Test COVID-19’s Impact on Life Insurance

Nur Dreyer Published: 20 July 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. The life insurance industry is no different. The virus has forced insurers to adapt underwriting procedures to better manage the associated risks. One of the most significant changes that insurers have made is to their underwriting process.

Due to the increased risk that applicants pose to the insurer, and the fact that long covid symptoms could impact your life for years to come, many insurers have had to change their application and underwriting processes. Typically, if you’ve had COVID and would like to apply for a life insurance policy, you’ll need to be able to prove that you are fully recovered before you may be eligible for cover.

Applying for life insurance when you have COVID-19

If you have COVID-19 and want to apply for life insurance, there are a few things you need to know. First, most insurers will not issue a policy if you currently have the virus. Additionally, suppose you suffer from long term symptoms of COVID. In that case, the underwriting process may look slightly different for you than it would for someone who has made a full recovery from the coronavirus.

The impact of hospitalization for COVID on Life Insurance

If you contracted the coronavirus and experienced symptoms which led to you being hospitalized, your ability to apply for specific types of life cover could be affected. Insurers will generally assess the severity of your symptoms and the treatments you received before making a decision. 

Typically, insurers will examine applications for individuals who have been hospitalised due to coronavirus on a case by case basis. For instance, if you had a mild case, don’t have any contributing health conditions and were hospitalised to receive fluids, your case would be assessed differently than someone who was in ICU and required ventilation. 

The recovery period also differs depending on the severity of your case. This is the period of time in which you have been fully recovered and symptom-free
. Typically, you’ll need to have fully recovered from between 3 to 12 months or longer depending on the severity of your case before you’ll be able to apply for cover after a COVID infection.

We make it easy for you to compare policies online with our powerful comparison engine.

Buy with confidence today for peace of mind tomorrow.

Does income protection cover COVID?

If you’d like to apply for an income protection insurance policy following a covid 19 infection, your insurer will generally determine your eligibility according to the length and severity of your illness. For instance, if you had a mild case and made a full recovery after your isolation period ends, you would typically be able to apply for cover. However, if you were hospitalised and continue to suffer from ongoing symptoms such as fatigue, then you generally won’t be able to qualify for income protection.

  • Consider your current health before applying: Generally, life insurers will base your premiums on your height, weight, age, smoking status, medical history and lifestyle habits (pastimes and occupation). If you’ve had covid 19 in the past month and have not made a full recovery, you may need to wait before you are approved for coverage from the life insurers of your choice.
  • Decide on the type of cover you’d like: Depending on the severity of your covid 19 symptoms, this may impact the type of cover you’ll be eligible for. Milder symptoms typically won’t impact the type of cover you can get. However, if you were hospitalised during the acute stage of your infection, or you were diagnosed with long covid, you may not be able to qualify for TPD or income protection.

Long covid and life cover

If your COVID 19 symptoms persist after the initial onset of your infection, your life insurer will examine your symptoms to decide on the cover you’re eligible for. If you have a long COVID diagnosis with mild ongoing symptoms, you may be eligible for life or trauma cover. However, income protection insurance or TPD cover is generally declined if you have long COVID if you are symptomatic (however best to complete a pre-assessment, to see if cover may be available as each insurer has different underwriting (assessment) guidelines.

Post-viral fatigue syndromeHave you been fully recovered from COVID for over 1 month?
Permanent damage to the lungs and heartHave you ever been hospitalised due to coronavirus?
Intensive care syndrome for those hospitalised and in ICUWhat symptoms did you have, and how long did they last?

Underwriting for long COVID

You will generally be assessed differently when applying for insurance if your covid symptoms are ongoing. Life insurers are now doing more comprehensive assessments, clarifying the diagnosis and ensuring that long COVID isn’t confused with other co-morbidities. Typically, long covid applications are assessed on a case by case basis.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Which insurance company covers covid 19?

    Generally, most life insurers will still be able to provide you with a life or critical illness policy after you’ve had covid 19. If you were seriously ill with the virus, life insurers will need a longer period of recovery to provide you with an individual disability income insurance policy. It’s best to check your eligibility with your insurer directly.
  • Does life insurance cover covid death?

    Yes, most life insurers will pay out death claims in cases linked to coronavirus. If you die due to coronavirus-related disease, your beneficiary or beneficiaries will receive a death benefit under your existing life insurance policy. However, you will need to ensure that you are up to date with your life insurance premiums and that your policy is still active.

Compare, Save and Buy Life Insurance

Enter your info and let’s get started.

Or call us on:

1300 135 205

Other topics

Ask an Expert?