Four weeks ago, OneAmerica insurance company CEO Scott Davison revealed that they had witnessed ‘the highest death rates in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica’ with a jump of ‘40% over what they were pre-pandemic.‘ Interestingly, Davison noted that the majority of deaths are not classified as due to Covid-19.
The implication to many was clear – that the Covid-19 vaccine is linked to the excess mortality, and months of vaccine injury reports were now spilling over to actuarial data – which is beginning to show, among other things, that younger, working-age people began dying in greater numbers as vaccine mandates hit – for a disease which primarily kills older, non-working age individuals. The counter argument, often presented without evidence, is that the increase is due to people who postponed elective surgeries and other medical treatments during the pandemic.
Ex-Blackrock fund manager Ed Dowd is in the former camp, and has spent the last month analyzing breadcrumbs associated with a rise in excess mortality vs. pre-pandemic levels. Given that we’re now in the middle of earnings season, there are some pretty big crumbs rolling out of the insurance and funeral services industries which are beginning to paint a disturbing picture.
A few key observations:
Mortality worsened in 2021 vs. 2020 despite widespread vaccinations
A spike in Mortality among younger, working-age individuals coincided with vaccine mandates
The spike in younger deaths peaked in Q3 2021 when Covid deaths were extremely low (but rising into the end of September)
On Tuesday, financial insurance company Unum reported that their Life segment saw an increase of 9% in their ratio of payouts vs. premiums (Benefit ratio), a 17.4% increase in 2021 vs. 2020 despite widespread vaccinations, and a 13.3% increase over 2019.
On Wednesday, Dowd noted that funeral home company Carriage Services saw a 28% increase in September 2021 vs. 2020, and a 13% increase in August vs. the same period. Funerals and cremations are up 12% and 13% respectively on the quarter.
In general, funeral homes saw an uptick in business in Q3, and Dowd will be closely monitoring Q4 reports which are expected around Feb. 15 – less than two weeks away.
Dowd also noted on Wednesday that Lincoln National’s death claims are up 13.7% y/y, and up 57% in Q4 vs. 2019. CFO Randy Frietag explained on Thursday that in 2021, the share of young people dying from Covid doubled in the second half of the year.
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