in U.S. Market
November 10, 2015| By Steve Rowley
(Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2015) Year after year we hear about life and health insurance sales struggling for growth, fighting to hold sales steady, or even wrestling with decreasing sales. Of course, exceptions to these trends exist: some Life insurance carriers can report a decade or more of solid growth; a handful of Disability insurers are experiencing revitalized sales; and even the occasional Long Term Care writer has seen growth in recent years.
- Critical Illness Insurance remains the singular exception to that trend. The Gen Re Critical Illness Insurance Market Survey shows an increase in reported new business premium to nearly $381 million in 2014 while in-force premium increased to $1 billion on more than 3 million insured lives.
- A record 59 carriers, representing an estimated 95% of the market, participated in this year’s survey. Of those, 41 were actively marketing 73 different CI products. The remaining participants are all exploring or gearing up to enter the market.*
When we asked those currently entering the market what drove their decision, they cited the below reasons:
For those already in the market, 59% stated that they planned to increase their focus on CI sales, 41% plan to maintain their current focus, and no carriers indicated a decreasing emphasis on the CI line. Whereas all market segments are expecting strong future growth, the group and worksite segments are especially optimistic with expectations of 22% (issue age) and 30% (attained age) annual growth over the next three years.
The CI industry does seem to be moving in the direction of more benefit eligibility triggers with the average number increasing from 13 last year to 19 this year.
As expected, cancer remains the number one cause of claim, representing 54%–62% (depending on the platform) of all claims. Most importantly, although 92% of respondents stated that the actual claims numbers were at or better than anticipated, our industry paid out over $183 million in claims during 2014 - $183 million that helped tens of thousands of people through the financial hardships that Dr. Marius Barnard understood could devastate an individual and family.
*Caution should be used in interpreting these comparisons, as the companies participating may vary from year to year.