The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is warning about false claims that suggest having the Covid-19 vaccine will void life insurance policies.
The misinformation appears to have started with a fake document purporting to be from the insurer Allianz, and similar messaging has also been spread across social media.
Here, Which? reveals the false claims to watch out for and how life insurance really works for coronavirus-related incidents.
What to watch out for
The fake document was originally spotted by Allianz in Australia, but it has since made its way to UK policyholders.
It states: ‘I you consent to taking a Covid-19 vaccine your consent is self-inflicted; it was your choice to have the experimental medical procedure and therefore insurance will not cover any damage or death.’
There’s also been an array of social media posts with similar, false warnings. Below are some examples provided by insurance broker I’m Insured, which were obtained from Facebook and Twitter.
What do the scammers want you to do?
We’ve seen a surge of scams during the pandemic. It has provided the perfect opportunity for criminals to prey on confusion and the spread of misinformation.
Sadly, this particular scam has come at a time when progress is being made to protect the public from Covid-19.
Those behind the claim that the vaccine will invalidate your life insurance policy might want to deter people from getting the vaccine. Or they want to cause fear and panic that could lead people to make a rash decision about handing over information or paying to prevent a change in their policy.
If you’ve seen a coronavirus-related scam, you should report it to Action Fraud.
Listen to the Which? Money Podcast episode exploring how the pandemic has caused a surge in scams.
- Find out more: how to spot a coronavirus scam
Can the coronavirus vaccine ever affect your cover?
Life insurance can provide a cash lump sum in the event of your death, or if you become diagnosed with a critical illness whether or not you’ve had the coronavirus vaccine.
Which? contacted leading insurers to see if getting the jab will have any implications on your level of cover. All confirmed policies won’t be affected.
Aviva said life and critical illness policies will not be void as a result of getting the vaccine, and it doesn’t ask new applicants if they’ve had the vaccine.
Bupa confirmed that health insurance won’t be invalidated ‘in any way’ and it’s ‘actively trying to combat misinformation about this’.
Both insurers told Which? they’ve seen no similar scam messaging being spread specific to their business, but if you suspect a similar scam, contact your insurer to find out if the communications are legitimate.
Gwilym Pugh, life insurance expert at I’m Insured, told Which?: ‘Life insurance policies very rarely include exclusions and there are none that involve non-payouts for pandemics or viruses. In fact, any death is a claimable event, which includes those for Covid-19.’
And it’s not just life insurance that this applies to. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said any claims being made online about insurance being void for those getting the vaccine is ‘false’, be it life insurance, private medical insurance or other forms of insurance. It has published this information on its website.
- Find out more: what is life insurance?
Will my insurer pay out if I die from coronavirus?
Your insurer should pay a claim if all the other terms and conditions of the policy are met, such as your premiums being up to date, and the information underwriting your life insurance application being correct.
According to insurance brokerage I’m Insured, there are two reasons why an insurer might not pay a life insurance claim if you passed away from Covid-19:
- the policy had lapsed because you didn’t keep up with premiums
- you didn’t answer the underwriting questions on the application form honestly and accurately, such as not revealing that you had specific ailments or symptoms.
Can I get life insurance if I’ve had coronavirus?
It is also possible to get life insurance if you’ve previously been diagnosed with a range of conditions, including coronavirus.
I’m Insured says you must disclose on your proposal form if you’ve had coronavirus and outline the severity of your symptoms. It notes the following questions may be asked:
If you answer ‘yes’ to some of these questions, a decision regarding your cover may be delayed until you have recovered. The decisions may vary from insurer to insurer, I’m Insured adds.
- Find out more: critical illness cover explained
Should I take out life insurance?
Life insurance can be used to support your family for a number of years when you die, to replace lost income or pay off a large debt.
So it’s well worth getting if you have dependants, a partner who relies on your income or a family living in a house with a mortgage that you pay. You can also get policies that can cover your funeral expenses.
If you’re single, your partner earns enough for your family to live on, or you’re on a low income and could claim state benefits, life insurance may not be a good option for you.
You pay a monthly premium for life insurance. Your age, health, lifestyle and how much cover you need, as well as the type of policy you have, will all determine how much you pay.
If you decide you need advice, make sure you consult an independent life insurance broker. Which? Financial Services can refer you to an impartial, no-obligation third-party advice service to provide you with the best life insurance or mortgage insurance policy tailored to your individual needs.
- To find out more about how life insurance works and how to get it, check out our dedicated guides.