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Life insurance and COVID-19

Life insurance and COVID-19

24 Jul 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has well and truly propelled the entire globe into a whole new realm. It’s changed pretty much everything - possibly forever. We’ve adapted the way we work, the way we shop, the way we travel and communicate.

And as a result, COVID-19 has certainly altered many people’s mindsets. With people losing jobs, homes and loved ones, perhaps we’re realising that nothing is guaranteed. That’s why we’re shining a spotlight on life insurance and why it’s important, now more than ever, to ensure that you have a bit of peace of mind should anything like this happen again. It’s one less thing to worry about. 

If you already had a life insurance policy before the pandemic, you might be wondering if it actually covers you for the virus. We’re here to answer your questions.

Can I still get life insurance during the pandemic?

Yes, you can still get life insurance during the pandemic. The process remains very much the same for any life insurance and protection product. Things are changing slightly though and your application could take longer than normal to be approved and processed. 

This is because many insurers are asking additional questions surrounding COVID-19 in order to assess the risk of any new applicants; around symptoms, whether you have been advised to self-isolate, whether you have tested positive for COVID-19 and whether you have had any direct contact with someone who has tested positive or suspected to have the virus. Also, if you have recently travelled internationally, your application could be paused for up to 30 days after you return home.

There have also been some changes to underwriting, naturally causing things to take a little longer. This is firstly because there has been such an increase in applications and secondly, as we’re all aware the NHS is under a huge amount of pressure right now! Underwriters are doing all they can to gather the correct information without needing to contact GPs or organise medical screenings.

For straightforward applications though, the process of applying for life insurance products hasn’t changed and if anything, now is a great time to take out cover and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you’ve got you and your family some much-appreciated protection.

Does my current policy cover me for COVID-19?

Whilst every policy is different, COVID-19 isn’t a standard exclusion for life insurance policies, so many insurers will still pay out. Even if you catch COVID-19 abroad, you should still be covered. That being said, some insurance providers started excluding pandemics from coverage after the SARS outbreak, so be sure to check your fine print or give your insurance provider a call if you’re unsure.

You probably won’t be covered for COVID-19 under any critical illness policies though. This is because it’s a new illness so your policy probably won’t specify it as a listed critical illness - especially if you took it out before the pandemic. However, if you catch COVID-19 and it leads to a more serious health issue that is covered by your policy such as kidney failure or heart issues, you’d be eligible to make a claim. This is likely to be similar for income protection policies too.

COVID-19 is very new, and we’re all getting used to the new normal. This includes the life insurance industry too. Different providers are taking different stances, so there’s not quite a one-size-fits-all answer to a COVID-19 related question. You’re best to give your provider a call and check on the terms of your policy if you’re worried. You can also take a look at our COVID-19 page for a Coronavirus FAQ and to take a look at what other insurer benefits there are available to you.

If you haven’t yet taken out life insurance and you want to, get in touch with us. In these uncertain times, speaking to a broker or advisor like ourselves at LifeSearch will make the process much more straightforward and will give you the answers you’re looking for. Contact us today.

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