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Covid-19 survivors may not get life insurance policy immediately

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NEW DELHI: People who have recovered from covid-19 but continue to experience health issues may face hurdles when buying a life insurance policy. Many insurers such as TATA AIA Life, Exide Life have imposed a three-month waiting period before issuing a policy to such survivors.

These people will have to undergo medical tests before an insurer decides to issue the policy.

Karthik Raman, CMO & Head – Products, Ageas Federal Life Insurance, said, “Life insurers may ask additional questions and maybe slightly more vigilant in their decision if the individual has recently returned from an international trip, or is planning to travel abroad shortly, especially to a country which is severely affected by Covid-19.”

The insurer might request for additional medical tests as well to gauge the risk category of the applicant because life insurance contracts are solicited by ‘Uberrimae Fidei’ which means they are based on ‘Utmost Good faith’.

This clause requires the individual to disclose all material facts in the proposal form, including all pre-existing medical conditions. “So if you have suffered from Covid-19, as per the reinsures guidelines, life insurance can be offered post 3 months/90days of the medical examiners sign off,” said Sanjay Tiwari, Director – Strategy, Exide Life Insurance.

Normally, such people are put in the sub-standard life category. In life insurance, the sub-standard life category comprises those who may have a greater risk associated with their lives as compared to others, with regards to their health, family medical history, and nature of the occupation, among other factors.

Yusuf Pachmariwala, EVP & Head of Operations, Tata AIA Life Insurance, said as per global medical guidance, diabetes, lung diseases, other chronic diseases and so forth, make people most susceptible to the fatal coronavirus.

Covid survivor will get life insurance cover but with a waiting period ranging from one month to three months or more depending upon the severity of the infection, and subject to prevalent underwriting checks as required. “For Covid 19 recovered cases who have co-morbid illnesses, additional checks/tests may be required for providing life cover. In all the cases detailed medical tests would be required at the underwriting stage,” he said.

There are also restrictions for people with recent history of having travelled abroad. “For travellers, they can certainly apply after 2 weeks of coming back to India. They can also apply while overseas from select countries. Also, people can apply for insurance one week after the first dose of vaccination, subject to no adverse reaction of the Covid 19 vaccination,” Pachmariwala said.

The underwriting process will now have to accommodate the changed parameters.

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