The good news is yes, according to research by finder.com, a financial comparison site that claims to help consumers make the best decisions when it comes to handling their money. The site examines financial products such as credit cards, different loans, as well as insurance companies to name a few.
Finder.com’s insurance writer Katia Iervasi reports that if you already have a policy in place, you’re covered for COVID-19. If you haven’t yet applied for a policy, you could face delays in approval.
“During a global health crisis like the coronavirus, it’s natural to think about financial planning and how you can protect yourself and your family,” Iervasi says in email commentary provided to Black Enterprise.
Fortunately, Iervasi says, the guidelines about life insurance are pretty clear-cut.
She added that unlike travel insurance, there isn’t a “pandemic” exclusion for life insurance. Basically, that means that if you already have a policy and continue paying your premiums on time, your loved ones will get a payout if you die from the coronavirus.
But if you want to buy a life insurance policy, you might have to wait. “We spoke to the major insurers across the US and discovered that many of them — like Lincoln Financial Group — are imposing waiting periods for applications. The wait lasts around a month — or longer for applicants who have preexisting conditions or have recently traveled to the countries that have been hit hardest by COVID-19, like Italy and China.”
Here is a Q&A finder.com compiled on how the coronavirus affects your life insurance:
Is the coronavirus covered by life insurance?
Yes. There is no pandemic or epidemic exclusion for life insurance. This means if you have an active life insurance policy and continue paying premiums, your beneficiaries will receive a payout if you die from COVID-19 or related complications.
What if I have an active life insurance policy and travel to an affected area?
Your life insurance company can’t change your rating class or premium after your policy is in force. As long as you make timely premium payments, you’re protected.
To stay safe, heed government and agency updates about traveling to areas affected by COVID-19 to avoid facing higher risks of quarantine or contracting the virus.
Can I apply for life insurance during the coronavirus pandemic?
Yes. While the coronavirus is an evolving pandemic, it shouldn’t affect your ability to apply for life insurance.
However, your insurance company might postpone your application if you have plans to travel to or have recently visited any destinations with Level 3 or Level 4 travel warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the time of writing, the CDC’s restricted list includes China, Italy, Iran and South Korea — which means everyone is advised to avoid nonessential travel to those regions.
The time you’ll have to wait for coverage varies, so ask your insurer about the timeframe. Your insurer will likely require you to be back in the US for weeks or months before they approve your policy to ensure you haven’t caught the coronavirus. Similarly, if you contract COVID-19 and then apply for life insurance, your insurer will likely require you to fully recover before issuing a policy.
Will life insurance premiums increase due to the coronavirus?
If you have an active life insurance policy, your life insurance premiums won’t change.
For future policies, life insurance companies set premiums based on a range of factors, including life expectancy. A pandemic increases your chances of mortality, so you can expect to pay a higher premium if you take out a policy during the coronavirus. On the same note, if you contract and recover from COVID-19 and then apply for a policy, your insurer might still assign you a higher risk rating — and a higher premium.
Policy Genius also offers some insight as well on the subject.