Covid and your cover (old and new)

Wondering what Covid means for your existing or new insurance policy? Here are a couple of important things to know about Covid-19 and your cover.

Looking for new cover? The importance of 'full disclosure'

At the time of this writing, over a million people have had a brush with Covid-19 in New Zealand. So, if you've had Covid and you're looking for cover, you might be wondering if that affects your insurability.

And here's the good news: insurance policies have no Covid-specific 'blanket exclusions'. For example, from a life insurance standpoint, Covid-19 is just like any other cause of death. And the same goes for income protection, health insurance or trauma insurance: Covid is just one of many medical conditions that you might experience in your life.

Having said that, health insurance is unlikely to step in while you have Covid-19. This is because Covid infections are treated in the public healthcare system, so you won't need health insurance for that. Also, if your Covid-19 infection is short-lived (as most cases are), you may not be sick and off work longer than your income protection wait period, in which case your income protection won't step in. And lastly, Covid-19 is not a defined trauma condition, so trauma insurance won't pay because of Covid itself.

However, these types of insurance could cover you for any conditions you might develop as a result of Covid-19 – the so-called 'long Covid'. As the Ministry of Health explains here, this is the term commonly used to describe a wide range of signs and symptoms that can develop weeks after the initiation infection, potentially lasting weeks or months.

Depending on the wording of your cover, 'long Covid' symptoms are likely to be treated like any other medical issues. But remember, for this to happen, the key thing is to disclose that you've had Covid.

Full disclosure of any medical issues, past and present allows the insurer to tailor your cover to your circumstances. Importantly, failing to disclose a pre-existing medical condition (even if in good faith) can result in a claim being declined down the line. So, no matter how insignificant a health issue may seem, including Covid – always disclose, disclose, disclose.

How is Covid affecting your existing cover?

As we said, from an insurance standpoint, there are no pandemic-related blanket exclusions. This means that insurers consider Covid-19 just like any other unforeseen medical conditions, no more and no less.

Of course, we can't tell you for sure that there won't be pandemic-related exclusions in the future. What we know is that your existing cover is probably worth sticking with.

The younger and healthier you take out cover, the more robust the financial protection you get. This is because any conditions you might develop while your policy is in force are likely to be covered. So, if you were to cancel your cover and then apply for insurance again, you may lose an important layer of protection.

This is something very important to keep top of mind. Pondering over insurance costs? Get in touch: we can look at ways to help you make the most of your budget without compromising on crucial benefits.

Like to talk?

We hope you've found this read quite helpful. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us on 0800 800 400, start a Live Chat or fill in our contact form to get in touch with our team.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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