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Impact of COVID-19: Lessons for Life Insurance Companies - Call for Essays


COVID-19 has had a major impact on lives across the globe. Large portions of the population are staying at home and only venturing out for essential needs. Health care systems are overwhelmed and strained for resources, while the economy has suffered steep declines.  In addition, unemployment filings have set new records and prospects for future employment are uncertain.  The combination of these factors demonstrate that pandemics are much more than an isolated mortality event but that a holistic approach to addressing and managing pandemic risk may be required.  

The SOA’s Mortality and Longevity Strategic Research Program Steering Committee (“MLPSC”) is issuing this call for essays to further explore the impact of COVID-19 on the future of the life insurance industry and the operation of life insurance companies.  In issuing this call for essays, the MLPSC aims to gather perspectives and opinions on lessons learned from COVID-19 when trying to evaluate, mitigate, react or plan for the impact of the pandemic on a life insurance company and its clients.

Given the continuing desire for the SOA to provide the latest information about COVID-19, essays will be published as soon as possible after review with the plan to publish a formal collection later in the year.


The following are sample questions and issues that respondents could address in crafting essays. The list below is neither exhaustive nor intended to be restrictive of other related areas:

  • Helping the life insurance company maximize its positive impact on its clients and beneficiaries
  • Managing staffing and work in a non-traditional work environment
  • Maintaining the sales and issue pipelines
  • Understanding and adapting to a rapidly evolving mortality and/or economic situation
  • Evaluating the long-term impact of the event
  • Understanding the precursors to a pandemic
  • Preparing for a pandemic at a company level
  • Reacting to a rapidly changing environment due to the pandemic


The deadline for submissions is September 18, 2020. However, we are requesting submissions as soon as possible in keeping with the continuing desire for the SOA to provide the latest information about COVID-19. Selected essays will be published as soon as possible (including before the submission deadline) with the plan to publish a formal collection later in the year.

Length and Instructions for Submission

Essays must be submitted in English with a desired length of between 500 to 2,500 words. There is no requirement for formal or extensive footnoting.

Author information must be submitted with the essay and include name; credentials or designations (if appropriate); title; organization/company; e-mail address; and phone number. Please provide all author information at the beginning of the essay. 

Essays that contain any overt political statements, commercial content, and other inappropriate material will not be accepted. Articles must comply with the SOA's antitrust guidelines.

Please submit your essay via e–mail to:

Jan Schuh, Sr. Research Administrator 
Society of Actuaries 

Publication and Presentation

Essays will be selected periodically. Professionalism and originality will be essential components of the selection by a subcommittee of the Mortality and Longevity Strategic Research Program Steering Committee. Essays judged to be too similar to already selected essays may be rejected regardless of merit.

Depending on how many essays are received and the diversity among the topic areas, a suitable format for electronic publication and dissemination will be selected.  Essays may also be presented at an SOA meeting, webcast, or other professional development event.

In addition, other venues for publication or presentation of the ideas outside of the SOA will be considered. It is hoped that publication of the collected essays will further knowledge and stimulate discussion as well as promote future efforts in this area. 

Rights Granted

Please understand that by submitting an essay for consideration, the essay author(s) is granting to the Society of Actuaries an unlimited license to print or republish their essay, with proper attribution given to the author(s).  


Please direct any questions regarding this Call for Essays to:

Ronora Stryker, Sr. Practice Research Actuary 
Society of Actuaries