As the coronavirus continues to upend nearly every aspect of our lives, insurance companies are changing the rules on how people can apply for life insurance.
Here is what you should know if you are considering applying for life insurance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Most healthy people can still buy life insurance, and it will typically cover coronavirus-related deaths.
However, if you currently have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for it, you likely won’t be able to get life insurance until you have recovered. Once you are better, you can apply for a policy.
If you are healthy and thinking about buying life insurance, know that the application process may take longer for some applicants, but it’s not too late to get coverage if you need it.
“I think that this is a good time — even if yo are young and healthy — to take into account your financial situation and that of your survivors,” said Steve Weisbart, senior vice president at the Insurance Information Institute. Otherwise, “In many cases [they] really would be left stranded and in tough shape financially.”
Even before COVID-19, most insurers asked about upcoming international travel on life insurance applications. Now, many companies are implementing waiting periods for international travelers in light of the U.S. State Department’s health advisory warning Americans against traveling abroad.
If you have recently traveled internationally, or if you have plans to do so, you will likely need to wait to apply for a policy until you have been back in the United States for 30 days.
If you are applying for a life insurance policy that would typically require a medical exam, you may still be able to do an in-person exam as usual. Check with your insurer to see if the medical exam requirement or process has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In some cases, companies are extending the deadline to take the medical exam; accepting medical records from a recent doctor’s visit in place of an exam; and waiving the medical exam requirement altogether.
Using previous medical records can slow the application process. Since many nonessential medical offices are closed it can be harder to track down patient records.
Also note that there may be policy restrictions regarding your age and the amount of coverage you can buy when the exam is waived.
Once you determine what type of life insurance is right for you and how much coverage you need, compare life insurance quotes from several companies to find your best rate.