Coronavirus news for Cal Brokers

We interrupt your regularly scheduled e-newsletter to bring you the latest on coronavirus in the industry…

The World Health Organization has officially deemed COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, a pandemic. Here are reliable, scientific sources of information on COVID-19/coronavirus:

Please share these links with clients, family and friends.


More Aptly: What About Industry Events??

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners just suspended its in-person spring meeting, which was to be held in Phoenix, Arizona. NAIC will now do a virtual meeting. More info here.

We’ve not received notice from LAAHU or any other association. CAHU just sent an email saying registration is now open for the May 12-13 Capitol Summit.

Update as of 3/12: CAHU’s Women’s Leadership Summit in Las Vegas has been rescheduled for August 5-7. We’ll bring you plenty of info on this as we go forward.

ThinkAdvisor reports that SEC, FINRA has told employees to work from home.


What About Insurance Coverage Amid Coronavirus?

So far the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have picked up the tab for coronavirus testing, but AHIP tells Politico that insurers are promising to cover coronavirus tests.

Business Insider also reports that health insurers will cover the cost of testing and they are allowing patients to get prescription refills early.


Is The Life Insurance Insurance Industry Prepared for Coronavirus?

Life insurance association LIMRA/LOMA says U.S. life insurers have plans in place for a pandemic:

A quick LIMRA and LOMA survey of financial services companies found that 91% have a pandemic stress scenario in place. In addition, 71% have assessed and quantified the potential impact on their key business in the event of higher mortality.

When it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, 39% of companies are looking at it as being similar in severity to a SARS-like (or moderate) pandemic. Another 26% see it as being more similar to a severe flu season. Only 16% of companies view coronavirus as having the potential to be a severe pandemic with higher mortality than either SARS or the flu due to mutation.

According to LIMRA’s survey, most companies indicate they develop and run their own pandemic stress scenario, while 40% are running scenarios based on the 1918 flu pandemic.

Life insurers are in the business of assessing and mitigating risk—it is what they do day in and day out. This has enabled them to honor their commitments to their policyholders for hundreds of years and will allow them to respond to the challenges that the coronavirus could present.

In all, 70% of companies said they are running these scenarios as if something were to happen on a pandemic level. View this infographic for more details on the LIMRA/LOMA study.

What About Health Insurers and Coronavirus?

In an AM BestTV recent episode,  Sally Rosen, senior director, rating services, said health-related insurers, including those that write stop-loss coverage and a variety of Medicare and Medicaid-oriented coverages, are more likely to be affected by the expected upsurge in claims activity related to the coronavirus. View the entire episode here.

“There will be claims for people getting tested in doctor’s office, urgent care and emergency rooms,” said Rosen. “Additionally, the at-risk population and the elderly, as well as people who already have compromised immune systems will be filing claims. Conversely, you may see less regular claims as people who have non-urgent conditions may opt either not to go have a procedure done or go to the doctor’s office over concerns about the virus.”

Rosen highlighted the stop-loss insurance segment as a sector that may warrant closer attention.

“AM Best will be looking at all health insurers—those that write traditional health insurance as well as stop loss writers. Stop loss writers may take a hit for very large claims and if there is a high number of large claims in aggregate. Furthermore, there will be a concentration on regular health insurers, companies that write segments on large portions of the at risk population, long-term services and support contracts, Medicare Advantage and supplement, as well as Medicaid, specifically the special needs plans.”

That’s enough coronavirus, right? Don’t worry, there will be more…by the way, travel carriers say this is a good time to talk about travel insurance with your clients.

One last note: Cal Broker has suspended the events listing this week because we suspect we may get hit with a bunch of cancellations. We’ll keep you posted!

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