14 June 2022

Brace for another Covid wave, UK insurers told

The Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group has warned a new Covid wave is underway in the UK, driven by new Omicron variants.

Hospital admissions with Covid are rising sharply again across England, up 33% week-on-week, and the actuaries’ group today warned this is a faster growth rate than the last Covid wave in March.

The group added: “Hospital deaths with Covid are no longer falling. We estimate recent days based on historic patterns of reporting delays. This suggests deaths are up by around 8% this week.

“For some of these hospital admissions Covid is the primary diagnosis. For the majority (around two thirds last week) it is an additional complication where the patient is primarily being treated for something else - though of course it might well have triggered the primary diagnosis. Either way, another wave of Covid infections will not help efforts to alleviate the considerable pressures that the NHS [National Health Service] is experiencing.” 

Covid-19 related individual pay-outs in the UK almost doubled in 2021, to £261m ($328m), despite the number of claims paid remaining almost identical to 2020, according to the Association of British Insurers.

Covid-19-related losses diminished at Lloyd's syndicates in 2021, but the pandemic's effects on their results is lingering as legal disputes and social pressures continue.