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Reinsurance Group of America declares Covid impact ‘manageable’

8th February 2022 - Author: Pete Carvill

Reinsurance Group of America has deemed the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on its latest Q4 and full-year results to be ‘manageable’.

Reinsurance Group of America logoSpeaking in an earnings call, Todd Larson, the organisation’s senior executive vice president and CFO, said that its ‘well-diversified global, strong balance sheet, and underlying earnings power positions’ would allow it to emerge from the pandemic in ‘good shape’.

This was despite the company revealing that the global estimated impacts of the pandemic had been $1.4bn for 2021.

Jonathan Porter, chief risk officer for the company, intimated that there was uncertainty in the mortality experience for the general population, given that this value was still based largely on the impacts of the Delta variant.

He added: “Evidence is clear that the Omicron variant is more infectious than previous variants. Preliminary data also indicates that there is a material reduction in the severity of outcomes, in particular, in populations with high levels of vaccination and/or prior infection.”

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Porter went on: “Although new case counts are now falling in many markets, Covid-19 general population deaths remain at elevated levels in January due to the very high number of infections caused by the Omicron variant. This will result in additional mortality claims. We do expect to see deaths decline from the current levels over the remainder of Q1, consistent with the current drop in cases.”

Porter maintained that more insight would be gleaned into the effects of the Omicron variant throughout Q1 2022, but that Reinsurance Group of America still expected its impact to be ‘manageable’.

The question was asked about the company’s outlook for Covid-19 claims. Porter said that it was ‘pretty reasonable’ to expect excess population mortality while the pandemic is ‘still material’.

He added: “That does vary country by country, though. So we definitely have seen a correlation as you pointed out, between increases in excess mortality and increases in Covid mortality when we look at the data.

“I think one of the things that makes us believe that these are really direct or indirect Covid is the causes of death tend to be co-morbid with Covid. So, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, things like that. But, in addition, they tend to move with the Covid deaths. So we would expect those to decline as Covid death would come down. But again, it may vary in timing and by country.”

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