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Does life insurance in India cover deaths due to coronavirus?

Does life insurance in India cover deaths due to coronavirus?

The world is currently grappling with the most extraordinary public health challenge of the century- Coronavirus. The infectious viral disease has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming 7000 lives so far all over the world. As countries impose lockdown and other measures to ensure the safety of their citizens, clinical trials of drugs to treat the conditions are underway.

India has also witnessed a sharp rise in the number of infections recently, although the death toll is still in single digits. Several cities are in complete lockdown with suspension of public transport to contain the spread of Coronavirus. Healthcare officials believe the country is at a critical stage in the progression of the disease at the community level. Indians are practicing self –isolation, working from their homes and avoiding large gatherings outside. Are you one of those wondering if a life insurance policy can take care of your family in the event of a fatality after contracting the disease? Let us take a look.

Existing policy holders have an advantage

The importance of life insurance cannot be underlined enough in tough times such as today when COVID-19 has engulfed the globe . After all, it is meant to cover the risks that you envisage in the future and offer sufficient protection to your loved ones in your absence. The nominee or dependants enlisted by the policyholder at the time of purchasing life insurance get a death benefit in the event of the death of the insured. This means that the death of the person in whose name the policy is bought is insured as an event even if it is caused by a health related issue such as a COVID-19 outbreak.

So if you already have an existing life insurance policy including term insurance, your family can easily file a claim upon one’s death and benefit from the sum assured given out to them. This could help them carry on their life without any financial worries and stay with the important milestones you had envisioned for them.

Purchasing a new policy

However, if you haven’t bought a life insurance policy till date and want to protect your loved ones from the risk to your life due to this deadly disease by purchasing one now, you need to keep a few things in mind. Policy premiums are determined by carefully examining your current health condition as well as analysing your past medical history. If you are not infected with coronavirus at the time of policy purchase, your family stands a chance to receive the death benefit should you contract the disease later.

However, if you have underlying medical conditions or if you have already contracted the infection, the insurance company has a right to deny or hold your application. Given the global scale of COVID-19 with currently no cure in sight, policy premiums might be a bit on the expensive side. There might also be uncertainty on whether or not the policy is accepted instantly. It is advisable to read documents of your policy diligently to understand the various situations which are excluded from the life cover as each company might have different terms and conditions.

The coronavirus outbreak is a wake-up call for those Indians who haven’t yet bought life insurance and have been procrastinating this decision. One can clearly see that those who purchased either a pure protection plan such as a term plan or any other life insurance plan earlier have an edge over their non-insured counterparts. The family of the former will be financially protected even after their death as compared to the latter who might need to rely on some other means to tide through such uncertain times.

To conclude, life insurance should be an integral part of your financial planning. The earlier you purchase, the longer you are covered and the lesser premiums you end up paying. Take for instance the iSelect+ Term Plan from Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance which offers cover for your whole life or till the time you need it along with the option to choose death benefits, premium payment and coverage as per your needs. Inbuilt coverage for accidental death and permanent disability among other benefits is also available.