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Does Life Insurance in India cover deaths due to Coronavirus?

Introduction

The second pandemic wave has created fresh economic disruptions and personal upheaval, as more and more people are succumbing to the virus. In most cases, beneficiaries of existing life insurance policies receive a payout from a COVID-19 demise. So, if you hold an existing life insurance policy, you are covered. Here’s how.

All Life Insurance policies must process COVID-19 death claims

According to the Life Insurance Council, no insurance company can deny death claims to active and existing policyholders in the eventuality of death due to COVID-19. In this regard, 'force majeure' will not apply to COVID-19 death claims. Typically, this clause refers to unexpected circumstances that could prevent the fulfilment of the contract. Hence, all life insurance companies — public and private — will not refuse to process any death claim due to COVID-19.

Current policyholders hold an advantage

Nominees, as specified by a policyholder when purchasing life insurance, will receive death benefits if the policyholder dies due to COVID-19. This means the policyholder's demise in whose name the policy has been purchased is insured against COVID-19.

Hence, if you have an existing life insurance policy including a term policy, your nominee or beneficiary can file a claim upon death and receive the sum assured without hassle.

But there are specific exceptions to the rule. Let's look at what you need to know regarding life insurance policies when covering deaths due to COVID-19.

    1. Pay Insurance Premiums on time

      If an existing policy has lapsed due to non-payment, and the policyholder passes away before the policy is reinstated, the nominee or beneficiary may not receive the sum assured.

      All life insurance policies offer a grace period of up to 30 days when a premium payment is late. As long as you pay the premium within the timeframe, you can maintain life coverage. But, if payments have not been made beyond the grace period, the policy lapses. In this case, you need to contact your insurance company to reinstate your lapsed life insurance policy, provided it is approved by the insurer.

    2. Do not travel to compromised areas

      It is crucial to avoid unnecessary travel, as your insurer may change the health classification based on government advisory against travel. Travelling to areas that are banned could lead to rejection at the time of claims. For instance, if an existing policyholder travels to a country with a COVID-19 travel alert, the insurer could deny the nominee the death claim.

    3. Submit the claims application correctly

      When submitting the claims, the nominee needs to provide the claim form, death certificate, ID proof of beneficiary and policy document of an operational life insurance policy.

What happens when you purchase a new policy now?

If you are purchasing a life insurance policy now, remember that insurance companies will determine the policy premium based on your health and medical history.

The global pandemic has impacted policy acceptance and premiums, so if you are currently in the application process stage or planning to purchase a new policy, the insurance company may take a closer look at your health. For instance, if you have recently recovered from Covid-19, the insurance company may ask further questions or ask to wait for some period before approving your life insurance policy.

It is essential to disclose all details accurately when purchasing a life insurance policy. When evaluating a life insurance plan, scrutinize all policy exclusions to know where you may or may not be covered. 

What do you need to keep in mind?

      • Insurance companies are likely to rework their mortality assumptions in the future. This means they may revise the pricing of policy premiums based on death rate forecasts.
      • Insurers may look into actuarial calculations to account for COVID-19 deaths.

Conclusion

These are incredibly challenging times for every individual and family. Given the pandemic's uncertainty and unpredictability, there is immense significance of purchasing a life insurance policy today. Life insurance can financially protect our loved ones and provide them with financial stability in case of any unfortunate event.

Disclaimer:ICICI Securities Ltd.( I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Centre, H. T. Parekh Marg, Churchgate, Mumbai - 400020, India, Tel No : 022 - 2288 2460, 022 - 2288 2470. I-Sec acts as a Composite Corporate agent having registration number –CA0113. Please note, Insurance related services are not Exchange traded products and I-Sec is acting as a corporate agent to solicit these products. All disputes with respect to the distribution activity, would not have access to Exchange investor redressal forum or Arbitration mechanism. The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest.  I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon. The contents herein mentioned are solely for informational and educational purpose.

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