"We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica," the company's CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. "The data is consistent across every player in that business."
OneAmerica is a $100 billion insurance company that has had its headquarters in Indianapolis since 1877. The company has approximately 2,400 employees and sells life insurance, including group life insurance to employers in the state.
Davison said the increase in deaths represents "huge, huge numbers," and that's it's not elderly people who are dying, but "primarily working-age people 18 to 64" who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica.
"And what we saw just in third quarter, we're seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic," he said.
"Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic," he said. "So 40% is just unheard of."
Davison was one of several business leaders who spoke during the virtual news conference on Dec. 30 that was organized by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Most of the claims for deaths being filed are not classified as COVID-19 deaths, Davison said.