Anna Manning, President and CEO of Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), has said that her company has seen higher demand for its life reinsurance service since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.
Speaking as part of an earnings call alongside the release of RGA’s Q1 results, Manning was questioned on whether the pandemic was likely to have caused any long-term changes in cession rates or buying behaviour on the part of primary companies.
The CEO reported that, not only had RGA seen higher demand both for coverage and expertise so far, but it also expects this greater level of demand to maintained into the foreseeable future, due to increased awareness of the value of these services.
RGA reported a growth in premiums of 8.3% between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022, and recorded an $310 million COVID-19 impact to its results in the first quarter of this year, following an increase in Covid-19 deaths in the general population in many of its key markets, with death up 20% in the US, 40% in the UK, and nearly triple in Canada.
“We are seeing general underlying demand by consumers go up, flowing to our clients, and then we’re sharing in that growth,” Manning told listeners on the Q1 eanings call.
“And I would also point to many companies are accelerating, have accelerated their digital efforts, so creating opportunities for us to support new products for their new customers support digitally-based underwriting approaches and increasing use of data,” she continued.
“So, I would say that certainly, over the last two years, not only has this pandemic increased the awareness of the value of insurance but also our mortality expertise, we’re seeing a higher demand from our clients for that expertise. And it’s paying off, and I expect that benefit will continue on post pandemic. So overall, we see good growth momentum as we come through the pandemic and beyond it.”
Manning also reported that RGA had been “fairly active” across all its regions and had seen “good wins across the markets” in Q1, particularly in US facultative business.
“That’s seen some nice growth in activity,” the CEO explained. “And remember, this is part of our business where we underwrite the application and keep most of the risk. And the thing to note there is that there are fewer reinsurers who can provide that facultative service, so fewer competitors there.”