If you are thinking about getting one of the recently-approved coronavirus vaccines – or maybe you've already gotten the first or second vaccination dose – you may be wondering whether getting the COVID vaccine will have any impact on what you can do to get life insurance coverage.
Can people be turned down for life insurance policies if they do not have the COVID vaccine? Are you more prone to be approved for a lifetime insurance coverage if you've received a COVID vaccine? If you already have a life insurance policy, must you tell your insurer if you get vaccinated for COVID? Will your COVID vaccination affect your lifetime insurance premiums?
In most cases, you do not need to supply your insurer with any details about your vaccination history. But the COVID vaccine, like anything else associated with the coronavirus pandemic, has made everything a little bit unprecedented. Because this vaccine might affect your lifespan, you might like to tell a potential insurer that you have already gotten the COVID vaccine – or ask whether obtaining the COVID vaccine would affect eligibility for a lifetime insurance.
We asked Laura McKiernan Boylan, Head of Underwriting Solutions at Haven Life, to explain how the COVID vaccine might affect your life insurance – and why many people may want to consider getting the vaccine before applying for any life insurance policy.
How do life insurance coverage companies usually regard vaccines?
“In general, vaccines are not considered in life insurance underwriting,” says Boylan. This means that your life insurer doesn't evaluate your vaccination history before determining if you should issue you a policy. You don't need to list your vaccines when you make an application for life insurance online. Should you decide you want medically-underwritten term life for its affordable premiums and term-length flexibility, automobile provide vaccine records during your life insurance health check.
“It doesn't come up along the way today,” Boylan says.
That said, the COVID-19 vaccine might change at least one part of the process – which change might help more people access affordable life insurance plans.
How is the COVID vaccine affect your lifetime insurance eligibility?
If you've got a pre-existing condition associated with the coronavirus and its impact, it might also affect what you can do to take out a life insurance policy as the pandemic is still active. “Some insurers have made decisions to limit access to policies during COVID due to the comorbidity risk,” Boylan told us.
This means that if you're a person who is at higher risk of dying from the coronavirus, such as a person with diabetes or cardiovascular disease, you might have more trouble getting life insurance coverage. But if you are able to prove that you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, insurers is much more prone to provide you with a life insurance coverage. As Boylan puts it: “The COVID vaccine might re-open coverage.”
Because getting life insurance is among the best steps you can take to safeguard your loved ones – especially throughout a global pandemic – getting the COVID vaccine when you can, in order to increase your eligibility to have an affordable life insurance coverage, might be a smart move.
That said, there isn't any indication that insurers have begun using COVID vaccination status to make life insurance policy or premium decisions. This is all theoretical – and, just like many facets of the pandemic, subject to change as we find out more about the coronavirus and exactly how it interacts with the available vaccines.
Does it matter which COVID vaccine you get?
Now there are multiple COVID vaccines available, not to mention the potential for new vaccines to become approved later on, will the vaccine you get have impact on your lifetime insurance eligibility status? If you get one of the first-ever mRNA vaccines, such as the two-dose vaccines offered by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, will life insurers treat you differently than if you get a far more conventional vaccine, such as the one provided by Johnson & Johnson?
Boylan told us that, at this time, there is no indication that the type of coronavirus vaccine you receive may have any impact on your life insurance eligibility. Many public health experts are recommending you get whichever vaccine is available in your neighborhood – which might be a sound practice to follow, particularly if you don't have a preference that vaccine you want. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 may be the important part, in the end.
Also, there have been rumors on social networking that life insurers will not pay out on claims if a person dies after you have the vaccine, since the vaccine is just FDA-approved for emergency use. Simply put, this is false, as the industry's American Council of Life Insurers has confirmed. You can learn more by reading this thorough fact-checking article from the Associated Press, a longtime trusted news source. Unfortunately, misinformation can spread as quickly as the virus.
If you already have life insurance coverage, should you inform your insurer when you get the COVID vaccine?
If you already have term life insurance, you do not need to see your lifetime insurer that you have gotten vaccinated for coronavirus. “In general, life insurance policies are fixed during the time of issue,” Boylan said.
What does it mean for a life insurance coverage to become fixed at the time of issue? Life insurance policy and premium decisions are based on your age, health insurance and risk status during the time of your life insurance application. If one some of those variables alterations in the near future – for better or for worse – it shouldn't impact your policy or perhaps your monthly life insurance premium.
Is there any instance that you should tell your insurer about a switch to your COVID status?
There is a situation that you should immediately tell your life insurance coverage carrier about a change in your coronavirus status – and that's if something happens between your day you fill out your life insurance application and the day your life insurance plan is finalized. If you get vaccinated for COVID in that period of time, enable your insurer know. If you are diagnosed with COVID during that period of time, enable your insurer know. Should you recover from COVID – and clearly, we are all hoping you do – enable your insurer know.
“If you develop COVID involving the application so when your policy is disseminated, you need to tell your insurer,” says Boylan.
Why? It must do with that “time of issue” factor Boylan mentioned earlier. Life policies are fixed during the time of issue – but any significant health changes that take place between your application and also the time of issue are fair game for consideration in policy and underwriting decisions.
This doesn't just apply to COVID, incidentally. If you're diagnosed with diabetes before your lifetime insurance policy is finalized, for example, you need to enable your insurer know. “They don't need to learn about a cold, however they do need to know about serious issues,” Boylan says.
Life insurance can seem complicated, but at its core it's quite simple. Life insurers offer policies and hang fair and affordable life insurance coverage premiums based on quantifiable risks – which means that insurers have to be conscious of all of the potential factors before finalizing policy and premium decisions.
That's why it may be smart to let a possible life insurance carrier realize that you have been vaccinated for COVID-19. By reduction of your coronavirus risk, you're making things just a little safer for everyone – and by getting insurance, you are making things a little more secure on your own you.