As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the country, many businesses and industries are scrambling to answer questions never before faced. For those seeking life insurance at this time, and have questions about how COVID-19 may impact underwriting, claims, and benefits, we have answers from our independent underwriter, Byron Rasmussen of Allegis Advisor Group:
Testing for COVID-19
Insurance companies are not testing for COVID-19. We are not aware of any imminent plans to start or require testing. Death claims as a result of COVID-19 infection are covered. This illness is not treated different than other illnesses from a coverage perspective because it is a global pandemic.
Current Underwriting Treatment
Current infection with the virus will receive a “Postpone” underwriting decision until client is fully recovered. While companies are not testing for the virus, like any other illness, a current infection would need to be disclosed on an exam, non-medical, or interview. Non-disclosure of a known infection, like non-disclosure of any material health information, could result in the denial of a claim during the contestability period. Recent and planned foreign travel is being postponed by many insurance companies until 15-30 days after travel is completed.
Potential Future Underwriting Treatment
While nothing has been implemented, populations at higher risk of mortality or morbidity from COVID-19 infection may be subject to changes in underwriting practices in the future. Carriers may decide to become more stringent in underwriting insureds at older ages or for insureds with chronic medical conditions, especially chronic respiratory conditions, to minimize risk.
Life Insurance Options With No Exam Requirement: For those who want to purchase life insurance at this time, but are concerned about having an examiner enter their home to complete a life insurance exam, there is a company offering up to $500,000 of life insurance coverage without an exam requirement (subject to age requirements), and multiple companies offering the possibility of up to $1,000,000 without an exam.
At the forefront of our mission as a company is to help provide financial security and peace of mind to individuals, families, and businesses. With the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the health and financial concerns that are accompanying it, we encourage all people to re-examine their financial and insurance plans at this time to make sure they are prepared for the uncertain times ahead.