Coronavirus: Can I get life insurance?
You can still take out life insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, but you'll be asked a few more questions than usual.
Coronavirus has hit many aspects of our lives but one that’s easily overlooked – despite being very important – is the impact on life insurance. Here’s what you need to know.
Does life insurance cover COVID-19?
If you have life insurance, and you’re one of the unfortunate people who die as a result of COVID-19, your policy should pay out.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) confirms that, in the event of a coronavirus-related death, “it would be handled like any other life insurance claim and would be paid subject to the usual policy terms and conditions”.
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Is it too late to get life insurance now?
No, you can still take out life insurance, and you should be covered against coronavirus. But be aware that many insurers will ask now coronavirus-related questions as part of their application process – for example, whether you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, if you’re currently in self-isolation, or if you’ve been in direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or suspected of having coronavirus.
If you answer yes to any of these questions the insurer may delay your application until you have recovered. You may also need to provide them with medical evidence if you’re currently testing positive for coronavirus.
If you’re classed as being high-risk because of a medical condition – for example, if you have diabetes, asthma, a heart conditions or an auto-immune diseases – then you won’t be classed as “self-isolating” unless you’ve actually got COVID-19 symptoms. Also, people who are being advised to stay at home to keep themselves safe will just be classed as a standard low-risk individual.
What happens if you can’t pay your premiums?
If you’ve missed a life insurance payment as a result of COVID-19, or think you’ll have trouble paying it in the future, don’t just cancel your direct debit! Contact your insurer as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
Some insurers might let you take a payment holiday, or some policies might have a period of grace after non-payment before they lapse. If you’re seriously ill, this might also have an impact on how your insurer treats a missed payment.
As each insurer will have a different policy, contacting your provider directly is by far the best thing to do.
What if you need to travel?
Keep a very close eye on the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). If you do head overseas against its advice – for whatever reason – it’s highly likely your life insurance policy would no longer be valid. This is because, in the eyes of insurance companies, you’re intentionally putting yourself in harm’s way.
If your trip overseas is essential, contact your insurer immediately so you can find out how your coverage might be impacted in the present, and when you come back.
Will coronavirus impact life insurance in the future?
There’s no way of knowing the long-term impact coronavirus will have on the UK insurance market. But if you’re thinking about buying life insurance, there’s no harm in doing it now. It won’t cost you more due to the coronavirus, but you will get cover if the worst happens.
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