Causes of death among Australian insured lives

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This study of the causes of death among Australian insured lives over the period 1995-1999 is based on data collected by the Institute of Actuaries of Australia as part of its Personal Business Insured Lives Mortality Investigation. A comparison against population experience reveals low insured lives mortality for external causes of death (motor vehicle accidents, suicide and other external causes), cerebrovascular disease, digestive diseases and AIDS. It is clear from the analysis that both male and female insured cancer mortality relative to the population is substantially heavier in 1995-1999 than it was in 1990-1994, though the actual reason for the change cannot be determined with certainty. There is also the suggestion of a relative worsening in insured male suicide. As expected, there is evidence of selection effects for the non-external causes of death, and of high mortality among policies in the minimum evidence underwriting category. An unexpected finding is that medically underwritten policies experience the same or even slightly heavier mortality than non-medically underwritten policies; however it is possible that these groups have different underlying mortality prior to the underwriting process. Overall female insured mortality is 69% of that for males - identical to the result for 1990-1994 - with relatively light experience for the external causes of death and ischaemic heart disease, and relatively heavy experience for other neoplasms (which includes breast cancer).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-694
Number of pages72
JournalAustralian actuarial journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • mortality
  • cause of death
  • underwriting
  • actual to expected ratio


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