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Coronavirus and life insurance

Life insurance and coronavirus – what you need to know

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the life insurance market – but it doesn’t mean you can’t buy cover

By Laura Howard

Published: 02 March 2021

Looking for life insurance?

From mortgages to credit cards, the effect of coronavirus on financial products has swept the board.  

But its impact on life insurance – which pays out to protect your loved ones in the event of your death – is perhaps the most important one to understand.

Here are the answers to the most frequently-asked questions around life insurance and coronavirus.

Life insurers are still open for business, many have just incorporated coronavirus-related questions into their application process.

Here at MoneySuperMarket, we’ve also added coronavirus into our life insurance comparison to be sure the providers we list are relevant to your needs.

If we are unable to find providers, we’ll send you through to our partner, independent broker LifeSearch. Its experts, who work closely with a wide panel of life insurers, can provide tailored, specialist advice.

Yes. As things stand, there are no pandemic death-related exclusions within life insurance policies. In other words, any new policy you take out will cover you if you die of coronavirus.

You should also be fully covered for coronavirus under any life insurance policy you already have in place.

Yes – but if it’s been in the last 30 days (which the insurer will ask you in its set of questions), your application will be postponed.

‘Postponement periods’ vary between insurers from two weeks to three months, after which time you can reapply to that insurer. There is nothing to stop you trying a different insurer – but it might be more effective to seek independent specialist advice. Call LifeSearch for free on 0800 3167253 or request advice via its website.

The same applies. You’ll need to declare it on your application at the relevant question point. If you answer ‘yes’ within the last 30 days, your application will be delayed for the insurer’s postponement period and you will need to reapply then, try a different insurer or seek advice.

Yes – but, again, if you have exhibited symptoms within the last 30 days your application will be subject to a postponement period. It’s worth knowing that some life insurers, such as Royal London and AIG, are more receptive to key workers than others.

Yes – but, again, if you have exhibited symptoms within the last 30 days your application will be subject to a postponement period. It’s worth knowing that some life insurers, such as Royal London and AIG, are more receptive to key workers than others.

Some life insurers may accept existing supporting documentation that you already have access to yourself, such as consultant letters and test results, in place of a medical exam.

LifeSearch will be best placed to advise you of the best providers for this purpose.

Yes – but depending on the severity it could result in much higher premiums.  Many insurers have become more selective about high-risk applications since coronavirus. If your condition puts you in this category, seek specialist advice.

Critical illness insurance policies – whether new or existing – will not pay out if you contract coronavirus as it is not defined as a critical illness by any insurer.

But serious conditions incurred as a result of coronavirus – such as respiratory failure, intubation or life support – are likely be listed as critical illnesses so you would be covered.

However, this is not always the case so be sure to check your policy’s definitions.

If you are struggling to make payments on your existing life or critical illness cover due to coronavirus, speak to your provider who should offer help.

Under rules set out by the regulator the Financial Conduct Authority, insurers must take steps to help customers. This could include a payment deferral of up to three months, for example, or a temporary reduction in cover or a change in policy terms, which results in cheaper premiums.

You can cancel a policy at any time without penalty but this should be a last resort.

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