Does My Life Insurance Cover Coronavirus?
Tuesday, 14 April 2020
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, many areas of our lives have been turned upside-down. If you currently have life insurance, you may be asking yourself: Does My Life Insurance Cover Coronavirus? Life insurance offers financial protection for your loved ones in the event that you die unexpectedly, which can give you peace of mind while our world is in constant flux. Continue reading for more information on how your life insurance will cover you through this global pandemic.
Does my policy cover me for the coronavirus?
An existing life insurance policy should cover death from any disease – even one related to a pandemic. In-force life insurance policies will cover claims that arise from Coronavirus-related deaths. If you had an active policy already in place before the pandemic began in late 2019, your beneficiaries should still receive the death benefit. Life insurance covers pandemics as long as you are truthful about your travel plans and exposure to illness during the application process.
For policies that were purchased within the last 1-2 years, note that your application may still be in the contestability period while your insurer reviews your application. You should not have any issues if you were complete honest about your travel plans and health.
Can I still apply for life insurance?
You can still purchase life insurance during the pandemic. If you don’t have life insurance and are not sick, now is a good time to do so. Fortunately, at this point, life insurance companies in Canada have not made any change to the life insurance product or application process to adjust for Coronavirus risks. There are a few details that may affect your application. Here are a few things to consider:
- It’s important to note that your application may be affected by travel plans. Be sure to disclose all past and future travel plans within 12 months of the application.
- You may be required to provide a statement of good health for a new or pending life insurance application if someone in your household has recently travelled outside Canada or if you’ve come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus.
- If you have tested positive for COVID-19, life insurance companies may defer or reject your application until you have made a full recovery.
Do I have to tell my life insurance broker about my travels?
Honesty is the best policy. You should be transparent with your broker and on your application. A standard life insurance application will ask questions about your recent travels in the last year as well as future travel plans for the next 12 months. If you were to die during the contestability years of your policy (1-2 years) and the insurance company discovers that you have been dishonest about travel or a medical condition, they have the right to raise rates and even cancel your policy. If you have recently travelled to any locations that are hotspots, be sure to notify your broker. As long as you report true information on your application including health conditions and travel plans, then you shouldn’t have to be concerned about a Coronavirus-related claim.
Will I have to see anyone face-to-face when I apply for life insurance?
When you apply for life insurance, most applications require that you undergo a medical exam to receive coverage. With the social restrictions currently in place, it might be challenging, or you may not feel comfortable going to a medical facility to have the medical exam. Some companies are offering up to 90-day extensions of the medical exam in order to follow safe social distancing protocols allowing clients to still receive coverage right away. Fluid medicals (blood + urine samples) have also been eliminated for applications under $1 million meaning a nurse no longer needs to come to your house. There are also certain companies that do not require a medical exam. Be sure to speak with a broker about what’s available to you.
Thanks to technology, all applications can be completed electronically, including signatures, so you will not need to visit our brokerage or meet physically with your broker at any point throughout the process.
Will my life insurance premium be affected by Coronavirus?
If you already have an active term-life policy, you’ll be reassured to hear that the rate you’re paying for your coverage is locked in for the entire term of your policy, so you don’t need to worry about price increases. A permanent (or whole) life insurance policy may change as interest rates play a bigger part in pricing.
Starting a new application as a younger, healthy person should mean that your rates would not be any higher than before the pandemic as the underwriting process remains the same. Term-life insurance pricing is at its lowest in over 10 years. Your travel history should not affect your premium, but it may affect the application process as previously mentioned.
At BIG, we want to make sure you have the best coverage so that you can have peace of mind and protect your family in the case of unexpected death. If you have any questions about your current life insurance policy, need to make changes, or would like a quote for a life insurance policy, our brokers are available to help you through phone and email. Stay safe and healthy!