With the recent events that are happening in our country and throughout the world we wanted to take a moment to respond to these events and how they are affecting you, your policies, and our company. We first want to extend our thanks to all of the health care professionals around the world who are on the front lines battling this disease. We value your courage and are thankful for your service. Unfortunately, something like this forces us to see our mortality and makes insurance needs a bit more important.

DISABILITY INSURANCE 

A really big question we are hearing right now is “Will my Disability Insurance policy cover the coronavirus/COVID-19?”

To put it simply, you most likely will not need to make a claim on your long term disability insurance policy if you become ill with the virus unless you experience complications or chronic illness.

All long-term disability insurance policies have an elimination or waiting period to receive the benefit. The most common elimination period is 90 days, but it can range from about 60 days to 365 days. 

This elimination period means that you must be disabled for the specified length of time before the policy will begin paying your benefit.

So far, from what we have seen, there have been no cases causing quarantine or inability to work that have lasted longer than 60 days. However, if the illness did cause long term health conditions that impair your ability to work, this could fall under a disability and qualify you for your disability claim. 

With that being said, there is no better time than now to get your disability insurance policy. If you wait until you’re sick, you may not be able to get insured at all. Long-term disability insurance is so important because it covers the catastrophic type of disabilities that can disable you for the rest of your career. These types of disabilities won’t only keep you out of work for a few months but could prevent you from working for years. With this type of virus, there is no way of knowing how it will impact your health for the following months or years, so it is always best to be prepared. 

Another common question we have been seeing regarding the current pandemic is “Are disability insurance prices rising?” 

So far from what we have seen, rates are not increasing, however, your health is something that can determine the cost of rates as well. The healthier you are, the lower your cost will be, so it is always best to apply for your policy when you are healthy. 

LIFE INSURANCE

How will this pandemic affect your life insurance policy?

ACTIVE POLICY: If you already have your life insurance policy you don’t have anything to worry about. Life insurance companies can not deny your coverage due to a pandemic.

NEW POLICY: If you are currently going through the application for a life insurance policy, there are a few factors that could impact your coverage or prices for the policy. One thing to pay attention is to exclusions that may not cover you if you have traveled to impacted areas, or if you are sick, some companies may postpone the application process until you have made a full recovery. Each company will deal with this pandemic in different ways so it is important to consult with our advisors to be sure you are getting the best possible coverage. 

As far as pricing for life insurance goes, we have no seen an increase in rates at this time. However, it is always best to lock in your policy while you are healthy to avoid increased rates. During this time, we are seeing an increase in calls from doctors and are taking steps to ensure that we can meet the needs of our clients. As of right now, the timeline for new policies is about 3-5 weeks depending on how quickly the underwriting process goes. 


Overall, from what we know early on, the pandemic has not changed much regarding your life and disability insurance policies. 

We will continue to keep you updated on what we know and what trends we are seeing. If you do not have a policy secured yet, it might be a good time to start thinking about getting one set in place. If you have any questions we are always here to help.

We acknowledge this is an evolving situation that will require us to be on top of it as an organization. We will continue to make operational adjustments, as needed, under the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local health authorities.

Again, we want to thank all of the physicians, health care providers, and everyone directly affected by this pandemic for all your hard work during this difficult time. 

We value our relationship and commit to being here when you need us most. If you have any questions, concerns, or there is anything we can do to help you at this time, please email us at contact@patternlife.com.