As the number of COVID-19 deaths in Florida approaches 1,000, many of us are wondering if it’s time to invest in a life insurance policy or increase our benefit, if we already have a policy. The decision is, of course, up to each individual, but there are several factors you should consider before deciding on a policy at this time.
In this blog post, I’m going to discuss things to consider if you presently have life insurance, as well as problems you might encounter in trying to change your policy, get a new policy, or file a life insurance claim.
Life Insurance Benefits If Someone Dies from Coronavirus-Related Complications
If you have a life insurance policy and are up-to-date on your premium payments, then your beneficiaries will be able to collect the death benefit if you die from complications related to COVID-19, except in the unusual case of your policy having an exclusion for epidemics. Even if you haven’t heeded warnings about engaging in group activities or have traveled to a highly compromised area, your beneficiaries should be able to collect the death benefit.
Furthermore, even though there is a pandemic, your insurance company cannot increase your premiums at this time, nor can they change your health classification. This means that even if you are exposed to COVID-19 or become sick with the virus, your insurance company cannot make a change to your health classification that could affect your premium or insurability.
Getting Life Insurance During the Coronavirus Pandemic
You can change your policy or get a new policy during the pandemic, but it may take you six to eight weeks to do so, and you may end up paying more than you would have before the spread of COVID-19. In addition, you will probably have to respond to some questions related to coronavirus and include a good health statement.
To qualify for a new life insurance policy, you usually have to have a medical exam, so getting approved may be delayed as Florida’s businesses slowly re-open in May. In addition, if you have any pre-existing condition, such as hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease, you may have to go through an underwriting process that can take several weeks. Keep in mind, however, that you need to be honest about pre-existing conditions when you apply for insurance or you could risk having the insurance company deny benefits to your beneficiaries.
Another consideration is the possibility that a new policy will exclude epidemics, including coronavirus, so be sure to check it carefully and ask specifically about exclusions. Given a probable increase in life insurance claims due to COVID-19, exclusion riders for coronavirus could become standard very soon.
Life Insurance Claim Problems
As I noted above, if someone dies due complications related to COVID-19, then his beneficiaries should be able to collect the life insurance benefit, as long as policy premiums are up-to-date. However, that doesn’t mean that problems don’t occur when life insurance claims are filed.
Actually, there are a variety of ways insurance companies can deny claims, including asserting misrepresentation, negligence, and lapse in premium payments. For example, they may say the policyholder did not disclose a pre-existing condition or other pertinent information, that the death resulted due to negligence as in driving while intoxicated, or that the policyholder did not pay the premiums so the policy was cancelled.
In cases such as these, an experienced Florida insurance claim attorney can help you resolve the issues involved so you can get the death benefit that is rightfully yours.
If You Need Help with an Insurance Claim
The global health crisis has made everything more complicated. However, if you need help with an insurance claim, you can get straightforward answers and reliable help quickly from the experienced Orlando insurance claim attorneys at Malik Law. Call us today at 407-500-1000 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website for a free consultation with one of our expert Orlando insurance claim attorneys.