Life insurance benefits payouts broke records at $100 billion in 2021

Life insurance benefits - Benefit package

Last year, insurers paid out 11 percent more than they had the year before in the United States.

Life insurance benefits payouts in the United States reached $100 billion last year, reaching a record total, according to newly released data from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI).

The increase from 2020 to 2021 represents the largest jump seen since 1918’s influenza pandemic.

The amount paid out in life insurance benefits in 2021 represented a year-over-year increase of 11 percent compared to 2020. That was the largest single year hike in payouts since the 1918 influenza pandemic, which saw a 15.4 percent increase over the year before.

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“For the second year in a row, life insurance benefit payments increased by double-digit percentages,” said ACLI Vice President of Research & Chief Economist Andrew Melnyk.

The data released by the ACLI doesn’t provide a breakdown of the causes of death of the policyholders for whom the payments were made to beneficiaries. That said, many speculate that the record payouts could in part be caused to deaths associated with COVID-19, which was responsible for killing 460,513 people in the United States in 2021. This made the disease the third leading cause of death in the US in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Life insurance benefits payments weren’t the only rising trend in this category in the United States.

In the United States, purchasing the coverage also rose notably last year. Almost 46 million policies were sold in 2021, representing a 6.1 percent growth rate over 2020. That said, the total coverage dollar amount for policies purchased last year fell by 1.3 percent to reach $3.3 trillion. The average policy size for an individual was $189,830 in 2021, according to the data released by the ACLI.

The pandemic brought the importance of coverage into the spotlight, as the threat of losing the main breadwinner in a household hit home for many Americans. This coverage helps to ease the immediate financial strain a family might experience in such an unfortunate event. People across the United States purchased more policies to help make sure that if anything should happen, their loved ones would not be left financially burdened.

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