The coronavirus pandemic has led many people to consider their mortality and reassess the need for life insurance even if it’s an unpleasant subject. According to insurance expert Laura Adams, “Many people avoid the topic of life insurance because thinking about your death isn’t pleasant. The pandemic was a reminder that accidents and unexpected illnesses can happen.
Life insurance can help protect the financial security of surviving relatives in the event of a COVID-19-related pandemic. Although some aspects of applying for life insurance policies have changed in the COVID-19 crisis it is still possible to obtain a policy. Adams suggests that you get a life insurance policy to protect your loved ones. She says, “Don’t allow the COVID-19 crises to stop you from getting the coverage that you need.” Here are the facts.
Is it possible to still obtain life insurance under COVID-19?
You can still buy life insurance during the coronavirus pandemic. Adams comments, “Insurers are issuing Life Policies despite the challenges posed By the pandemic.” Many carriers have changed their requirements to allow you to skip an in-person exam.
In-person weigh-ins and blood tests are not possible due to the fact that many people (and even insurance companies) have been following the CDC’s social distance guidelines. Insurance companies have less reasons to deny coverage applicants at the moment.
Catherine Theroux is LIMRA’s director of public relations. She says that “to make it easier for consumers, to apply for policy under these uncommon circumstances, more than 25% of U.S. insurance companies have increased their automated underwriting practices.” “One fifth of American companies postponed or waived their paramedical requirements.”
However, life insurance applicants are still required to complete a comprehensive health history questionnaire. This allows insurance companies evaluate the applicant.
Some insurance companies are changing their coverage options
Noting that insurance companies may limit coverage options or adjust their offerings based on the age of customers is important. For example, Reuters reported that Prudential Financial suspended taking life insurance applications for 30-year term insurance policies from April 13 through June in response to “unprecedented market volatility” created by the COVID-19 crisis.
It also reported that several companies, including Penn Mutual Life Insurance and Mutual of Omaha Insurance, have temporarily suspended applications from individuals 70 years old or older. Other insurers have temporarily suspended life insurance applications for 60-year-olds, who may not have been approved for coverage due to health conditions like asthma or diabetes. Some companies have since minimized age-related restrictions like Mutual of Omaha, whose cut-off age has increased to 80 or older.
Insurance companies set rates and risk using long-term mortality data and other health-related data. However, the information about the coronavirus is not as extensive as it would be if the industry had to shift its underwriting guidelines. It takes months rather than years.
Ray Farmer is the South Carolina Department of Insurance Director. He also serves as the President of the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners). It must be data-driven. There isn’t enough data to predict the long-term effects. The answers to these questions for a regulator are still years away.
Talk to your broker or insurance agent if you have any questions about your current policy or if you are unsure if it is still available.
Your approval to cover you could be affected if you travel to high-risk areas
The life insurance application process includes questions about your travel history and plans. Because life insurance costs are based on risk analysis, higher premiums could be expected for travel to certain countries (e.g., those considered dangerous by the U.S. Department of State).
This is especially true right now. This is especially true now, as recent or planned travel to countries where there are large coronavirus epidemics may result in denial of life insurance coverage or delay.
Theroux states that “Some companies reported adding questions about COVID-19 travel and exposure to the underwriting process.” “Individual businesses have different policies.”
Adams states that if you travel overseas, a life insurance company may require a waiting period before reviewing your application. This delay could be up to 30 days from the date of your return. An insurance company may delay approval if you return from a trip and confirm that you haven’t contracted any illness abroad.
While delays and additional scrutiny can be annoying, it is important to be truthful when applying for life insurance. This includes information about your travel history, health, and any global pandemics. Adams recommends that you give honest information to insurers so that there is no chance of your claim being denied. Even if your application is approved, lying on a life insurance policy can cause the coverage to be canceled.
Do you need life insurance?
The short answer to that question is yes. Luckey states that there is a rise in life insurance business. “I tell my clients that this is the best time to apply to life insurance. It’s going to be the easiest underwriting process.”
Farmer says: “If someone believes that a life insurance policy will benefit them or their loved ones in the long-term, there is no reason to not apply now.”
For applications with life insurance companies that have waived their in-person medical exams, the length of time it takes to be approved for coverage might even be shorter than normal. Talk to a broker or agent to find out the length of the approval process for the company you choose.
Coronavirus coverage may be available under an existing insurance policy
Most people will be covered by life insurance policies if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. According to Theroux, “If a policyholder dies from coronavirus-related complications, existing life insurance policies will still provide death benefits for their beneficiaries.”
There are exceptions.
- A “contestability period” is a time frame within which life insurance companies can investigate or deny claims. It’s usually one to two years. In the case of life insurance, coverage may be denied if it is determined that the insured has lied to them or misled them to defraud.
- For those who have bought an accidental death policy, there is another exception to a payout for the coronavirus. These policies don’t generally cover death from any disease. However, there are exceptions. For example, if someone is injured and they contract the disease from that hospitalization. It is a good idea to talk with your agent about the details.
You should be fine as long as you are truthful in your life insurance application. Also, make sure you have paid your premiums on time. COVID-19 and life insurance don’t have to be in conflict. You’re covered once you have a life insurance policy. Luckey states that it will not affect your existing coverage.
What will the future hold for Covid-19?
It is still early to determine if the Covid-19 Coronavirus will have an impact on life insurance. With some people having mild to severe long-term side effects, there is a chance that underwriting standards may change down the road.
The coronavirus may just be added to the existing list of respiratory viruses, such as the common cold and flu. This could have a minimal impact on the life insurance underwriting requirements.
Is life insurance more valuable if there is a pandemic?
Life insurance is essential in all situations, even though the coronavirus pandemic did not change that fact. If you have a dependent person on your income or finances or would feel financial stress if the insured died, life insurance is a great idea.
Single people may not need life insurance if they do not have dependents. However, financial changes such as marriage, children or the need to support a loved ones can make life insurance more important. If budget is a concern, it is worth looking into life insurance coverage while you are young and healthy to meet future needs.
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