Life Insurance

COVID-19: What you need to know

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has led to concerns and questions about how best to protect our loved ones in times like this.
If you or a loved one has to make a claim on a life insurance policy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it would be handled like any other life insurance claim and be paid subject to the usual policy terms and conditions.

Can I still buy life insurance?
Many insurers are still accepting life insurance applications and some have now included a coronavirus related question. There are insurers delaying applications if you are currently testing positive for coronavirus and need to provide medical evidence, but this does not mean you cannot apply again in the future.

What questions should I expect to be asked on coronavirus when applying for life insurance?
Life insurance companies have developed specific questions to assess the risk around coronavirus for new applications. This is simply to make sure that they have the full picture when they assess your health and medical circumstances.

Coronavirus questions may include:
• Have you tested positive for coronavirus?
• Are you currently in self-isolation?
• Have you had any symptoms of coronavirus?
• Have you been in direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or suspected of having a coronavirus?

If you answer yes to some of these questions, your decision may be delayed until you have recovered. The decisions may vary between insurer.

If you’re classed as being high-risk because of your medical condition such as people with severe Diabetes, Asthma, Heart Conditions, Auto-immune Diseases, and a number of other conditions, then you won’t be classed as ‘self-isolating’ unless you’ve got symptoms.

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 I miss a payment? Does my life policy become null and void?
Life insurance policies typically have a period of grace after a non-payment of premiums before they lapse. However, each insurer will have a different rule and you should contact your insurer as soon as possible if you miss a payment.

The reason for a missed payment could also have an impact on how it is treated by an insurer, for example if you are seriously ill or experiencing financial difficulty.

If you can’t make a payment and plan to cancel your direct debit, speak to your professional financial adviser to discuss your options.

Will some companies accept a payment holiday and if so, under what conditions?
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, you should contact your insurer or professional financial adviser as soon as possible to discuss the options, such as payment deferrals or holidays.

Circumstances in which a payment holiday is accepted, according to the terms and conditions of a policy, will be down to individual insurers.

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