Promise and Deliver

Dec 7, 2022

The time-honored importance of life insurance for American families has been reaffirmed once again.

Life insurers paid a record $100 billion to beneficiaries of life insurance policies in 2021, per new data from ACLI. In 2020, life insurers paid a then-record $90 billion. This was 15.4% higher than the amount paid in 2019, the largest year-to-year increase since the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.

When COVID-19 surfaced nearly three years ago, few could have predicted that more than 1 million Americans, including nearly 77,000 New Yorkers, would die from this horrible disease. But life insurers, including my company, Columbian Mutual, were prepared. Our core mission is to deliver on our promises to families, individuals, and businesses – and we delivered, just as we’ve been doing for 140 years.

Many other U.S. life insurers have similar legacies. Together, we all are committed to honor the promises we make to our customers, no matter what. Through all the major disruptive events in our nation’s history including the Flu Epidemic of 1918, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, the 9-11 attacks and now COVID, life insurers have been there for American families.

In New York alone, life insurers paid more than $18 billion to beneficiaries in the last two years. Columbian Mutual received and paid claims on almost 1% of all COVID-19-related deaths in in the state of New York, a huge number for a small company. We are committed to the promise we make to our policyholders of being there when needed most. 

Guided by that commitment to policyholders and the stringent state laws concerning our solvency and capitalization, life insurers always plan and prepare for the threat of catastrophic events. And we make sure we always have adequate funds to pay claims.

While no one can predict what the future will hold, everyone can prepare for it. That simple premise reinforces how America’s life insurance companies have worked for our customers for generations. Our industry serves 90 million American families, and our policies often stay with families for 40 years and more.

Our guarantees provide certainty in an uncertain world.

Mike Fosbury

Mike Fosbury is President and CEO of Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company.