The global pandemic has put each one of us in a whirlpool of uncertainty. This resulted in financial anxiety wherein more people considered buying the term life insurance policies. COVID-19 claimed the lives of many policyholders and the insurance companies had to issue immediate payouts. The insurance companies were surely put in a tough spot.Read more
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** Discount is offered by the insurance company as approved by IRDAI for the product under File & Use guidelines
In 2021, the insurance companies set systematic rules, which could determine the eligibility of the buyer. However, before making the buying decision of a term life insurance for a patient of COVID-19 it is equally important to understand how the term insurance will cover work for an individual affected by the virus.
First things first!
Let's get straight to the point. A term insurance plan cannot be bought for a COVID-19 patient who has not recovered yet. However, one can surely opt for quick settlements if the plan was bought while the health condition was sound. Generally, the insurance companies look forward to issuing the policy to those individuals who have sound health in the last 06 months. The health period differs from one company to the other.
Mostly a term insurance plan requires the individual to be healthy and free from any life-threatening medical conditions. Last year, witnessed a rapid increase in the buying of a term insurance policy. This was because of the financial security for the family against this deadly virus in case of an unfortunate event. The insurance companies were settling the claims under the general death provision.
The insurance companies can reject the policy request to those who are suffering from COVID-19 at the time of purchasing the policy. It is highly recommended to buy the term insurance policy when there is no major illness in the last 06 months.
But, what if someone has recovered from COVID-19 and is looking forward to buying a term plan.
The news around COVID-19 has no end. Anyone who recently recovered from COVID-19 and is looking forward to buying the term insurance plan, possible might not get it.
The life insurance companies are adopting somewhat stringent underwriting norms for the recovered patients of COVID-19. Most likely, the individual needs to wait for up to 06 months before the proposal form is accepted.
Insurance companies in India are not sure about the long-term effects of the coronavirus. Every company is taking stance on individuals who have recently tested COVID-19 negative. Some companies have 03 months of the cooling period while others have 06 months. At the same time, some companies have no cooling period. This entirely depends upon the underwriting guidelines of the insurance company.
As the life policies are a long-term contract, the life insurance companies are more stringent regarding the underwriting processes. The companies are not considering the proposal form before the end of the cool-off period. In case they are, then they are simply loading the premium.
For the recovered patients, having a history of hospitalization due to COVID-19 in the last 03 months or who were under home quarantine in the last 30 days the waiting period is for 03 months.
All the medical documents or reports about the diagnosis of COVID-19 must be duly maintained. This is important as an individual could prove the recovery from COVID-19 to meet the eligibility criteria for the policy. Likewise, it is also important to maintain the vaccination details of COVID-19. As the nature of COVID-19 is uncertain, there is a possibility for additional medical tests simply to rule out any medical risks as per the requirement by the underwriter.
The life insurers might also ask more questions to be vigilant in deciding such as knowing the travel history. Or planning for any international visit shortly specifically to a nation that is affected severely by COVID-19.
If the individual does not provide the correct information, the life cover will be rejected by the insurance company. Moreover, the insurance claims are denied due to any pre-existing ailments, risky choice of lifestyle, medical history of the family or by the provision of any fraudulent documents while applying for the term insurance policy.
As discussed above, in the case of COVID-19 the company might request additional medical tests. The life insurance contract is solicited by the ‘Uberrimae Fidei’ or issued in the ‘Utmost Good Faith’. With this clause, it becomes important to disclose important information in the proposal form.
The uncertainty around coronavirus, developing strains and the rise in insurance claims are surely making the insurance companies go jittery with onboarding any COVID-19 patients.
Yes, COVID-19 doesn't qualify as a chronic disease; however, the scrutiny degree is higher for the recovered patients of COVID-19.
However, it is also true that a cool-off period is not unusual for the COVID-19 patients. The life insurers inquire about any severe disease in the past 06 months. In the past, the answer to such a question was mostly no. However, with the ongoing pandemic, most of the people are being tested COVID-19 positive and falling into this category.
As per the medical directives, lung disease, diabetes and chronic lifestyle diseases are more susceptible and critical presently. While issuing any new policy like a term plan or any other insurers have increased the testing and scrutiny of any pre-existing ailments. To ensure lower chances of claim rejection, do not provide the insurance company with any false information.
Some people survived COVID-19 who would not have sufficient insurance coverage. However, now these people would want to have insurance coverage and need to be prepared for the new norms until herd immunity is successfully developed against the COVID-19.
In the insurance industry, the ‘New Normal’ is increased waiting period and scrutiny. Therefore, regardless of whether you are buying a term insurance plan or any other insurance cover remain mentally prepared for an eventuality like this as well.