Since 2009, HIV positive people have been able to take out life insurance in the UK. After years of campaigning, a number of insurers launched the cover six years ago and it is now possible for people living with HIV to take out life protection.
However, a new survey has revealed that none of the UK’s major life assurance providers offer either critical illness cover or income protection to HIV positive applicants.
With research showing that a large proportion of these people would consider taking our protection if it was available, an expert has called on the industry to introduce this cover. Keep reading to find out more.
HIV life assurance helps protect people across the UK
HIV life insurance has been available in the UK since 2009. Initially, only small levels of cover were available but now people living with HIV able able to access higher amounts of insurance, with insurers now prepared to write larger HIV life assurance polices.
Research in 2013 found that the average amount of life insurance taken out under an HIV life assurance policy was £134,667 and that the average term of such a policy was 10 years.
Insurance expert Chris Morgan, who campaigned for a decade for insurers to introduce HIV life cover, said: “The HIV community are still taking an average of only £134,000 of Life Assurance cover, which is a fairly low figure in comparison to other related communities.”
While a number of insurers are offering HIV life assurance, none offer any income protection or critical illness cover, as we see next.
No major insurers offer income or critical illness protection to people who are HIV positive
New research from a leading broker has found that none of the UK’s major life assurance providers offer income protection or critical illness to those who are HIV positive.
While three-quarters of providers who took part in the survey offered some form of HIV life assurance cover, none of the top 11 insurance providers servicing independent brokers offered health or income protection to people living with HIV.
Chris Morgan, whose company conducted the research between March and August 2015, added: “It is encouraging to see an increasing number of Life Assurance providers and products available to the HIV community.
“We are actively campaigning for insurance providers to offer income protection and critical illness cover to HIV-positive people and are currently in discussions with the ABI over these matters.”
Having successfully campaigned for the introduction of HIV life insurance, Mr Morgan has now shifted his focus onto income protection and critical illness. This is in light of research which has revealed that there has been an increase from 61 per cent up to 90 per cent of HIV-positive people who said they would consider income protection and critical illness cover if it was available.
A spokesman for the ABI said: “The ABI continues to have constructive conversations…about insurance for people with HIV.
“It is down to individual firms to reach their own decisions about what products to offer.”
Deepak Jobanputra, deputy chief executive of insurer VitalityLife, said: “The introduction of treatments for HIV are enabling more people who are HIV positive to better manage their condition.
“In recognition of this, VitalityLife was the first mainstream insurer to market cover to individuals with well managed HIV, helping them protect themselves and their families.
“This is particularly useful for those looking to take out a mortgage. This innovation has driven further interest in the market to ensure greater social inclusion.”