Liam, I’m currently buying a property and about to arrange life cover. Is the COVID-19 pandemic going to impact my ability to get cover? Will I end up paying more? Any advice would be much appreciated.
I’ve received many questions in recent days like yours, so I spoke with a number of providers and they all advised there was no immediate plans to amend their acceptance criteria because of the coronavirus.
However, what they did say was, if you’ve recently returned from an affected area, it may impact your ability to get immediate cover. I’m told an application will be processed as normal, but the decision whether to provide cover or not will be assessed on a case by case basis.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and you declare same on the proposal form, which of course you must and should, cover may still be possible, but it’s likely it will be deferred until a full recovery has been made.
For those who have existing policies in place, it’s important they know that if, God forbid, they contracted COVID-19 and subsequently died because of it, the death benefit attaching to the policy will still be paid out.
If an individual did contract the virus and had serious illness attaching to the policy, that isn’t enough for a payment to be made, because COVID-19 is not a defined illness under a specified illness contract. However, they may be eligible to claim for conditions arising from Covid-19, if the specified illness definition is met, for example they went into a coma.
One last point to make, and it’s not related to a life or serious illness policy but related to an income replacement policy. If you were unable to work because of your COVID-19 related illness, and it met the definition of being a disability, you will be able to submit a claim for payment after the deferred period attaching to your policy.