All over the world people are gripped by fear. And, for good reason, it is spreading like wildfire. With no end in sight, this leaves many unanswered questions about many different every day, ordinary things in our world.
Perhaps hearing of the growing number of deaths has you questioning your own demise. What role will COVID-19 (as it is also known as) play in life insurance policies? Will your family or other beneficiaries receive your death benefit should you die after contracting this virus? Will you be able to purchase a policy if you test positive for coronavirus?
Let’s take a quick look at the answers to these questions.
Current Life Insurance Policyholders
If you currently have a life insurance policy, relax and rest easy. You are covered. There is no clause or hidden text that says if you die due to contracting COVID-19 that your family will not receive your benefits. Whatever your current life insurance policy states is your death benefit will be dispersed to your beneficiary when you die.
It does not matter that this coronavirus has been declared a pandemic, either. Making the decision to have life insurance in place has protected you and your loved ones. If you have coverage relax, and know that the policy will pay to your family in event you would pass away from the Coronavirus.
Obtaining a Life Insurance Policy amid Coronavirus
It doesn’t matter when you apply for life insurance, your medical history, and current risk level will be assessed. And, things are no different during this pandemic, for the most part. Though, as insurance underwriters make the determination about how great of a risk you are (which also directly affects your premiums), you may find that if your application is treated a bit more rigorously than usual.
As part of your application, you will have to answer questions about places you have traveled, will be traveling to, as well as declare your residence. If any of these places are seen as hot spots for the coronavirus, then it will ultimately impact the underwriter’s decision.
Depending on your current health status and your status with COVID-19, you could be offered a policy with incredibly normal premiums, or be denied altogether. If you’ve been diagnosed and treated for the Coronavirus, companies will postpone you for coverage. This may range from a 4 month to 12 month duration. Carriers will want to make sure there are no complications from the virus. Remember, Coronavirus is new for these life insurance providers. They are still learning, just as we are.
Given the current environment, life insurance companies are changing the qualifications for coverage. Carl Babers of Diabetes Life Solutions says “over the past few weeks, we have seen life insurance companies change some of their underwriting guidelines. Sweeping changes have occurred that are now asking about past foreign travel. In event you have any foreign travel scheduled for the foreseeable future you would also be postponed.”
Here are some examples of foreign travel that would be a ‘red flag’ to most life insurance companies.
- You have traveled to China within the last 30 days
- You have recently returned from Wuhan Province
- You are have recently traveled to areas more recently affected by the virus, such as Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam
And, don’t think about falsely providing application information. There is a two-year period in which insurance companies can deny your claim/application if it is determined that you provided false information on your initial application.
Robert Schmidt of Burial Insurance Pro says “providing material misrepresentations on any life insurance application is a big no-no. Lying about past travel seems like a little white lie. But don’t do it. In event you pass away in first two years of your policy, companies can contest the claim. Insurance companies will use every resource available to them to see if you did travel to a country that was a hot bed for the Coronavirus.”
Don’t risk it — be honest.
Help for Trying Times
Life insurance is something we should all have. We want our loved ones to be taken care of in the event that something happens to us, right? If you didn’t already have the protection of life insurance, then it may not be too late. With the help of an agent, you can still obtain a life insurance policy at the most affordable rate for your circumstances.
Remember — not all insurance companies are alike. Some offer benefits when others may deny them, some may be affordable, others may not. It is about knowing where to turn to get the best possible outcome, regardless of the coronavirus.
In event you need to re-evaluate your current life insurance portfolio, or take out an initial policy, you will most likely have no issues in obtaining coverage. The world is changing due to the Coronavirus, and so is the life insurance industry. If needing a policy, it’s best not to put off much longer, and explore all your options.