FAQs about life insurance coverage during pandemic times

Here are some answers to some common queries a life insurance policy holder might have about coronavirus.

 FAQs about life insurance coverage during pandemic times

Life Insurance arrived in India with the Europeans in 1870 and since then has grown in leaps and bounds to cover the natives of India. Life insurance has since covered all aspects of death, including the new pandemic-coronavirus COVID-19. A few pointers have been given below on helping understand the extent of coverage against COVID-19. Read on...

1. Do life insurance policies provide coverage against coronavirus?
Yes, they do. The WHO has declared COVID-19 to be a ‘controllable pandemic’. So, all nominees or claimants will get their dues as per the claim. Logically COVID-19 is just another disease, so if someone happens to die from it, their nominees get the ‘assured sum’ or claim amount as mentioned in the policy. Insurance companies the world over, including India, are honouring such claims. To be doubly sure, request a confirmation document from your agent or insurance company stating that you are eligible for all claims as per the policy, irrespective of whether COVID-19 is involved.

Related: Does your life insurance policy cover death due to COVID-19?

2. Can I buy a life insurance policy without undergoing a corona test?
Since we are smack in the middle of a pandemic, you cannot purchase a policy without a mandatory check-up. The fact is that life insurance companies need to be in business and hence have to provide all the benefits the nominees or claimants are eligible for upon the death of the policyholder (or the ‘assured amount’ if the insurance is more than 40 years, whichever is later). If someone buys a life insurance and ends up with COVID-19 within 15 days and dies, it would mean a loss for the insurance company. So, if you express a wish to buy a policy, you will be asked to undergo a COVID-19 test. If you test positive, there will be a ‘cooling off’ period of 15-30 days, after which the sale of the insurance policy is formalised, and comes into effect after a month of paying the first premium. 

Do not skip any questions your agent or company may ask. Answer them with due diligence and honesty. So, if and when a real claim has to be made and the company finds out that you have dodged a check-up or been dishonest with your answers, the claim process would get unnecessarily prolonged. So, when you buy life insurance, complete all mandatory blood tests to get assured peace of mind. If you do this, your loved ones won’t face any trouble when you’re gone; they can continue to enjoy the standard of life they are used to.

Related: FAQs about coronavirus insurance settlement

3. Will I be eligible for a claim for coronavirus treatment if I have not updated my life insurance policy to include COVID-19?
Your life insurance policy is not a health insurance policy. So for treatment you would need a COVID-19 insurance policy or Corona Kavach Insurance Policy or a health insurance policy that covers all diseases including COVID-19. One must remember that coronavirus is fairly new, and standardising coverage across insurance companies could take time. Do not take things for granted; read the terms and conditions of the health insurance policy carefully before you buy it. Please note that the Government of India has standardised a COVID-19 insurance policy to be provided by all health insurance companies, where the premium is not too high (around Rs 3000 for 9 months) and covers COVID-19 treatment. 

Related: Are unprecedented pandemics covered under health insurance?

4. Will I need to pay more premium for coronavirus coverage?
If you are an existing life insurance policy holder, you don’t need to pay an extra premium. Life insurance covers all diseases, including coronavirus. All you need is a confirmation from your life insurance provider that the policy covers COVID-19. However, if you are buying a new policy, the insurance company will make you undergo a series of health check-ups and provide a questionnaire related to COVID-19. Once the tests confirm that you are corona-free, your policy comes into effect after one month of the  first premium payment . T here is a cost  factor involved in  treatment for COVID-19,  so the premium  amounts of most insurance companies have  naturally gone up.

5. Will my nominees or claimants get a full claim after my death if it  is discovered that I had corona?
Yes, they will. So don’t worry; continue paying your premiums and feel happy that you have an insurance cover that will cover COVID-19, just  like other non-communicable diseases  such as  diabetes or arthritis.

Last words
COVID-19 or coronavirus is here to stay for a while, and the world is gradually preparing for  the ‘new normal’. It is important  that we realise the high cost of medical treatment in India and ensure that every family member has an insurance shield. Above all, don’t forget to wear a face mask  while in public and maintain safe social distancing at all times.


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