Insurers Raise Alarm over Massive Spike in Middle-Aged Sudden Deaths

437
Insurers Raise Alarm over Massive Spike in Middle-Aged Sudden Deaths

Insurance companies are raising the alarm after seeing massive spikes in claims for middle-aged people who are dying suddenly.

Insurers Aviva Plc and Legal & General Group Plc say their profits are taking a major hit due to the unprecedented numbers of people dying early.

According to a Bloomberg Intelligence report, members of the public have been increasingly dying unexpectedly from heart failure, strokes, blood clots, and various forms of rapidly emerging cancers.

Insurance companies say this huge spike started in early 2021 and shows no signs of slowing down.

If anything, the data suggests that people are dying suddenly at a rapidly increasing rate.

The mortality rate for 40- to 44-year-olds worsened the most in the first half of 2023, analysis of Office for National Statistics data showed.

The number of age-standardized deaths per 100,000 rose 6% in the same period, following two years of declines.

This marks a potential turning point for the age-standardized mortality measure, which has been steadily improving since the 1990s. BI analysts wrote they expected the new trend to be sustained for the full year, though the underlying reasons for the change were unclear.

UK Saw an Unusual Spike in Middle-Aged Deaths

Number of deaths in England and Wales, year-on-year change:

UK Saw an Unusual Spike in Middle-Aged Deaths

Even though insurers’ pensions and other savings products act as a natural hedge against long-term changes in mortality patterns, the rise in deaths for the 40- to 44-year-old cohort, if sustained, would impact the pricing of all life and insurance products, according to BI.

“If this develops into a trend, it could reduce term-assurance profit at market leaders Legal & General and Aviva,” BI analysts Kevin Ryan and Juliet Abiola said. “This is potentially significant because of the decline in the absolute number of deaths.”

“If this develops into a trend, it could reduce term-assurance profit at market leaders Legal & General and Aviva,” BI analysts Kevin Ryan and Juliet Abiola said.