While the vaccine rollout is helping the UK to recover from the worst of the pandemic, Covid-19 is still affecting our lives in many ways.
From an estimated 2 million people suffering with “long Covid” to the possible introduction of vaccine passports to attend events or travel, it’s clear that things may be different even when we return to normal.
In recent months customers have asked us many questions about the effect of Covid on protection such as life insurance and Critical Illness cover. Here are five of the most common questions you ask us, and comprehensive answers.
1.Can I get life insurance if I’ve had Covid?
Yes. Just as with other medical conditions, many insurers will accept you even if you have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
When you make your application, it’s important to be honest when you complete your proposal form. If you don’t disclose that you have had Covid-19, or even that you have experienced symptoms of the illness, the insurer could refuse to pay a claim in the future.
If applicable, you need to disclose that you have had Covid-19 on the application form and be honest about your symptoms and treatment. Insurers are typically asking questions such as:
- Have you tested positive for coronavirus?
- Have you had any symptoms of Covid-19?
- If you have had Covid-19, what treatment (if any) did you have?
- Are you still experiencing symptoms of Covid-19?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may have to provide further information to the insurer before they issue terms.
As of early September 2021, Zurich asks if you have tested positive in the past three months, while Royal London, Aviva, Legal & General and LV= say they only ask about the past 30 days.
Aviva wants to know about earlier infections if you were ever hospitalised with the virus, while Royal London says it may need to know about any positive tests if you have disclosed other medical conditions. Vitality says that you should declare if you have ever had the virus.
Both Aviva and LV= say that disclosing a Covid infection is unlikely to impact your eligibility for insurance or the price of cover unless you were hospitalised with the virus and so long as symptoms have fully resolved. Legal & General says your response will not impact your premium.
2.Do I have to have the vaccine to get life insurance?
No – although a recent news story from FTAdviser suggests that some insurers are beginning to ask for your vaccination status before granting cover.
Legal & General, for example, say that in scenarios where the impact of Covid-19 “is known to be life threatening”, applications for new life insurance are typically postponed for 12 months unless a customer can confirm whether or not they have had their required vaccine doses.
However, other insurers are not asking about your vaccination status. Peter Hamilton from insurer Zurich told FTAdviser that his firm does not currently ask about vaccinations and has no immediate plans to do so.
However, he does believe an insurer may require this information in high-risk cases. He says: “For those customers whose medical history suggests they are already in a higher risk group, evidence of vaccination may mean a company is able to offer cover in what would otherwise be a borderline case.
“The situation is an evolving one, and it’s quite possible to conceive of a market where vaccination status has greater prominence, either in the availability of cover, or the price of it.”
It’s important to note that, currently, vaccination status is not affecting the price of any of the UK’s life insurance products.
3.Will having the vaccine void my insurance?
No. Despite some online rumours that having the vaccine will void your life insurance it is categorically the case that having the vaccine will not void your existing insurance.
Indeed, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has gone as far as issuing a statement to reassure customers. It said: “There are some claims being made that having the Covid-19 vaccine will impact your life insurance cover. This is false.
“Receiving a vaccination against Covid-19 will not impact your insurance cover, be it life insurance, private medical insurance or other forms of insurance.”
4.If I have “long Covid” will this affect my life insurance?
According to This is Money, there is an estimated 2 million people with “long Covid” in the UK. We’ve recently written about long Covid and life insurance and how many people suffer persistent side-effects such as fatigue and a loss of smell or taste.
If you have long Covid, an insurer will treat you in exactly the same way as another customer with a long-term health condition. You’ll have to answer a few underwriting questions on your application form, and then the insurer may request more information from your doctor or specialist to understand more about the impact of Covid on your health.
This is Money report that insurers are “running scared” because medical professionals don’t yet know enough about long Covid and what the lasting effects could be. They say that “the confusion means that even those who are back at work and suffering milder long Covid symptoms could be refused cover.”
When you apply for cover, it’s important just to be honest about whether you are experiencing symptoms of long Covid, and the severity of such symptoms. The insurer will then consider your application just as they would if you had another long-term condition.
5.Will my life insurance pay out if I die from Covid-19?
Yes. All the UK’s leading insurers have confirmed that they will pay a life insurance claim if the policyholder dies of Covid-19, as long as you meet two conditions:
- Your premiums are up to date
- You answered all the underwriting questions on the application firm honestly and accurately.
Assuming this is the case, you can expect your life insurance to pay out if you die from Covid-19.
Indeed, the Times recently reported that Covid-related insurance payouts for group life policies – those “death in service” type policies offered by employers as a benefit to employees – were higher in the first half of 2021 than the whole of last year.
The industry body for the sector, Group Risk Development, said that payouts for Covid-19-related claims reached £125.6 million for the first half of 2021. The average lump sum payment was £98,112 between January and June.
Get in touch to find the right cover for you
At I’m Insured, we specialise in helping people to find the right life insurance and Critical Illness cover for their needs.
We work with many customers who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as long Covid or customers who have previously been diagnosed with Covid-19. With access to dozens of the UK’s leading insurers, we can find the right cover with the right provider at the best possible price.
If you have any questions about Covid and life insurance, get in touch with one of our life insurance experts and we’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, compare life insurance quotes online now and find out just how cost-effective the right protection is for you and your family.
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