Getting life insurance during a pandemic is a good idea. One of the main reasons why the pandemic has been so hard on so many is due to the uncertainty. When you combine economic uncertainty with health and life uncertainty, your mental health can really suffer.
If you have debt and/or dependents, getting life insurance is a no brainer. You want to get enough life insurance to cover your family's living expenses until your dependents can earn on their own. Either that, or get enough life insurance to pay off all debts.
When it comes to getting life insurance during COVID-19, you want to get life insurance BEFORE you catch the virus. If you try to get life insurance while you have COVID-19 or after you have COVID-19, your premiums may be much higher. Or, you might get denied altogether due to the rise of “long-haulers,” those with long-term post-COVID-19 symptoms.
Getting Life Insurance During A Pandemic
Where we are in line to get a shot is out of our control, unless we cheat. Whether we actually get inoculated after getting the vaccine is up to our biology as well. However, when we decide to get life insurance is up to us.
It is much better to lock down a life insurance policy rate before getting COVID-19 than after. It's the same idea as getting an affordable life insurance policy BEFORE seeing the doctor and having him or her write up all your health issues on your record. Once your medical record is full of health issues, the life insurance underwriter will mostly likely charge you more.
To help us navigate getting life insurance during a pandemic, I've asked PolicyGenius, my favorite life insurance marketplace to get no-obligation quotes, to answer the most popular concerns.
Will life insurance cover me if I get the coronavirus?
If you die due to the coronavirus, the life insurance company will still pay out the death benefit to your beneficiaries.
On the other hand, if you are applying for life insurance and receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis during the application process, your application will be postponed, with the opportunity for reconsideration after you have recovered.
How does travel affect my life insurance application?
If you have recently traveled internationally, some life insurance companies may postpone your life insurance application until 30 days after your return.
How does travel affect my current life insurance policy?
Any travel plans that were not misrepresented during your life insurance application process will not affect your active policy. If you had a policy in place before the coronavirus outbreak and were honest on your application about any travel plans, life insurance companies cannot cancel your policy if you travel to a high-risk area.
What happens if I die from the coronavirus during the application process?
Life insurance coverage isn’t active until you have officially signed for your policy and paid your first policy premium. If you pass away from the coronavirus during the life insurance application process, you do not have life insurance coverage and a death benefit will not be paid out to your beneficiaries unless you have temporary coverage in place.
You can purchase temporary coverage during the life insurance application process so that your beneficiaries receive some life insurance money if you die unexpectedly.
What happens if I contract the coronavirus during the application process?
If you contract the coronavirus during the application process, it is important to be honest about this with the underwriter. There is a chance that the life insurance company will postpone your application until after your recovery, but any dishonest or omitted information can lead to your ineligibility for a policy or your policy’s cancellation.
This postponement is why getting life insurance during a pandemic can be tricky. You want to get life insurance well before you get sick.
Would the death benefit be paid out if I have an active life insurance policy and pass away from the coronavirus?
There is no life insurance exclusion for the coronavirus . As long as you were honest during the application process, a life insurance company will not deny the death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die from the coronavirus.
If you misrepresented any travel, doctor visits, or other pertinent information during the life insurance application process and then later die from the coronavirus when your policy is active, insurers can then deny your beneficiaries the death benefit.
When you're getting life insurance during a pandemic, the key is to be upfront and honest with your situation. Eventually, the life insurance will find out the truth. And if it so happens that you lied on your application and got life insurance, your provider may deny the payout.
Are there any other changes to my life insurance policy I should know about?
Life insurance applicants are going to see the biggest impact. It's best to avoid traveling abroad at this time, or your application may be postponed. You will also want to disclose a coronavirus diagnosis during the underwriting process, or your policy may be canceled later on. If you have a policy in force, life insurance companies cannot penalize you for getting ill or traveling internationally.
Life Insurance Solutions If You Get COVID-19
Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people will still get COVID-19 before they get vaccinated or after they get vaccinated. Tens of thousands will likely still die from COVID-19 as well.
If you are unfortunate enough to get COVID-19 before locking down an affordable term life insurance policy, here are your remaining options:
No medical exam life insurance
A no medical exams life insurance policy is just that. You don't have to go through a medical exam to get life insurance coverage. With stay-at-home mandates in place, Brighthouse SimplySelect and Lincoln TermAccel offer contactless and cost-effective coverage almost immediately.
Instead of conducting an in-person medical exam where blood is drawn, the insurer of a no medical exam conducts a phone interview. That is followed by a deep dive into your insurability via your prescription history, motor vehicle report, and medical history. Most of the time, this is enough information to warrant an application approval (or denial). However, additional labs might be required if something in your background check is flagged as a risk.
The entire process takes about two to three days. This is extremely quick compared to the usual wait time of four to six weeks for a traditional life insurance policy.
Final Expense Insurance
If you’re not eligible for traditional life insurance during the coronavirus outbreak, you can get final expense insurance. Final expense insurance is meant to cover end of life expenses and funeral costs. Final expense insurance won't provide a lot of coverage, however, it is a guaranteed issue. In other words, anyone can get final expense insurance so long as they pay the policy premiums.
Like no medical exam life insurance, you can get a final expense policy without ever taking the medical exam. While it may not offer as much as coverage as you would ideally have, it does ensure that your family is financially protected if you die prematurely.
Check out the graph below to get an idea of the types of final expense insurance policies that are available to you at this time. As you can see, getting life insurance during a pandemic is still feasible.
|INSURANCE COMPANY||TERM OFFERED||WHO IS IT GOOD FOR?||COVERAGE AMOUNT AVAILABLE|
|Mutual of Omaha||Living promise (level)||Healthy individuals between 45-85||$2,000-$40,000|
|Mutual of Omaha||Living promise (graded)||Individuals with health conditions between 45-80||$2,000-$20,000|
|AIG||Guaranteed issue whole life insurance||Individuals with serious health conditions (such as terminal illness) between 50-80||$5,000-$25,000|
Get Life Insurance To Protect Your Family
The last thing you want to have happen is getting the coronavirus before you get life insurance. If so, your premiums may go up or you might be denied a traditional term policy. If you've already gotten the coronavirus and recovered, you know even more how precious life is. Anything can happen to anyone at any time.
For the most affordable life insurance policies, check out PolicyGenius. PolicyGenius helps shine a light on the opaque process of shopping for life insurance. For eight years, my wife thought she was getting a great rate on her $500,000 term life policy. When I finally encourage her to check PolicyGenius after the pandemic began, she was shocked she could get double the coverage for less! That's exactly what she did.
We know have matching life insurance coverage amounts, which wasn't the case before the pandemic began. After all, we are equal partners as stay at home parents. Life insurance has provided us the peace of mind. With two young kids and mortgage debt, life insurance is a no-brainer for us.