For those of us who work in this narrow but important insurance niche, we wait each year for our assumptions to be validated or tweaked by the annual LTCI survey published by Brokers World.
Now in its 22nd year, we find few carriers participating in the “2020 Milliman Long Term Care Insurance Survey.“ Below are highlights followed by thoughts about the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.
- Fifteen carriers reported sales of 54,563 policies with annualized premiums of $170,770,732 in 2019. That’s a 3.1% decline in new policies but a 0.6% increase in annualized premiums from 2018.
- The average premium per new policy increased to $2551 in 2019 from $2507 in 2018, an increase of 1.7%. Included in the increase was a higher initial monthly benefit amount, an older issue age and a longer benefit period.
- The average maximum monthly benefit amount increased to $4882 in 2019 from $4763 in 2018.
- Most, 52.1% of applicants, chose a three-year benefit period.
- Most, 32.7% of new policies, included 3% automatic compound inflation up from about 21% in 2018 and by far the most popular option.
- The issue age increased slightly with about 50% of sales to those between the ages of 55 and 64. The average issue age was 57.7 years.
- Placement rates increased to 59.2%, a slight increase from 58.8% in 2018.
- Premium stability is considerably better than in previous years based on more conservative assumptions including better underwriting, product redesign and lower interest rates.
- In 2019, almost 82% of applicants purchased coverage when their spouse/partner was declined.
- Lapse rates on in-force policies dropped for the fifth straight year in a row and remained less than 1%.
For more information and details go to www.BrokerWorldMag.com.
Thoughts About COVID-19
- With higher death rates we may see fewer claims and shorter average length of claims.
- Fewer claims for home care may result as policyholders are reluctant to have home care providers visit their homes. Family members may end up providing more home care during the pandemic.
- The impact of the economic shutdown may influence some to reconsider LTCI instead of self-funding.
- Since the second quarter we’ve seen an increased interest in long-term care insurance primarily from those aged 65 and older and with underlying medical conditions.