For people rushing out to get Life Insurance NZ or Funeral cover you need to read this first. Several insurers are changing their policy wordings or asking further questions in regards to your potential exposure to COVID-19 or putting limitations on cover for next 12 months if you are travelling overseas – which may not even be possible for quite some time.
Changes to Life Insurance Offerings
So far we have seen changes from most insurers, particularly Partners Life who have changed their wordings for new applicants for income protection insurance. If you have existing Life Insurance then yes you will have cover for Coronavirus or COVID-19 – if you die from COVID-19 then your policy will pay. Currently at the time of writing all insurers are still offering Life cover with no exclusions for COVID-19. However they are asking questions about your recent travel – any planned travel etc – if at all possible with the borders currently closed. Income Protection insurance is getting harder to get particularly if you are self employed and some occupations you cannot get it for.
Funeral cover will generally cover COVID-19 – however most Funeral plans only cover illnesses after being in place for 2 years so this is something to be aware of if you recently taken out a funeral policy. Trauma cover or critical illness does not cover a COVID 19 claim in most cases however some trauma policies have an ICU benefit which would pay out if you became seriously unwell and was in ICU for a period of time. Income Protection would cover a claim if you got sick from the Coronavirus and would kick in when you reached your waiting period, if you lose your job if you have redundancy cover then this would pay out. But not many people take up redundancy cover in New Zealand – this may change in the future. There is no cover if you cannot work due to the current lock-down for COVID-19 in New Zealand.
Unfortunately for business owners they are also finding out that there business interruption insurance doesn’t cover the lock down either. For existing income protection policyholders there is mental health cover in most policies so this could be possible to claim under if you lost your job. Currently getting income protection cover is getting harder as insurers are either changing the wording for new policies or restricting it to certain occupations. The situation is changing by the day so this information was correct at the time of writing. If you want to look at this cover we would suggest getting onto sooner rather than later. Life Insurance and COVID-19.