COVID-19, the virus pandemic that has rapidly spread around the world, is dominating the news as well as our lives. You may be wondering how this virus affects your various insurance coverages.
The answer is that it doesn’t affect your coverage. Life insurance is designed to pay to a person’s beneficiary or Estate a sum of money in the event of the insured person’s death. If someone’s cause of death is COVID-19, their life insurance should still provide coverage. In this way, COVID-19 is no different then if the person had died from the ordinary flu or if he or she had died from another infectious disease.
If you are currently in the process of buying life insurance, you have to carefully disclose your past medical and travel history. You have duty to make full disclosure of all material facts on your insurance application.
While there are currently no COVID-19 related exclusions on life insurance policies in Canada, this could change in the future as insurance companies around the world look closer at the costs of this illness. At the end of the day, it has to be profitable for the insurance companies to take on the chance of providing insurance. We could very well see changes in the months and years to come in the insurance world with the possibility that insurers will begin to add exclusions specifically related to COVID-19 or world wide pandemics.
Disability insurance is insurance that protects you in the event you become ill or injured and disabled from earning income.
Your existing disability policy should cover you in the even that you become disabled because of COVID-19 or a related illness. However, you will still have to meet the waiting period requirement as well as the test for disability under your insurance policy. Each insurance policy will have its own specific wording for the definition of total disability.
Because most people infected with COVID-19 only have minor symptoms of short duration, you may not need to access your disability coverage, or you may only need to apply for short term disability coverage and not long term coverage. The amount payable under each may be different and the test for disability will be different other each policy. You will have to look closely at the wording of your policy for the test of disability that you need to meet to qualify. Those suffering from COVID-19 who recover but continue to have reduced lung capacity or other medical issues may qualify for disability depending on the duration and extent of the long-term health effects following the COVID-19 diagnosis.
CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE
Critical illness insurance is insurance that pays you a lump sum of money in the event that you are diagnosed with a specific illness that is listed on your critical illness insurance policy.
If you look the list of covered conditions on your policy, you will usually find listings that include such things as cancer, heart attack, paralysis, loss of limbs. What you won’t find is a listing of COVID-19. Until late 2019, no one had even heard of this novel corona virus. The COVID-19 moniker was given to this new virus by the World Health Organization on February 11, 2020. It is only in recent times that the world has been aware of this virus.
While your critical illness insurance most likely won’t cover COVID-19, it may cover related illnesses such as pneumonia. Or you may be covered if you suffered an amputation as a result of the COVID-19 virus. You will have to review the wording of your particular critical illness insurance policy to know what the coverages are for specific medical conditions.
If your insurance coverage has been denied, it is important to contact an insurance lawyer to review your policy and the insurance company’s reason for denial. You may be entitled to receive compensation and have been wrongfully denied this coverage.
Contact Rastin Gluckstein Lawyers today. Our legal team is here to help!