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Life Insurance and Coronavirus

Coronavirus and Its Affect on Life Insurance 

The entire life insurance industry is based on evaluating and managing risk. That’s why life insurance carriers do not like risk for coverage where they don’t have enough information and statistics about risks related to their potential insureds. 

People who have, or had the Coronavirus represent this category of unknown risk.

The current outbreak of Coronavirus has already infected over 111,464 (as of 3/9/20) worldwide resulting, so far, in 3,892 deaths. The majority of cases are taking place in China at this time. 

However, the virus has already spread across more than 25 other countries, and is growing to more than 36 states in the U.S.A. 

The world’s knowledge about this virus is still fairly limited, including very approximate data about its death rate and the ways in which the virus spreads.

Coronavirus vs. other Deadly Viruses

Coronavirus vs. The Flu

According to reports from Johns Hopkins, there are 603 reported cases of Coronavirus in the US and at least 24 deaths as of Monday 3/9/2020. 

Of the more than 110,000 people who have caught the virus globally, the Johns Hopkins data show that almost half — more than 62,000 — have recovered. The health risks associated with the virus rise significantly with age and many younger, otherwise healthy people who contract it might show only mild symptoms, if any.


Currently there is no vaccine available to combat Coronavirus. The current estimates put COVID-19’s death rate at approximately 3% of the people affected by the virus.

Comparatively, the death rate of SARS (outbreak in 2003) was placed at 9.6% and the death rate of Ebola (also known as EVD – Ebola Virus Disease) varied from 25% to 90% with the average values at 50% as per the World Health Organization.

All this leaves life insurance companies with a lot of uncertainty on how to deal with current and past Coronavirus patients. 

There are several ways in which life insurance companies may choose to handle applicants for life insurance coverage who may or may not have been exposed to Coronavirus.


Insurance Companies Are About Managing Their Risk


Insurers manage the risk presented by the people they insure, collect and manage the premiums they receive, and pay their claims, in order to operate their insurance business. 

Insurers do this through defining various levels of life insurance plans they offer, which are associated with different degrees of risk presented by the applicants seeking coverage. 

Overview of Life Insurance Products

An overview below shows key products and their main characteristics.

  1. Standard life insurance is associated with low risk, comes with the highest coverage limits available, but requires an extensive physical examination and completion of a medical questionnaire.
  2. Simplified life insurance comes without any doctor exams, but with a short health questionnaire. It comes at a higher cost, and a lower maximum coverage limit than is available through standard life insurance policies.
  3. Guaranteed approval life insurance does not require any health exam, and there are no health questions asked. It is a type of life insurance product you can always buy if you meet the age requirements, but it comes at a much higher price, with limited amounts of coverage available, and extra clauses not providing any coverage if an applicant passes away within the first two years after purchasing their policy.

The last two types of life insurance are also known as "No Exam" life insurance because they don't require any medical check-up. They are more popular among seniors and people with pre-exisitng health problems.

How Do Insurance Companies Treat People with Coronavirus? 

When it comes to insurers choosing to accept or reject applicants for life insurance considering possible coronavirus exposure, there are two main approaches:

  1. Insurers who do not have a defined approach of dealing with Coronavirus, and
  2. Insurers who are able to share the exact conditions under which people with Coronavirus will be able to get insured for life insurance.

The first group of life insurers would either decline your application or delay it until a clear course of action is defined, or offer you only a Guaranteed Approval life insurance policy.

The second group of life insurers will be able to offer you a standard life insurance policy, but only once you are within defined parameters, for example:

  1. 3 months have passed since full recovery from the Coronavirus, OR
  2. Fully healed and cleared by a physician after being diagnosed with Coronavirus


Standard Life, Simplified Life and Guaranteed Issue Life may be available for the following:

  1. People who were diagnosed with Coronavirus, were treated, have no remaining symptoms or complications, and are cleared by a physician.
  2. People who have been fully recovered from the virus for at least 3 months. 

Denied Life Insurance If:

  1. Diagnosed with Coronavirus and still have symptoms – not fully recovered.
  2. Have current medical issues related to Coronavirus and/or are waiting for test results to find out if you have the virus.


What if Life Insurers are Not Ready to Insure Coronavirus Patients?

Life insurance carriers who are not willing to provide life insurance for Coronavirus patients may have one of two responses to your application for coverage:

  1. No coverage is available for anyone who has the Coronavirus.
  2. Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance coverage may be available.


It is important to know that all guaranteed issue policies come with graded death benefits

This means, if you die within a pre-defined period of time after starting your policy (in most cases 1 or 2 years), no death benefits will be paid. 

You will only get back the premiums paid and a certain rate of interest on those premiums.

The idea behind this is to prevent people who know that they are terminally ill from buying life insurance where a life insurer will need to pay the claim sooner rather than later, which presents a much greater risk of loss for the insurance carrier.

What About Insurers Who Consider Insuring Coronavirus Survivors?

The second group of insurers who are open to providing life insurance for Coronavirus patients may offer the following options to applicants for coverage:

  1. No coverage available now, but three months after you have fully recovered, we would be able to consider you for life insurance.
  2. We could possibly consider an applicant for life insurance who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus, who was treated, has no residual symptoms or complications, and has been cleared by their physician. This would be subject to a full underwriting of the applicant, including a medical examination, health questionnaire, and current coronavirus test results.
  3. Applications for coverage will be postponed until full recovery of the applicant.

How to Learn More 

Each day society and the life insurance industry will gain greater understanding, and more statistics about the effects of the Coronavirus. 

Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty across the insurance industry and the situation will continue to change in the coming months.

If you want to find out more about Coronavirus (COVID-19), you can visit the World Health Organization website to learn more.


Are You Concerned About Coronavirus?

If so, you may be considering the purchase of a life insurance policy to help provide your family with financial security in case the worst happens.

We all want to make sure our loved ones are safe and financially secure should something happen to us. And life insurance can be there for them, to make sure they have the resources to go on living their life and pursuing their dreams.

But, if you do buy life insurance, will it pay out a death claim should you die from Coronavirus?


Do Existing Life Insurance Policies Cover Death from Coronavirus? 

Yes. Life insurance policies do cover death resulting from Coronavirus, because there is no standard exclusion stated in an existing standard life insurance policy.

However, if you buy a new life insurance policy, you may wish to purchase your life insurance now, rather than waiting, because insurers may choose to add an Exclusion for Coronavirus.

The best way to make sure it is covered is to buy life insurance now, instead of waiting.

Also, ask the life insurance broker, agent or insurance company if there is any Exclusion for Coronavirus before you purchase the policy. 

Get their reply in writing so you have it for your files. They can send you a letter through the mail, or they can send you an email which you can print out to have with your life insurance policy to make sure you are covered in case you get Coronavirus.

Once you receive your life insurance policy, make sure you review the Exclusions Section of your policy to verify that there is NO Exclusion regarding death resulting from Coronavirus.


Does Life Insurance Cover Coronavirus?

A standard existing life insurance policy does not have any exclusion for Coronavirus.

However, insurers may and probably will include some form of exclusion for coronavirus in the future, but this change will vary by insurance company.


Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have Coronavirus?

It depends on the insurance company and your health.  

If you are healthy and do not have the virus, you may be able to get insured without any hassles, other than a medical examination, which is common practice.

If you have the coronavirus, you may find it difficult to get insured at this time, depending on when you were diagnosed, your age, overall health, medication you are taking, and prognosis, among other factors.

If you have been exposed to the Coronavirus, and are quarantined, you may be unable to get insured at this time, until you are cleared by a physician as being without the virus. 

If you have had the virus, but have recovered, and been virus free for at least 3 months, you may be able to get insured for life insurance.


How Can I Get Insured for Life Insurance Today?

There are Quick-Issue life insurance policies available from several carriers that offer varying amounts of same-day protection for qualified applicants.

These policies are usually available for healthy individuals between the ages of 20 to 60. 

One highly rated insurer offers up to $2,000,000 of term life insurance with no medical exam, and coverage you may start today, if you qualify.


Do I Have to Take a Medical Exam to Get Life Insurance?

It depends on your age, health, and the insurance company requirements for medical exams.

Some insurers offer no exam life insurance policies, but you will have to answer several questions about the status of your health and your past health history.


What Companies Offer Instant Issue Life Insurance? 

There are several insurers that now offer life insurance plans without any physical exam, including but not limited to the following insurers:


Where Can I Buy Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

Several life insurers now offer life insurance plans with Guaranteed Acceptance.

These plans are usually offered to people age 45 or over.

If you meet the age requirements for acceptance, you are guaranteed approval for a policy. 

Some of the leading providers of guaranteed life insurance coverage include the following insurance carriers:


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What Is Coronavirus?

The 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 that has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China.

As of 7 March 2020, more than 102,000 cases have been confirmed, of which 7,100 were classified as serious. 97 countries and territories have been affected, with major outbreaks in central China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

More than 3,400 people have died: just over 3,000 in mainland China and more than 420 in other countries. More than 57,000 people have recovered.

Source: Wikipedia 3/9/2020


Coronavirus Resources:


Life Insurance and Coronavirus

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