Written by Aaron Alston – Financial Adviser
COVID-19 – Are you covered if you are diagnosed with, die from or receive a COVID-19 vaccination?
Disclaimer: This article is related to Life Insurance, TPD Insurance, Income Protection and Trauma Insurance only. This article doesn’t address insurance products such as travel insurance as Hudson are only licensed to provide advice on personal insurance products.
This was a question I was recently asked by a Hudson member and is a hot topic of discussion with misinformation being circulated around social media that Life insurers won’t cover existing policies if you either suffer, die or receive a Covid vaccination. This is simply not true because when you apply for a retail insurance product, you are entering a legal binding contact and both you and the insurer are bound by the terms and conditions of the policy at the time the policy commenced. The Insurance Contracts Act 1984 aims to ensure the interests of insurers, insured parties and other members of the public are protected, and that provisions in contracts and the practices of insurers are fair. If an existing insurer was to apply or add an exclusion that wasn’t previously in your terms and conditions, they would be breaking the contract. Don’t believe everything that you hear or read online because it is often circulated without any prior foresight and is too often believed without people thoroughly Researching The Information Themselves.
For Existing Customers
See below an extract I generated from TAL who are one of the largest insurers in Australia. They paid out $2.7 billion in claims to customers in 2020 (https://www.tal.com.au/tools-and-faqs/covid19/covid19-faq)
Existing Customers Are Fully Covered For COVID-19
There are no general exclusions for COVID-19 in any of our individual life insurance policies. If you are an existing customer of TAL you can be assured that you are fully covered for COVID-19 in line with your policy terms and conditions. This includes all doctors, nurses and health professionals.
Understanding The Implications Of The COVID-19 Vaccination And Your Insurance Cover
Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination approved for use in Australia will not alter your existing insurance cover. TAL Insurance policies do not include exclusions or limitations related to COVID-19 including vaccine related side-effects. If you were to experience complications after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, you will be entitled to a benefit providing all policy terms are met and no exclusion already exists on your policy in respect of that condition. This includes all doctors, nurses and health professionals.
If you need to make a claim with COVID-19 as with any other claims, you still need to meet the eligibility requirements for your type of cover. A claim resulting from you contracting COVID-19 will be assessed in the same way as other injuries and illnesses. As always you can consult Hudson if you need to make a claim and if we are the adviser on the policy we will act on your behalf, contacting the insurer and requesting the relevant paperwork.
Here is another extract from AIA who, like TAL, paid out over $1 billion in claims in 2017 – https://www.aia.com.au/en/individual/help-support/covid-19/your-insurance-faqs.html
Q: Are there are any policy exclusions relating to COVID-19?
Answer: We are not applying exclusions for COVID-19.
For New Customers
It is undeniable that as the COVID-19 situation has developed in Australia, that it may harder to be accepted insurance cover on brand new policies if a customer has either had COVID-19 or had a close family member die from COVID-19. In some circumstances and on a case-by-case basis an individual customer policy exclusion may apply. This will have been notified to you at the time of taking out the policy and covered within the policy documentation. This would be no different to a customer that has a pre-existing condition (such as back surgery) in 2015 that may not be covered if they apply for a brand-new policy in 2021. If however, they have an existing policy that commenced in 2012 they would still be covered for their back as the policy commenced prior to the injury occurring.
If you have an existing policy in place you are covered for COVID-19.