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Facts about HIV life insurance

HIV life insurance is now quicker, easier, and cheaper than it has ever been in the UK. This is thanks to major medical advancements and lower claims from HIV patients.

Many of our customers with HIV are skeptical about life cover which is understandable.

According to recent statistics from the National AIDS Trust, there are just over 105,000 people living with HIV in the UK. It is also estimated that approximately 94% of people have been diagnosed with HIV, so 1 in 16 people with the disease don’t know they’ve got HIV.

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About life insurance for someone with HIV

It is often much easier and cheaper than you might think to get life cover with HIV. We’ve helped thousands of customers with HIV over the past 20 years and now is better than ever before.

Can a person with HIV get life insurance?

YES – there are several life insurance options for someone who is HIV positive. In most cases, it’s possible to get standard life cover for someone with HIV, especially where the CD4 is good and the viral load is undetectable.

One of the most common questions is ‘can I get life insurance with HIV’ and it’s understandable because previously it has been difficult to get cover.

If you aren’t currently eligible for standard life insurance then there are some other options that may be suitable. Some of these options can be a good way to get some cover in place in case something happens to you in the future.

Guaranteed life insurance with HIV will often give you affordable cover with premiums started from around £10 per month. This type of cover will also have no medical questions so will be available instantly. Your HIV will be excluded so you will have cover for other potential causes of death such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, and accidental death.

Over 50’s life insurance with HIV is something that might also be suitable if you’re just looking for something quick and easy. Most people will buy this type of policy for funeral expenses or just to have a small amount of cover.

Personal Accident (with accidental death cover) with HIV can offer lots of other cover features including hospitalisation, accidental cover, and accidental death. Another option for people with HIV and cover is available for as little as £8 per month.

Best life insurance for HIV patients

There are several main product options for life insurance that can provide cover against various potential risks. You just need to think about what’s important to you and what you want to protect against for your family.

Term life insurance for someone with HIV (family protection) is the most common type of life cover and often the easiest. This policy is simply designed to pay a lump sum to protect your family if you die.

Mortgage life insurance for someone with HIV (decreasing term) is designed to provide cover for your mortgage if you die. This type of cover is specifically designed for repayment (capital and interest) mortgages because it reduces at a similar rate to your mortgage balance.

Critical illness cover for someone with HIV is sometimes through some of the more specialist insurers. This type of cover will often be on a guaranteed acceptance basis and will exclude HIV or anything related to your current health.

Income protection for someone with HIV can also be available from some insurers on a similar basis to critical illness cover. These policies will usually be short term income protection so will provide cover for accident, injury, or sickness for 12 to 24 months.

Whole of life for someone with HIV is unfortunately not usually available currently through most of the mainstream insurers.

There are other options for cover as well so you should speak to an advisor if you’re not sure about what to do and the best coverage for you. Life insurance comes in many different forms which can include business protection as well.

Does life insurance test for HIV?

YES – some insurers might require a test for HIV depending on your situation and some might ask for other medical checks. Insurers will tell you if they need a HIV test or another medical check when you apply so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Does HIV test affect life insurance?

If you are asked for an HIV test for life cover before you take out a new policy, this shouldn’t affect your cover or the price, unless the result is positive. If you’ve been asked to take a test for HIV then this shouldn’t have any impact on your premiums.

The only reason why your premiums or cover may change after this type of test is if your results are positive and you did not disclose HIV on your application. It’s difficult for anyone to be asked to take HIV tests so you just need to be comfortable with that before it happens.

HIV tests required for life insurance

It’s normal for people to be asked to take an HIV test when they apply for life insurance. Most insurers will ask for an HIV test simply because of your answers to certain questions on the application form.

Some of the main reasons why you might be asked to take an HIV test for life cover

  • Travel or living abroad
  • Occupations
  • History of drug abuse
  • STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
  • Alcoholism
  • High cover amounts

Facts about HIV tests

  • Who pays for the test? The life insurance company/provider will pay for the test
  • Where do I go for a test? Most tests are either done by a nurse or will be done at a private clinic
  • Does HIV test affect life insurance? No, the test itself is fine and only the results might have an impact
  • What if I refuse to take a test? Insurance companies have the option to refuse your application

If you’re concerned about taking an HIV test then you can speak to your doctor about it to get their advice. Alternatively, you can take life coverage without the need for a test if you choose another type of cover.

Does HIV affect life insurance?

NO – you’ll get the same cover if you’re HIV positive as if you are not so you’ll still have exactly the same policy. Life insurance does not exclude anything so if you’re accepted for life cover with HIV then you’ll be covered in the future if you die from HIV.

If you’ve got life insurance in place already and you get diagnosed with HIV then you’ll be covered and you shouldn’t need to notify your insurer. Once you have cover then you’ll usually find that your policy will be accepted on a ‘guaranteed terms’ basis which means you’ve got cover regardless of what happens in the future.

There are a few things to consider here so it’s worth checking with your insurer or speaking to an advisor if you’ve got any questions about it.

HIV life insurance companies

There are definitely some companies that are better than others for people who are HIV positive. This is because of how some insurers underwrite HIV compared to other companies so you can certainly save money knowing this.

If you’ve applied for life insurance in the past and have had problems, such as:

  • Declined or refused cover
  • Unaffordable premiums
  • Postponed cover until a later date

It’s not necessarily the case that this is the final and best option so you could get a better response from another provider. Don’t worry if you have had an issue in the past, we can potentially look at other options for you.

HIV life insurance cost

Here’s a quick example of a recent life cover application that we’ve dealt with for a customer who is HIV positive. These figures are purely a guide to show approximately how much life insurance costs for someone in a similar situation.

Mr H. was looking for life insurance for himself and his partner

Age: 49
Height/weight: 5ft 9in / 11st
Diagnosed: HIV
Treatment: HAART
Other conditions: Diverticulitis

Amount of cover: £60,000 (family protection)
Term: 20 years
Premium: £18.81*

*Premiums are accurate as of September 2020

How to get the best rates for HIV life insurance

When you apply for life insurance, like any other pre-existing condition, medical underwriting will be completed to evaluate your medical history. This screening will include an analysis of any medical disclosures, which could have an impact on your premiums depending on the severity of your symptoms and any treatment. Within your screening, we will get to know your circumstances to ensure we are recommending the most suitable products for your circumstances. This will involve relevant questions such as:

  • When were you diagnosed with HIV?
  • What is your viral load?
  • Are your CD4 counts controlled? – What are your current levels?
  • Do you take medication to control this?

Common questions about HIV

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about HIV and what people want to know about living with the disease.

How long can you live with HIV?
The average life expectancy for someone who is HIV positive has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, since the introduction of HAART (highly active antiretroviral treatment) medication. In 1996 the life expectancy for someone diagnosed with HIV at age 20 was 39 years of age, this has increased to age 70 years in 2011, so over 30 years longer.

What are the 4 main stages of HIV infection?
If HIV remains untreated then the virus will go through 4 main stages which include:

  • Seroconversion illness is the short period after contracting the virus (also known as primary or acute infection) where you might show similar symptoms to the flu
  • The asymptomatic stage follows the seroconversion period, which is where the virus is infecting new cells in the body, making copies of itself, and weakening your immune system. Most people won’t show any symptoms at this stage of the virus
  • Symptomatic HIV is one of the later stages where HIV treatment needs to be introduced to reduce the impact on your weakened immune system
  • Late-stage HIV is where HIV has had the chance to cause severe damage to your immune system and can allow other infections to develop such as pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), and even cancers

Can you get rid of HIV?
There is currently no known cure for HIV and the body isn’t able to get rid of the virus itself. HIV is a chronic condition so it will be classed as life-long. However, if you are treated using HAART then you will now be able to live a long and healthy life.

Useful information for people with HIV

NHS Choices – HIV and AIDS overview
Link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hiv-and-aids/

Terrence Higgins Trust – Charity
Link: https://www.tht.org.uk/

National AIDS Trust – Charity
Link: https://www.nat.org.uk/