The unprecedented times we are in related to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the pandemic affecting our lives are challenging. We are all doing our best staying at home and self-isolating. Everyone is eager to get back to normal and no one wants to think of the worst-case scenario, but it is important to be prepared for the unexpected. Here at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, we have heard variations on the same questions for weeks now: “Does my life insurance cover a pandemic like COVID-19?” and, “Will my life insurance policy still pay if I die from this virus, so my family will be taken care of?” These are tough questions, but they are part of today’s reality. We want to provide you with education about the protection your life insurance can provide.
Below are questions that our clients have asked concerning how the COVID-19 affects one’s life insurance. The answers should help to provide the clarity you seek in regards to the pandemic outbreak and your life insurance policy.
Q: Does my policy cover death from COVID-19 or any other pandemic?
- As long as your policy was in force prior to your death from COVID-19, or complications from the virus, you are covered. (Please read the next question that addresses the two-year contestability period provision.)
- As long as you were honest and provided your full history on your application, including pre-existing conditions, your policy will cover death from COVID-19 or any other pandemic.
Q: Does the two-year contestability period impact whether I am covered from death by COVID-19?
- Claims made within the first two years of the issue date are always reviewed to ensure the insured’s information that was provided at the time of application was truthful and complete. If the questions on the application for insurance were answered truthfully, then you have no reason to be concerned; the claim will be paid.
Q: Will my coverage end if I can’t afford to pay my premium?
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance understands the financial impact this pandemic has caused and as a result, we have implemented a premium due date extension from March 19, 2020, to May 18, 2020, for clients experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
- If you purchased a permanent life insurance policy years ago, there could be cash value accumulation or other provisions within the policy that may be used to pay your premium or provide coverage for an extended time.
- You can always contact your Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance agent and they can guide you through your policy options.
Q: If I contract COVID-19, can I utilize the Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider?
- To access the Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider, you as the insured must be diagnosed with a terminal illness and certified by a medical provider that you have a life expectancy of 12 months or less.
- If you were to be diagnosed as terminally ill due to a severe infection from COVID-19, you could be eligible to receive virtually all of the death benefit proceeds income tax free without stipulations on how you utilize the proceeds.
Q: Will COVID-19 affect Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance’s financial stability and claims-paying ability?
- A.M. Best, a leading independent analyst of the insurance industry, has affirmed the financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) with a stable outlook for our life company, United Farm Family Life Insurance Company. United Farm Family Life Insurance Company has maintained its “A” rating, the third highest of 16 ratings, for more than 55 consecutive years.
- Writing business in the state of Indiana is an advantage, as our exposure is limited. Additionally, we have reinsurance partners that share in paying claims. You can have the peace of mind that Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance will be able to meet the needs of those who rely on us. We will be there when you need us most!
Q: Are life insurance premiums increasing as a precaution?
- With our Permanent Life insurance and the Return of Premium Term insurance policies, the premium is guaranteed not to change. Any client that has purchased these products prior to the COVID-19 outbreak is guaranteed that their premium will not increase.
- We do not anticipate increasing our premiums as a result of COVID-19 for new life insurance purchases.
Q: Can I still buy life insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Yes, you can still apply for life insurance. If approved and the first premium is paid, coverage will start immediately.
- If a medical exam is required, most applicants can complete the exam within a few weeks.
- However, if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 prior to applying, while in the underwriting process or before the delivery and signing of the policy receipt, we will need to postpone the application and return your premium (if applicable). After you are entirely asymptomatic for 30 days, you may re-apply for life insurance coverage.
Q: Are exam companies still performing life insurance medical exams?
- Yes, applicants are still able to schedule the medical exam. The third-party exam administrator, APPS, continues to closely monitor the directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, as well as other federal and local government agencies. APPS has rigorous safety procedures in place to protect patients and employees from coming in contact with infectious diseases.
- Prior to the appointment, the APPS examiner will contact the applicant to ask the following questions:
- In the last 14 days have you exhibited signs of fever, cough or respiratory ailments or had close contact with someone who has?
- In the last 14 days have you traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Hong Kong or Italy or had close contact with an individual who has?
- If an applicant answers yes to either question, the appointment will not be completed. A call will be made in 15 days to review the above questions; if given the all clear APPS will reschedule the appointment.
- If the applicant answers no to the questions, they will proceed with the appointment.
We hope that we have answered your questions pertaining to COVID-19 and life insurance. If you have additional questions, call your agent and speak to them about your policy. Although this may be a time of uncertainty, we want you to be certain that Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance will continue to serve your insurance needs.