Posted 17 Apr 2020

Has The Coronavirus Pandemic Affected Life Insurance Applications In the UK?

This blog is to help anyone who’s currently thinking about or looking for life insurance and for people with life insurance. If you want to know how Coronavirus has changed and is changing life insurance in the UK currently then this will hopefully help to explain.

iam|INSURED is the #1 insurance experts for people in the UK to protect their families and homes who have pre-existing medical conditions including all Chronic and Acute conditions. We have been helping people to get cover to protect their loved ones for over 20 years, and we’re constantly looking at how the insurance market is changing to help our customers.

How has Coronavirus affected Life Insurance and other Types of Cover?

We’re in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and seeing constant changes to how some of the biggest life insurance companies in the world are underwriting our cases. The impact has clearly been dramatic for the life insurance market which has had an impact on some of the clients that we deal with, especially those with severe medical conditions or symptoms.

This is a very difficult time for everyone so hopefully, this little bit of information will help to give some clarity about life insurance. Here are some of the main changes so far in the UK:

  • Limits to Maximum amounts of cover available (Max. sum assured).
  • Questions specifically about Coronavirus (see below).
  • Underwriting limits lowered due to additional mortality risks.
  • Postponed decisions/offers of terms (between 1 and 6 months on average).
  • Restrictions for certain medical conditions (e.g. Diabetes, Heart, Auto-immune, Neurological, and HIV).

There are still plenty of options for people to get life insurance and for our customers as well who have a pre-existing medical condition. You may have already spoken to another adviser or company who has told you that cover is not available but that may not be correct so it is definitely worth speaking to our iam|INSURED experts.

What questions will I be asked about Coronavirus on my insurance applications?

Life insurance companies have developed specific questions to assess the risk around Coronavirus for new applications. This is simply to make sure that they have the full picture when they assess your health and medical circumstances.

Coronavirus questions will include:

  • Have you tested positive for Coronavirus?
  • Are you currently in self-isolation?
  • Have you had any symptoms of Coronavirus?
  • Have you been in direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or suspected of having a Coronavirus?

You should make sure that you answer all of these questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge so there are no questions further down the line.

If you’re classed as being high-risk because of your medical condition such as people with severe Diabetes, Asthma, Heart Conditions, Auto-immune Diseases, and a number of other conditions, then you won’t be classed as ‘self-isolating’ unless you’ve got symptoms. People who are being advised to stay at home to keep themselves safe will just be classed as a standard low-risk individual.

Will I be covered for Coronavirus?

If your life insurance application is accepted now or has been accepted previously then you will be covered for if anything happens to you as a result of being diagnosed with Coronavirus. A lot of people are understandably concerned about whether they are covered for death or illness if they get tested positive for COVID-19 and we’re constantly speaking to insurers to make sure that there are no restrictions.

Ultimately if you get offered life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection either now or have taken out cover previously then your policy will pay out if anything happens to you due to Coronavirus. While this remains a very difficult time for a lot of people, we’re here to help so feel free to give us a call and ask us any questions that you’ve got.

Is Life Insurance more expensive because of Coronavirus?

As yet there have been no changes to premiums for life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, or health insurance as far as we can tell from the quotes that we are producing. There are some restrictions in place around the amount of cover that you are allowed to apply for which is primarily dependant on your age.

We may see some changes to pricing in the future but this will depend on other external factors that may have an impact on the life insurance companies and re-insurers themselves. We’re trying to keep up to date on how things develop and will keep everyone informed through our Blogs and Social Media channels.

Can I still get Life Insurance if I’ve had Coronavirus?

Currently, it is questionable for people who have had Coronavirus and recovered as to whether they will be able to still get life insurance because there are still a lot of unknowns about the virus. Most insurance providers will consider an application on a case by case basis which will need to be reviewed by an individual underwriter which also depends on which company you are applying to.

Some insurance providers have reacted more cautiously than others in this current situation and global crisis so we’re making sure that we spend a lot of time keeping up with developments as they happen. We know that the pandemic still has several months until we’re due to see any relaxation in rules or even for things like social distancing so this impact could continue until August or even September.

What if I need to get a report from my GP?

In some cases where there is a pre-existing medical condition, there may be a requirement to provide some further medical information which will generally be a medical report from your GP or specialist. In this particular period where the NHS is already incredibly stretched and there are issues with staff levels in certain areas of the country especially, it could be difficult to get a copy of your medical report.

  • Some insurance providers are even stopping using medical reports completely to reduce the impact on the NHS.
  • Other insurance providers are applying for medical evidence from GP surgeries but have stopped calling or chasing the surgery to get the report back.

It could be that if a medical report is required that there could either be a delay for a period of time which could be a few weeks or even a few months depending on where you are and how busy your surgery is. Obviously we will only apply to companies that we know are accepting medical evidence and we will continue to take the advice of the NHS on what we can do to get these reports sent back.

Why has my Life Insurance application been postponed?

If you’ve recently made a life insurance application and the decision from the insurance company has been to postpone your application, then we’ll hold on to your details and re-submit your application as soon as we can. In some cases, we’re seeing decisions to postpone an offer of cover from between 1 and 6 months to allow for the Coronavirus peak to pass and to return back to some levels of normality.

We’re of course doing our utmost to make sure that we push every single application through, but there are some cases that we simply can’t do anything with at the moment. We appreciate that this is far from ideal and in a lot of cases, we also don’t feel that these decisions are fair.

If you need any advice or help with your existing life insurance or what to do about getting a new policy then we’re here to help and our advice is free so please give us a call on 01244 732895 today

Daniel Sharpe-Szunko