New medicines and treatment have had a hugely positive impact on the health of HIV positive people in the UK. Now, leading insurers have been urged to offer more financial protection products to applicants with HIV.

Insurers urged to offer critical illness cover to applicants who are HIV positive image
Experts are calling on the insurance industry to consider offering both income protection and critical illness cover to HIV positive people. Keep reading to find out more.

Experts call for insurers to offer HIV positive critical illness cover and income protection

Over recent years, insurers have made great strides in making financial protection products available to people who are HIV positive. HIV life insurance products were first introduced in 2009 but now experts are urging leading providers to extend their range of products to include both critical illness cover and income protection.

The plea comes after a new survey has found that HIV positive people were interested in buying the cover. A poll of 100 HIV positive people by life insurer Unusual Risks found that 90 per cent of respondents would consider income protection or critical illness cover if they were available. This represents an increase from 60 per cent in a previous survey in 2014.

The survey also found the vast majority of HIV positive people (89 per cent) had taken fewer than seven days off work in the last year. Three quarters of respondents (74 per cent) had taken four or fewer days off work in the previous 12 months.

A majority of people polled (87 per cent) had either not been sick, or reported that any sickness they had was non-HIV related. The most common incidents reported were flu, migraine, stomach bug, dental issues and food poisoning.

Chris Morgan, lead financial adviser at Unusual Risks, said: “Since the new life insurance products were launched HIV positive people have been able to protect their mortgages, families, children, partners and businesses. It is now time to consider if other financial products such as income protection and critical illness cover could be offered to people living with HIV.

“The intention of this survey is to bring attention to the positive effects that HIV medications have had on the work and long-term sickness records of HIV positive people in the UK. We would like to encourage the UK insurance industry to enter into a dialogue over these issues with appropriate stakeholders from within the HIV community.”

First legally approved HIV test launched in the UK

While insurers were being urged to offer a wider selection of financial protection products to people who are HIV positive, the first legally approved HIV self test has been launched in order that people can test their HIV status at home.

BioSure said that its home testing kit has been approved by the British Standards Institute for sale in the UK and it was the only testing device to legally carry the CE mark. With the company warning that late diagnosis could result in unnecessary illness and a reduction in life expectancy, they want to make testing as easy as possible.

The firm claims that the test is more than 99.7 per cent accurate and results can be read in 15 minutes.