I’ve had a lot of calls in the past week from worried clients in relation to Covid-19 and whether they are covered by their Life Insurance policies. So I thought I’d take a minute to explain what the current crisis means for both existing policy holders and those applying for new cover.
There is a lot of confusion about the coverage of viruses such as Covid-19 and whether they are included in their insurance. The questions I’ve been asked lately have stemmed from the lack of coverage within travel insurance for a pandemic.
Life Insurance policies, which include life cover, total and permanent disability, income protection and trauma cover, is very different to travel insurance. Whilst there are lots of conditions in life insurance, a pandemic such as the current Covid-19 outbreak, is not a condition in the majority of retail life insurance policies.
Existing policy holders
We have seen a number of Australian Life insurers confirm in the past week that there are no standard exclusions for either pandemics or viruses that are built into their policies.
Insurers such as BT, CommInsure, Neos Life, Onepath and Zurich, to name a few, have all confirmed that current retail policy holders are covered for Covid19. As long as they otherwise meet the definitions required to make a claim on their Life insurance policy.
This includes Income Protection and Total and Permanent Disability insurances.
This is great news for hundreds of thousands of Australians and no doubt provides relief to those who are concerned about the current crisis.
To find out if your current insurer covers you for Covid 19, please check your product disclosure statement or policy document or contact your insurer.
For those people applying for insurance right now, we are seeing some changes in how insurers are assessing the current conditions.
Some insurers have introduced additional questions in the underwriting process. I received on my desk today notification from CommInsure that they have introduced the following questions for example:
- Any recent flu like symptoms
- Any recent and intended international travel
- Any contact with a suspected and/or confirmed case of COVID-19
Insurance companies have indicated that applicants may have to wait until isolation period requirements have been met before a new insurance policy will be issued.
We are in unprecedented times with conditions changing on a daily basis. Requirements for new policies may change as the situation evolves.
If you have any concerns, please reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help answer questions you may have.