Even after recovering from COVID-19 infection and having tested negative, buying life insurance may not be easy for many. This is because several insurance companies are back to resorting to a waiting period before issuing a new policy.
The cooling-off period starts after recovering from COVID-19 and ranges from 1 month to 3 months depending on hospitalisation or home quarantine conditions. COVID-19 cases with prolonged hospital stay have to face longer waiting period of 3 months compared to one month cooling-off period meant for customers with mild flu-like symptoms and home quarantine. Moreover, insurers have also started asking for additional tests in order to rule out medical complications before issuing a policy.
Sajja Praveen Chowdary-Head Term Life Insurance, Policybazaar.com, says, “India is in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19. For the past few weeks, cases have skyrocketed. Given the lack of clarity and uncertainty around the aftereffects of the Omicron variant, getting a term life insurance policy might take a bit more time for those who have recovered from COVID-19. A term life insurance policy covers your life for a huge amount for a very small premium and, in such policies, underwriters across the world have been cautious for ages now in case of any medical condition that has occurred in the 6 months preceding the application for a policy.”
Experts say the waiting period gives time to assess any post-COVID-19 complications and, accordingly, make those declarations at the time of buying the policy.
Pre-COVID-19, the number of people who had any medical condition with themselves or family members in the past 6 months would have been small. But, given the way Omicron cases have been, this number has automatically moved up now.
“As a result, the proposal for term insurance gets into the zone of scrutiny where additional medical tests are asked for or might get postponed for 3 months. And as people are getting wary of stepping out of their homes due to COVID-19, it is understandable from their perspective that they don't wish to go out for medical tests or let someone come to their homes to collect samples. On the other hand, it becomes difficult for the insurance company to accept the risk and issue a policy without assessing the risk properly in the absence of fresh medical reports,” Chowdary added.
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