Life Insurance and COVID-19
Find out more about how the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected Life Insurance
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In this difficult time, understandably we’ve been getting a lot of questions from clients who are currently either thinking about life insurance, or are existing clients who already have life insurance policies. If you want to know how Coronavirus has changed and is changing life insurance in the UK currently then this will hopefully help to explain.
Our team at Markland Hill Wealth have been helping people to get cover to protect their loved ones for years, and we continually monitor how the insurance market is changing to help our customers.
How has Covid-19 affected Life Insurance and other Types of Cover?
We’re in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and we are seeing constant changes to how some of the leading life insurers in the world are underwriting cases. There has clearly been a drastic impact for the life insurance market which has had a knock-on effect for some of the clients that we deal with, especially those with severe medical conditions or symptoms.
This is a fluid situation as we learn more about this disease and we hope this article will help to give some clarification and help ease anxieties about life insurance.
Here are some of the main changes so far in the UK:
- Limits to Maximum amounts of cover available (Max. sum assured)
- Questions specifically about Coronavirus (see below)
- Underwriting limits lowered due to additional mortality risks
- Postponed decisions / offers of terms (between 1 and 6 months on average)
- Restrictions for certain medical conditions (e.g. Diabetes, Heart, Auto-immune, Neurological and HIV)
What questions will I be asked about Covid-19 on my insurance application?
Life insurers have introduced specific questions to assess the risk around Coronavirus for new applications. They simply want to make sure that they have the full picture when they assess the risk i.e. your health and medical circumstances.
Covid-19 questions will typically include:
- Have you tested positive for Covid-19?
- Are you currently in self-isolation?
- Have you had any symptoms of Covid-19?
- Have you been in direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or suspected of having Covid-19?
We cannot stress enough the importance of making sure that you answer all of these questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge so there are no questions further down the line.
Some people with severe medical conditions such as Diabetes, Asthma, Heart Conditions, Auto-immune Diseases and a number of other conditions can be classified as high-risk, but you won’t be classed as ‘self-isolating’ unless you’ve got symptoms. Anyone who is being advised to stay at home to keep themselves safe will just be classed as a standard low risk individual.
Will I be covered for Covid-19?
If your life insurance application is accepted now, or has been accepted previously, then you will be covered if anything happens to you as a result of being diagnosed with Covid-19. Lots of people are naturally anxious about whether they are covered for death or illness if they get tested positive for Covid-19 and we’re constantly speaking to insurance companies to make sure that there are no restrictions.
At the end of the day, if you get offered life insurance, critical illness cover, or income protection insurance either now, or if you have an existing policy in force, then it will pay out if anything happens to you due to Covid-19.
While this remains a very worrying time for many people, we’re here to help so please get in touch if you’ve got any questions or things you’d like to double-check.
Is Life Insurance more expensive because of Covid-19?
At the moment there haven’t been any changes to premiums for life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection or health insurance as far as we can tell from the quotes that we are generating. There are some restrictions in place around the amount of cover that you are allowed to apply but this largely depends on your age.
Of course, as time progresses, it is possible that we may see some changes to pricing but this will depend on other external factors that may impact on the life insurers themselves. We’re trying to keep up to date on how things develop and will keep everyone informed through our Website posts and our Social Media channels.
What if I’ve had Corvid-19 can I still get Life Insurance?
Because there are still a lot of unknowns about the virus at the moment it is debatable that people who have had Covid-19 and recovered will be able to still get life insurance. New applications are reviewed on a case by case basis which will be considered by an individual underwriter and it will also depend on which company you approach as each has their own underwriting rules.
That said, we’re keeping in touch with insurance companies to monitor developments as they happen, but we know that it is still early days and the impact on our everyday lives still has several months left before we see some relaxing of the current guidelines the Government has put in place.
What if the Insurance Company requests a Report from my GP?
Where people have a pre-exiting medical condition the insurance company might want you to provide some further medical information. This normally takes the form of a medical report from your GP or specialist. In this particular period where the NHS is already incredibly stretched and there are issues with staff levels in certain areas of the country especially, getting a copy of your medical report may provide difficult.
Indeed to reduce the impact on the NHS, some insurance companies have stopped using medical reports completely.
Others are applying for medical evidence from GP surgeries but recognising the pressures GPs are under, have stopped calling or chasing the surgery to get the report back.
This could mean a delay of several weeks depending on how busy your GP is but to give our clients the best possible chance of obtaining cover swiftly we will only apply to insurers we know are accepting medical evidence and will continue to liaise with the NHS on what can be done to get these reports returned.
Why has my Life Insurance application been postponed?
Having submitted quotes for some clients some insurance companies have advised that their application has been postponed, in some cases between 1 and 6 months to allow for the Covid-19 peak to pass and things to return to some sort of normality.
If the decision is taken to postpone an application, we keep the details and will submit the application as soon as we can.
We’ll do our utmost to push through every single application submitted to us but the reality is that there are some cases where that isn’t possible at the moment and we continue to liaise with insurers to ret to resolve these cases.
There’s still lots of choice for people to get life cover including those who have a pre-existing medical condition. If you’ve been searching online without success or have already spoken to another adviser who has told you that cover is not available it is definitely worth speaking to the team at Markland Hill Wealth as that may not be correct.
For an initial free, no obligation consultation, contact us through www.marklandhill.com with the subject ‘Life Insurance’ and we will get in touch with you in the near future to search the entire market to find cover that matches your needs and your budget.