Will The COVID-19 Vaccine Void My Life Insurance?

Posted on August 19, 2021

Does getting the COVID-19 affect my life insurance policy? Will insurance companies not pay benefits if I receive the COVID-19 vaccine and die because the vaccine is ‘experimental’? Many such questions popped up after erroneous information floated on social media regarding the vaccine and claims that payouts were denied to beneficiaries after people received the COVID-19 vaccine.

About 1/3rd of the adult American population received at least one dose of the vaccine, but the progress has been hampered by misinformation. The CDC has affirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use are safe and effective. About 54% of Americans have a life insurance policy. According to a press release by American Council of Life Insurance (ACLI), the vaccine does not change whether a policyholder receives its benefit. Life insurers could not deny a death benefit if the deceased were vaccinated or not against COVID-19. 

Here are some questions regarding life insurance and the COVID-19 vaccine answered: 

  • I haven't taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Will my life insurance be void?

The WHO and the government encourage people to vaccinate themselves for safety reasons as the vaccines have been proven effective. However, whether you are vaccinated or not should not have an impact on your level of cover. On the other hand, comorbidities such as brain injury put you at a greater risk of dying of COVID-19 if you were to contract it. The combination of those other health issues plus the risk of COVID-19 could make insurers look more favorably on an applicant who has been vaccinated. 

  • I have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. Am I eligible for life insurance?

Life insurance companies are offering policies during the COVID-19 outbreak. Simply having had the Coronavirus, isn't reason enough to affect your risk profile or ability to get life insurance. However, if you were infected within the past 30 days or were in contact with someone who had tested positive, your application may be paused. You can reapply after having fully recovered or after the insurer's postponement period, which is usually three months. 

While applying for life insurance during the pandemic, expect to be asked whether you have tested positive, are currently in self-isolation, or have any long-term health issues after contracting the Coronavirus. Suppose you are a 'long hauler' and suffering from 'long Covid,' such as continuing respiratory problems, neurological and psychological symptoms, brain fog, memory issues. In that case, it will be treated as any other pre-existing condition. 

  • In case of my death from the Coronavirus, will my life insurance payout?

In case of death due to the Coronavirus, life insurance companies will provide with cash lump sum irrespective of COVID-19 vaccine status.

However, here are three legitimate reasons why a death claim may be denied:

  1. The deceased was not regular at paying premiums: Insurance companies are not liable to pay out the death benefit if premiums were not paid and the policy was terminated.
  2. The person died within two years of taking the policy: Usually, death within two years can lead to an investigation of the policy holder's medical records to check for misinformation regarding health status. 
  3. The type of insurance policy: Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) policy does not cover deaths by suicide or medical-related deaths.
  • Can I claim hospitalization for COVID-19 on critical illness cover? 

Covid-19 is not listed as a critical illness by most insurers. But if complications arise due to Covid infection and are listed in a policy- for example, heart, kidney, or brain disorders-then a claim can be made. Claims may be made on individual circumstances; specific policies cover intensive care and help cover costs for hospitalization. 

Income protection insurance may help people meet costs and mitigate the loss of earnings if you have been incapacitated due to the Coronavirus. An overdue period of 30 days after you have stopped working is the norm for people suffering from long Covid. 

Paul Graham, senior vice president of ACLI, stated that life insurance policy contracts are unambiguous on how policies operate and what cause, if any, may lead to denial of a benefit. And the COVID-19 vaccine is not of them. He further added that people who are hesitant to get vaccinated for fear that it will affect their benefits could rest assured that taking the authorized vaccines will protect their families and loved ones. Payouts will not be denied in the event of their untimely death.