• Many firms have noted double-digit increases in the number of life insurance policies they’ve sold during the Covid-19 pandemic relative to last year. 
  • The increase is largely due to a fear of death and greater awareness of financial risks associated with mortality, experts said.
  • Insurance sales have been dwindling for years. In 2020, just over half of American adults reported having a life insurance policy, down from 63% a decade earlier.





© Provided by CNBC


Life insurance is enjoying something of a renaissance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consumers, especially younger adults, have been buying insurance in elevated numbers since the spring, when thousands of Americans began getting ill and dying from Covid-19.

That result is logical, experts said, given the core use of life insurance: as a financial backstop in the event of death.

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For example, what if the breadwinner of a family dies unexpectedly from Covid-19? Insurance is meant to plug that immediate gap in household income.

“It’s forced the idea of financial protection and mortality to the top of mind for consumers in a way very few events have,” said Jennifer Fitzgerald, the CEO and co-founder of Policygenius, an online marketplace for life insurance.

‘Panic buying’

Insurance sales have been dwindling for years. In 2020, just over half of American adults reported having a life insurance policy, down from 63% a decade earlier.

But Google Search traffic for “life insurance” jumped 50% between March and May this year compared with the same period in 2019, said Fitzgerald, whose firm gets a large share of business from such internet

Health insurance companies are offering their corporate customers rebates to offset premium costs and reflect lower medical spending as patients avoid doctors’ offices, routine procedures and elective surgeries during the coronavirus pandemic.



a person sitting at a desk: ACA Health Experts call center expert, Cynthia Hernandez helps Tiffany Wright get health insurance at the Ahmed and Roshan Virani Children's Clinic, Monday,Nov. 14, 2016 in Houston. It’s likely that 2021 health insurance premiums will remain around the same prices as 2020, experts said.


© Karen Warren, Staff Photographer / Houston Chronicle

ACA Health Experts call center expert, Cynthia Hernandez helps Tiffany Wright get health insurance at the Ahmed and Roshan Virani Children’s Clinic, Monday,Nov. 14, 2016 in Houston. It’s likely that 2021 health insurance premiums will remain around the same prices as 2020, experts said.


It’s unclear how big an impact the rebates, in the form of credits, might have on the premiums companies pay and contributions their employees make. Premiums vary from company to company and, depending on the circumstances, the rebates could lower premiums, keep them from rising or at least limit increases.

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Companies, meanwhile, will decide whether to adjust employee contributions to health insurance premiums based on the rebates they might receive.

Fewer claims were filed during the pandemic, meaning insurance companies paid out less, kept more of the premiums they collect and earned higher profits. As a result, insurers are coming under pressure to return some of the windfall to customers, particularly since the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from keeping more that more than 20 percent of premiums for administrative costs and profits.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance in August that allows insurers to refund the excess profits this or next year as premium credits, which are discounts that reduce the amount paid monthly.

On Tuesday, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said it would help customers during the pandemic by issuing $104 million in premium credits to employers that it insures. It also said it would adjust the price of 2021 premiums for individual and group plans, saving buyers

State Farm Ranks Highest in Individual Life Insurance; Nationwide, New York Life Tie for Highest in Annuity

Even as deaths associated with COVID-19 eclipse 200,000 in the United States, consumers don’t seem motivated to buy life insurance and life insurance customers are largely apathetic toward their insurer despite some standout performances. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study,SM released today, a combination of infrequent client communications and a pervasive perception of high cost and transaction complexity have suppressed consumer interest and customer satisfaction with life insurance providers.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013005142/en/

J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study (Graphic: Business Wire)

“The life insurance industry has a significant perception problem because, in the throes of a pandemic, consumers naturally should be more engaged with their insurer—but they aren’t,” said Robert M. Lajdziak, senior consultant of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “We’ve been observing a trend for several years that customer satisfaction with life insurance companies starts declining the moment a policy is purchased and continues to decline throughout the relationship due to a lack of policyholder contact from most insurers. The fact that insurers and agents have not been able to reverse this trend during a historic global pandemic speaks to the depth of the challenge the industry faces. Life insurance providers need to dramatically ratchet up their client communications efforts and demonstrate their value to their end customers—not just to advisors and sales representatives.”

Following are some key findings of the 2020 study:

  • Life insurance customer satisfaction flat year over year: The overall customer satisfaction score for life insurance providers is 763 (on a 1,000-point scale), up just two points from 2019. Annuity customer satisfaction increases to 778, also just two points higher than in 2019.

  • Customer

  • The management consulting market declined by $30 billion due to decreased client demand during the coronavirus pandemic, but certain areas are still growing. 
  • Experts told Business Insider that technology, healthcare, and strategy consulting remain steady areas of growth for major firms like KPMG, McKinsey, and Boston Consulting Group.
  • Consultants with specializations in digital transformation, corporate turnarounds, and cybersecurity are in higher demand right now. 
  • Here are the practice areas that will expand in response to the coronavirus and how much they pay. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you’re looking for a job in management consulting right now, it pays to be in a booming sector. 

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the management-consulting industry. The market for consultants has declined this year to an estimated $132 billion from $160 billion because of decreased client demand, according to research platform Statista. The crisis put a strain on corporate budgets, forcing some to cancel or pause projects with major clients.

But even in the midst of an unstable financial market and a rapidly-spreading virus, there are certain areas within consulting that are growing in demand.

While consultants working in the motor, manufacturing, aerospace, and travel industries are among the most impacted by the health crisis, there are certain areas, such as turnaround and bankruptcy, strategy, and healthcare that are set to grow. 

This means consultants may have to be flexible about the jobs they take on. For example, workers previously handling operations for an airline might be moved to strategy operations for a high-growth client. Stephan Chase, partner and US consulting leader at KPMG, said there’s also been “an explosion of opportunity” in specialized areas such corporate turnarounds, cybersecurity, and government-related work. 

“We tend to flow toward where those opportunities are being generated, and we’ve been pretty good about moving

By Matt Scuffham

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc management is considering whether to scale back financial targets set earlier this year, as the coronavirus pandemic has hindered the bank’s business model revamp, analysts and sources inside the bank told Reuters.

Goldman unveiled plans to boost returns on equity and cut costs during its first-ever investor day in January. To reach its goals, Goldman would squeeze more revenue from existing businesses like wealth management as well as relatively new ones like consumer lending, while launching additional corporate services like cash management.

Since then, the pandemic has slammed into the economy, crippling loan demand and causing widespread unemployment. It has also prevented Goldman bankers from drumming up business with new customers the way they could before coronavirus lockdowns.

Although Goldman’s trading revenue has soared thanks to market volatility, other initiatives have stalled.

“Unless there’s a silver bullet vaccine cure, it looks like Goldman will not hit its targets,” said Viola Risk Advisors bank analyst David Hendler. “It’s behind on wealth management and it’s behind on consumer.”

A spokesman for Goldman referred Reuters to executives’ prior statements but declined to comment further.

Goldman Sachs executives have stood by their targets, stressing that the path to achieving them in the coming years would not be “linear.” They are not expected to move the goalposts on Wednesday when the bank reports third-quarter results.

Instead, the bank may change targets in January, a year after they were set, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

As it stands, Goldman pledged to produce a return on tangible common shareholders’ equity (ROTE) of more than 14% by 2023, compared with 10.6% in 2019.

The bank also outlined plans to cut expenses by $1.3 billion over that time frame, producing an efficiency ratio