How does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect Life Insurance?

How does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect Life Insurance? Thumbnail

Posted 1st June 2020 by Lewis Murray

Does Life Insurance cover the Coronavirus?

Yes. The process of applying and claiming for life insurance hasn’t changed due to Coronavirus. The only difference may be where there is a slight delay getting the application in place due to health or medical checks.

Not in our lifetimes has there been an event that has made us stop and think about life insurance more than the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has spread to 213 countries around the world, with over 5 million confirmed cases and many more unconfirmed. The UK has seen almost a quarter of a million cases and is expected to continue to rise as the government secure more testing kits over the coming months1. Sadly, our nation has seen the second highest death toll in the world; the highest number of deaths in Europe. Despite this, the virus is still considered an illness – if it is the cause of a policy holder’s death, the insurance company will more than likely pay out.

Does Protect Line cover Covid-19?

At Protect Line, we have recently learned from our insurers that some of the families we have helped find life insurance have had to make a claim. We were deeply saddened by this news. The situation magnifies the importance of having a life insurance policy in place for when the unexpected strikes and how it can make a real impact for those left behind.

While this is news we never want to hear, we are glad that we could help those families be covered financially at such a difficult time. Each claim represents real people whose homes don’t have to be sold. It removes the stress of debts, provides a lump sum in place of lost income, and allows families to focus on grieving rather than their finances. It has made us even more determined to achieve our mission of protecting as many UK families as possible.

Should I trust life insurance?

In a survey conducted by Protect Line in 20202, 29.14% of people said their biggest fear about applying for life insurance was that they would be wasting their money. We know the complete opposite to be true. For anybody who has suffered a loss as a result of COVID-19, or any other reason for that matter, their loved one has selflessly provided them with financial support, even though they are no longer with them.

Life insurance can have a massive impact on those left behind. It’s often used to cover mortgage or rent payments. It allows families to maintain their current lifestyle, and not worry about losing their family home. It may be that they left enough money to send their children to university. It means that they can focus on the things that really matter and not have to worry about finances at an incredibly difficult time.

Does Life Insurance pay out?

It may be that those 29.14% of people surveyed thought that life insurance doesn’t pay out – that it’s a scam. It may surprise you to know that more than £5.3 billion in protection claims were paid out in 2018, according to figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). 97.6% of all claims were paid out, and the average of those claims was £81,000 – that’s the equivalent of £14.5 million paid every single day3.

Do insurance companies pay out for Coronavirus deaths?

So how does COVID-19 affect these numbers? It doesn’t. If you or a loved one have to make a claim as a result of the Coronavirus, it would be handled like any other claim and subject to the usual policy terms and conditions.

Can I take out life insurance during the pandemic?

Applying for life insurance is no different now than it was before. Insurers are still accepting life insurance applications, although some have now included coronavirus-related questions. These are around whether you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms. It could be that your application is slightly delayed if you are required to provide medical evidence.

What are UK life insurance companies doing about Corona Virus?

Each of our insurers, such as Aviva, Legal & General, and Scottish Widows, are providing their own statements about the virus. A summary of them can be found here along with direct links to the insurer pages – https://www.protectline.co.uk/help/coronavirus/covid-19-insurer-statements/

Sources

1 Figures taken from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/countries-where-coronavirus-has-spread/

2 Poll conducted by Protect Line Ltd in March 2020 with 421 participants

https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2019/04/protection-payouts-see-insurers-support-record-numbers-through-bereavement-sickness-and-injury/

Protection plans with no investment element will have no cash in value at any time. If premiums are not maintained then cover will lapse.