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Does life insurance cover the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

We answered some potential questions life insurance shoppers and current policyholders may have about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As you might imagine, a lot of people have questions about how the coronavirus (COVID-19), and all that has come with it — from vaccine boosters to new variants like Delta and Omicron — might impact their life insurance policy, or their life insurance application.

Given everything, you might be wondering if your life insurance policy covers death from a pandemic like COVID-19. If you die, will it be excluded as some sort of global health crisis?

You might also be wondering if having the coronavirus, or if getting (or not getting) the vaccine, might impact your eligibility for coverage.

We get it. We realize that you might feel uncertain about how COVID-19 affects your life insurance. Below, we’re providing clarity around questions Haven Life customers or those shopping for life insurance have asked regarding the outbreak. If we missed your question, our customer success team is happy to assist in answering. Please keep in mind that these responses are specific to policies sold by Haven Life, which are all underwritten and issued by our parent company MassMutual or its subsidiary C.M. Life.

Stay healthy,

– The Haven Life team

Jump to topic:

COVID-19 impact when applying for life insurance

Q: Can I still buy life insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Yes, you can still apply for term life insurance and, if approved, get coverage started immediately. If you need to take a medical exam to finalize coverage (which you will be notified of when your application is submitted), please note that all applicants now have 120 days to complete the medical exam. (In many cases, you will be able to have temporary coverage in place until you take the medical exam.)

Please keep in mind that due to an increase in application volume and added review that may be needed during underwriting, it could take a bit longer to receive your final decision and offer.

Q: Can I buy life insurance if I have had COVID-19?

A: The short answer: Yes. The longer answer: Medical treatment and testing for COVID-19 is visible in the underwriting process and will be reviewed by the life insurance company when determining eligibility. (Indeed, we have added questions that specifically address COVID to our application.) In some cases, we might need to postpone eligibility if, for example, you were hospitalized for COVID-19 within the past six months, or had COVID-19 without hospitalization in the past month.  Also, we may require proof of vaccination in some cases if you have pre-existing health conditions. It is important to be honest on the life insurance application about medical testing and treatment, as payment of the policy in the event of a death may be based on the truthfulness of information provided on the application.

We apologize for any frustration or inconvenience that might cause. If you have questions about the postponement period for your application or a decision on your coverage eligibility, please reach out to our customer success team.

Q: How does my vaccination status impact my eligibility for coverage?

While your vaccination status will be visible as part of a routine check of your medical history, and you might be asked for your vaccine card during a medical exam, your vaccination status — whether you’re vaccinated, boosted, or not vaccinated at all — will not affect your eligibility or your pricing. (Having said that, we recommend following the latest guidance from the CDC by getting your shots.)

Please note, however, that if you are unvaccinated and have certain pre-existing conditions, or unvaccinated and planning to travel outside the U.S., that might impact your eligibility.

Q: Can I get coverage if I recently traveled to or plan to travel internationally?

A: Underwriting guidelines as a result of COVID-19 are evolving. There may be additional questions in the underwriting process about international travel and potential waiting periods for a decision as a result of travel to higher risk countries.

Coverage eligibility for life insurance applicants with confirmed travel plans to State Department Level 3 or 4 countries will be postponed and require a 30-day waiting period after they return to the U.S. Once the 30 days have passed, individuals may reapply. This waiting period and applicable countries may change as we learn more. Additionally, if you have recently returned from international travel with an illness or respiratory infection, then a decision on coverage eligibility would be postponed until after the 30-day waiting period.

If you would like specific questions answered regarding your travel plans and if there will be a waiting period, our customer success team is happy to assist. 

Q: Are life insurance premiums going up as a precaution?

A: No. Premium pricing is not increasing as a result of the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Please keep in mind that if an applicant contracts an illness, then that could increase the cost of the premium or make an applicant ineligible for coverage.

Q: Can I still get instant, no medical exam life insurance coverage?

A: Yes. Currently, eligible applicants may either qualify for our InstantTerm, no medical exam experience or may be able to get temporary coverage in place while they complete a medical exam and await the results. Due to the need for additional caution surrounding international travel, you may need to answer some questions from an underwriter about future plans before receiving an offer. You will also be asked if you have had COVID. Keep in mind that it’s always very important to be honest in the application process. The issuance of the policy or payment of benefits may depend upon the truthfulness of answers provided in the application process.

Another option for those wishing to bypass a medical exam is Haven Simple, which offers no-exam coverage and, for those eligible, immediate coverage up to $500,000. Again, you’ll need to be honest in answering questions about your health during application, as the payment of benefits will depend on the truthfulness of your answers. And keep in mind that no-exam policies typically cost more than coverage that includes an exam. For example, a 30-year-old woman in excellent health seeking a 15-year, $500,000 policy will pay $20.25 per month for Haven Simple. That same woman, for that same coverage, will pay $17.50 per month for Haven Term.

Whether some follow up questions or a medical exam are needed, we work very hard to make buying dependable term life insurance as simple as possible. Once an application is submitted, which takes about 15 minutes, you will be notified of whether you are approved for coverage or if more information is needed.

Q: How does two-year contestability work if I get covered tomorrow and contract COVID-19 in the near future?

A:  This provision in your life insurance contract protects the issuing company from fraud or false application information. Life insurance companies do pay claims during the two-year contestability period. That said, any claims made within the first two years of owning a policy will be more thoroughly reviewed to ensure application information was truthful and complete. As long as you reported honest information on your life insurance application, including sharing health conditions or international travel plans, then you have little reason to be concerned about whether a claim related to COVID-19 would be paid.

Q: Are you still performing life insurance medical exams?

A: In most states, applicants are still able to schedule the medical exam to be performed at a location of their choosing. The third-party exam administrator we use, ExamOne, has rigorous safety procedures in place to protect patients and employees from coming in contact with infectious diseases.

Prior to scheduling, ExamOne is now proactively asking applicants about fever or respiratory illnesses as well as recent travel to ensure the health of its examiners. If an applicant is currently experiencing an illness or was recently in a State Department Level 3 or 4 country, the medical exam will be postponed for 14 days.

For the health of paramed examiners, please do not schedule a medical exam if you are sick or if the location where you plan to take the exam may be contaminated.

Q: If I don’t feel comfortable taking a medical exam at this time, can I take it at a later date?

A: The third-party exam administrator we work with, ExamOne, takes the proper precautions to protect life insurance applicants and employees from coming in contact with infectious diseases. In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, ExamOne has taken additional measures to bolster preparedness. These precautions include frequent disinfecting of all surfaces, frequent hand washing, and creating a special response team along with special training for employees.

Especially in uncertain times like these, we want customers and medical examiners to feel comfortable and remain healthy. All applicants now have 120 days to take the medical exam, so if an individual doesn’t feel comfortable taking the exam or if there are limitations in exam availability, there will be adequate time to take the exam at a later date. For applicants who are nearing the end of the allotted time for the exam, please contact customer success to see if we can provide an extension.

Q: If I’m sick should I take a medical exam?

A: Generally, if you are experiencing any type of illness or infection, it’s advisable to postpone taking the life insurance medical exam until you feel better. Being under the weather can skew the results of your medical exam, which would not present the underwriting team with an accurate depiction of your health.

If you have any concerns that you might be sick or experiencing symptoms like a sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath that are commonly associated with this virus, please contact a medical professional immediately and do not schedule a medical exam.

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Four life insurance buying tips during Covid-19

#1 If you need coverage now, there’s no reason to wait

Anyone who has financial dependents, such as children, a partner or aging parents, should consider buying life insurance to help financially protect their loved ones. During the Covid-19 pandemic, you can still easily apply online for term life insurance in a matter of a few minutes. If approved, coverage can start immediately. In some cases, you may not need to take a medical exam. (Keep in mind: It’s important to note that issuing the policy or payment of benefits is based on the truthfulness of answers in the application.)

Pricing for policies sold by Haven Life have not gone up, so you can still purchase affordable term life insurance during Covid-19. A healthy 35-year-old woman can purchase a 20-year, $500,000 policy through Haven Life for about $18 per month.

#2 Look for benefits that come with your term life insurance policy

Your term life insurance policy can be more than just a monthly bill, so look for coverage options that provide additional financial or health benefits. For example, Haven Life customers gain access to a rider called Plus that offers a suite of services that are included in the cost of your term life insurance policy. Through Plus, Haven Term policyholders can utilize a no-cost individual or couples’ will or trust through our partner Trust & Will as well as an annual membership to the in-home fitness app Aaptiv and more.

#3 Be honest during the application process

It’s always important to be as honest as possible when applying for term life insurance. Disclose medical conditions and planned travel. If you’re feeling symptomatic, disclose that proactively. Withholding information on a life insurance application can impact payment of the death benefit. We want to ensure your loved ones are financially protected from the unexpected and honest answers help us do so.

#4 If you need to take a medical exam, don’t be discouraged

For medically underwritten coverage, which is usually the most affordable type of term life insurance, you often need to take a medical exam. This exam can usually save you a lot of money over the 10-30 years you have a policy. If you find out you need to take a medical exam to finalize your coverage, eligible applicants may be able to get temporary coverage until the exam is taken. That’s real coverage that would be paid out to your loved ones if you died. Because of the Covid-19 crisis, Haven Life is also extending the timeframe to take medical exams to up to 120 days from the date of the application.

What our customers are saying

COVID-19 impact for life insurance policyholders

Q: Does my policy cover death from COVID-19 or a pandemic?

A: As long as you were honest on your application about preexisting conditions and plans for travel, policies sold by Haven Life cover death from COVID-19 or a pandemic overall.

Q: Will my coverage end if I can’t afford to pay my premiums?

A: We are here to support our customers during this time of uncertainty and financial hardship. Customers who are concerned about maintaining their monthly premiums, should contact our customer success team for accommodations.

Q. Will my vaccine status affect my coverage?

In most cases, no. Getting the vaccine will not make your policy ineligible. Not getting the vaccine will not make your policy ineligible, either. Again, we recommend following the latest guidance from the CDC by getting your shots.

That said, there might be cases where we will require proof of vaccinating if you have certain pre-existing health conditions.

Q: Does the two-year contestability period impact whether I’m covered from death by COVID-19?

A: First, some background: your life insurance policy is a contract between you and a life insurer. A two-year contestability period is a common clause across the industry that protects insurers from fraud or false information on applications within the first two years the coverage is in place.

Life insurance companies do pay claims during the two-year contestability period. That said, any claims made within the first two years of owning a policy will be more thoroughly reviewed to ensure application information was truthful and complete. If you honestly answered the questions in the life insurance application, then you have little reason to be concerned about whether or not a claim related to COVID-19 would be paid.

Q: If I contract COVID-19, can I utilize the accelerated death benefit rider?

A: Currently, the majority of COVID-19 cases are not fatal for younger, healthier individuals, which many of our customers are. And to access the accelerated death benefit rider, a policyholder must be terminally ill with a documented life expectancy of two years or less.

If a policyholder were to become terminally ill due to a severe case of COVID-19, they can access 75 percent of their death benefit or up to $250,000, whichever is less. Please keep in mind that whatever funds are accessed will be subtracted from the overall life insurance policy payout made to beneficiaries. For example, if a policyowner has a $500,000 policy and accesses $100,000 of the funds using the accelerated death benefit provision, their beneficiaries would receive a payout of $400,000.

Q: Will COVID-19 impact MassMutual’s financial stability and claims-paying ability?

A: Life insurance companies receive ratings from third-parties about their financial stability and claims-paying ability – with MassMututal receiving high marks across all agencies. Therefore, top-rated companies generally have the financial resources and re-insurance support to meet their financial obligations.

As our parent company put it, “… even in the most volatile market conditions, we are still able to meet the needs of those who rely on us.”

Why Haven Life?

The answer to that question is easy (which is exactly how Haven Life makes applying for term life insurance)

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About Adam Weinberg

Adam Weinberg is the Brand Director for Haven Life, where he’s working hard to make life insurance easy. Adam is a creative problem solver who uses unique brand moments to create meaningful customer experiences.  Adam has more than a decade of diverse editorial, marketing, and branding experience, including work on several award-winning campaigns for various digital media companies.

Read more by Adam Weinberg

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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