Lower COVID-19 claim counts with higher claim amounts in the latest pandemic waves

Continuing the line of the Canadian Insurance Industry Monthly Aggregate Data Analysis series is the fifth report from the CIA, providing updated data to the end of December 2021.

Using aggregate data collected from Canadian life insurance companies, the latest report shows that Canada has experienced five distinct waves of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Data is still being collected for the latest wave which started in December 2021 as a result of the Omicron variant.

While the first wave was the lowest with regard to new cases, it was the highest wave in terms of excess deaths in the general population, with subsequent waves having a higher spread but lower mortality. This lower mortality may be due, at least in part, to the early rollout of vaccines in the country.

Despite there being fewer claims each month after the first wave identifying COVID-19 as the cause of death, the second wave of the pandemic still had a significant impact on individual life insurance claims, as shown in the below graph.

At the peak of the second wave in January 2021, individual life insurance claims due to COVID-19 reached their second-highest point. For the third and fourth waves, there was a smaller number of insurance claims than the previous two waves, but the overall amount being claimed has increased, with a new peak occurring in May 2021.

Unlike the outcome in individual life insurance claims, group claims in 2020 and 2021 did not follow the notable waves as closely within the general population statistics. Compared to individual claims, there was a smaller number of group claims identified as due to COVID-19, as indicated in the graph below.

The CIA is committed to this ongoing data collection to help Canada’s decision-makers manage the future impacts of the pandemic on the industry, mitigate risks, and ensure financial stability.

Read the full report.

The series’ previous reports are also available below:

Report 1
Report 2
Report 3
Report 4

The next report in this series will cover data to include the fifth “Omicron” wave.

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