Ultimate Mortality Table Definition

What is an Ultimate Mortality Table?

An ultimate mortality table lists the percentage of life insurance buyers assumed to be still alive at each given age, starting at age 0, which is 100% of the population, up to age 120. As a general rule, the data is based on a population of insured persons Insurance company or a group of them, rather than the entire American population.

Key points to remember

  • An ultimate mortality table lists the percentage of life insurance buyers expected to still be alive at each given age.
  • Typically, the data is based on the policyholders of a particular insurance company or a group of them, rather than the entire US population.
  • Ultimate Mortality Tables exclude data from recently purchased policies because their owners likely needed to pass a medical exam.
  • Insurance companies look to ultimate mortality tables to price their products and determine if they will provide coverage to a claimant.

Understanding an Ultimate Mortality Table

Mortality tables are basically number grids that show the probability of death for members of a given population within a defined period of time, based on a large number of factored variables.

What mainly distinguishes an ultimate mortality table from other mortality tables is its exclusion from subscribed Strategies. The earliest years of life insurance data are usually removed from the analysis to eliminate so-called selection effects. The reasoning here is that people who have just received life insurance will often have had a medical exam and therefore should be statistically healthier and less likely to be near death than the rest of the general population. .


The year Raymond Pearl introduced the world to life tables in an effort to advance ecological studies.

The information underlying ultimate life tables is called survival data and takes into account many risk The factors. In addition to mortality and survival rates by age group and gender, life tables can also list survival and mortality rates by weight, ethnicity, and region. Some statistics also break out for smokers and non-smokers.

Additionally, some might include a aggregate mortality table, presenting mortality rate data for the entire study population that purchased life insurance, without categorization based on age or time of purchase. The data in an aggregated table depends on the combined statistics of several, or even several, individual mortality tables.

How an ultimate mortality table is used

Insurance companies use data from ultimate mortality tables to price their products and determine whether to offer coverage to an applicant.

Life insurance guarantees a lump sum payment to named individuals beneficiaries when the policyholder dies, it is therefore essential to study the probability of an applicant dying during the period for which they are applying for cover in order to ensure that profitability from an insurance company.


The profitability of insurance products depends in part on the companies’ accurate analysis of the data underlying the ultimate mortality tables.

To a lesser extent, investment management companies can also consult the ultimate mortality tables to help their clients determine their own respective life expectancies and the amount of money they might need to retirement.

Special Considerations

As with other types of statistical data, the accuracy of ultimate life tables depends on the scope of the survey data. In other words, an insurance company’s ultimate mortality table may not be as accurate as one compiled by an organization capable of compiling datasets from multiple insurers.

For example, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) generally produces an ultimate mortality table each year based on a fairly large data set. It calculates the mortality of males and females in the United States and also includes a mixed table with the ultimate mortality of the entire US population.

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