The world is having to adapt to a new way of life as we battle to control the outbreak of Coronavirus. Whilst there is hope that a vaccine will give us back some control over the spread of the virus, we're all forced to consider what may lay ahead of us. Over this year we have received many questions about the effects of the pandemic on personal insurance products so we have put together this article to provide some information and guidance.
The following are the questions we've been asked and will answer in this article:
- Will my existing life insurance policy cover me if I get Coronavirus?
- Will a new life insurance policy cover me for Coronavirus?
For similar guidance around income protection insurance, read our article 'Is Coronavirus covered under income protection insurance?'. If you're looking for guidance around critical illness insurance we've written about it in our article 'Is Coronavirus covered under a critical illness insurance?'
Will my existing life insurance policy cover me if I get Coronavirus?
Yes, the good news is that all insurers have confirmed that they will pay out on life insurance if you die as a result of contracting Coronavirus. Life insurance is risk assessed at the time that you apply (a process known as underwriting) and so once your policy starts, it is guaranteed to pay out in any event within the terms of the policy that you were offered.
Tip - if you're considering making any changes to your existing life insurance policy or swapping it for a new one, don't cancel it until you have another one in place. We say this because we're aware that there are some delays in arranging new policies that may leave you unprotected.
Many life insurance companies have made their stance explicitly clear, saying that COVID-19 will not impact any future claims, with LV= saying 'Sadly, some people die directly or indirectly as a result of contracting Coronavirus. In such circumstances, our Life Insurance policies would pay out'.
Will a new life insurance policy cover me for Coronavirus?
Yes, new applications for life insurance will cover you for death linked to Coronavirus. The policies themselves have not changed and are available in the same format as they were previously.
However there are a few extra questions to answer and where medicals or medical evidence from your health records are required, the application process can be a little slower.
What can slow down your life insurance application:
- If you have had symptoms suggestive or confirmed of coronavirus and/or have had known exposure to the virus.
- If you have health problems that required you to shield from the virus.
- If you have tested positive for the Coronavirus within the last 1-2 months.
None of the above reasons should stop you being able to arrange life insurance in the long run. But some insurance companies are postponing applications if you fall into one or more of these areas. Postponement could last a month or two or even up to 6 or 12 months dependent on the circumstances. If you receive a decision from the insurance company to postpone your application, this isn't all bad because it means that the underwriters (the staff at the insurance company who assess your application) feel they will be able to provide you with life insurance after a period of time elapses.
Understandably, this will be frustrating and unnerving if you're left unprotected whilst you wait for postponement periods to lapse. We looked for solutions that would help people in this particular situation and we discussed these in our podcast on the 13th of September. Click on the player below to listen.
Why you should buy life insurance now (if you haven't got it already)
One of the benefits of most life insurance policies (and how it differs from annually renewable policies like car insurance) is that the premium is fixed from the day you take it out. That means that if the pandemic gets worse or if your health deteriorates, you won't have to pay increased premiums in the future because of these reasons.
Life insurance costs are calculated using your age and smoker status as well as other factors including how much cover you need and over how long. Your health will be assessed through an application form but after you start your policy, any change to your health will not affect your insurance.
If you are considering taking out life insurance then make sure you speak to an independent specialist as they will be able to search the whole market on your behalf. Especially, if you have health conditions to disclose, as they will select insurance companies that are favourable for you in terms of cost and the application process.
We have personally vetted the services of one of the UK's leading independent insurance broker's, who can provide free advice to ensure you are buying the best policy for your needs as well as helping to complete the application forms. They will even chase the insurance company on your behalf and help you to put the policy into trust, meaning your family is not liable for any future inheritance tax on the policy. Additionally, if you decide to take a policy through them you will qualify for £50 cashback and you will receive free cover while your application is being underwritten.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch