Global life insurance companies are stalling when it comes to providing cover to covid-19 patients and those who recover after contracting the virus.
This is because insurers don’t have a clear long-term picture of the health consequences of being infected, and/or beating the virus.
According to newswire Reuters, firms such as Prudential Financial and Aviva are imposing waiting periods on potential clients before they are allowed to apply for coverage.
Other businesses are limiting cover to certain age groups.
The recent change in conditions seem to come from reinsurers demanding additional safeguards from the insurance companies they backstop.
At the same time, insurers are finding it hard to determine the extent of any health problems that coronavirus may cause.
Unknown health risks
The industry’s concerns arise from the fact that some patients suffer longer-term consequences after being infected with covid-19.
These include severe respiratory problems, organ damage, circulatory impairment, and chronic fatigue – currently best described as ‘long covid’.
Around 10% of people are still unwell three weeks after recovery, and up to 5% can feel ill for months, according to King’s College London.
Currently, Prudential Financial requires potential customers wait a minimum of 30-day for individuals who recovered from the virus, and a similar move was taken by Aviva.
British life insurance provider LV= postponed all applications from people who tested positive for covid-19, had symptoms, or lived with someone who was infected, since April 2020.
But the roll out of mass vaccination programmes may mitigate the insurance industry’s current stance on the matter.