The coronavirus pandemic has many of us rethinking things. Not only about life and our inevitable mortality, but about the costs of getting sick, what happens if we’re not working, and how having money to tap into in case of an emergency is something most of us could use. In the midst of all this uncertainty, the protection provided by life insurance can help provide much-needed peace of mind.
With everything going on right now, you probably have some questions. Here’s what getting life insurance currently looks like in 2020.
How are insurance agents doing business during COVID-19?
Like many other businesses, insurance agents have found ways to move forward despite the current challenges. That said, states can vary dramatically in how business is being conducted right now. Some local offices may have reopened while strictly following local public health guidelines. If you’re comfortable going into an open office, that may be an option.
If you're concerned about physically visiting an office, you have options. Many insurance agents are working virtually and can provide consultations by phone or videoconference. It’s also possible to sign and submit documents electronically, and some companies are even mailing policies directly to clients. Your agent can assist you with a secure solution for completing paperwork.
Is it possible to get coverage during a pandemic?
Yes. The fact is, many companies have made it even easier to get life insurance right now. For example, some have made updates to underwriting guidelines that raise the age for people to obtain coverage without a medical exam. It should be noted that an insurance provider will likely require you to sign a statement of good health with policy delivery.
Money is tight right now. What are my options?
It’s common for consumers to overestimate the cost of coverage, with as many as half the population estimating the cost of life insurance at more than three times the actual cost.2 Talk to an agent to find out what’s possible. During these unprecedented times, financial uncertainty and constrained budgets are common. Now more than ever, it’s important to have protection in place, and there are protection choices for all budgets. What would your spouse, children, or even business partner do in case of loss of income from an unexpected death? Life insurance could be the lifeline that provides them with the resources they’ll need to pay off mortgages, college, sustain a business, or simply maintain their quality of life.
For those who already have policies, many companies are extending customer grace periods for payments. This can help accommodate coronavirus hardships without having to worry that your policy will lapse. If this is the case, contact your insurance provider to discuss available options, get a copy of your policy, and review your current coverage.
Will I need to get a medical exam?
It depends. Although non-medical exam policies have existed for some time, some companies have expanded life insurance offerings with the potential to obtain coverage without a medical exam. If you elect coverage over their threshold amount, you may still need to have an exam. If that’s the case, anyone involved in that process would be following local health protocol.
Are there more ways I can protect my loved ones?
Some life insurance policies are available with living benefits.* Ask your agent what’s available and how those benefits could provide an additional layer of protection by helping to replace income and cover expenses should you experience a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
If this year has shown us anything, it’s that we can’t predict the future. The good news is, we can prepare for it. And in the current environment, there are more opportunities than ever to get the protection you and your family deserve.
Things to Consider:
- Reach out to a local life insurance agency to discuss your needs and determine next steps.
- Some coverage is better than no coverage — review your individual situation and current budget with your agent.
- If you already have life insurance and are experiencing financial hardship, contact your provider as soon as possible to review your options.
1 “COVID-19 Is Prompting Families to Rethink Their Finances,” Life Happens, July 2020
2 “2020 Insurance Barometer: Top Trends of the Decade,” LIMRA, 2020
*Riders and rider benefits have specific limitations and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits paid under accelerated death benefit riders will reduce the life insurance policy’s death benefit and policy value.
Transamerica Resources, Inc. is an Aegon company and is affiliated with various companies which include, but are not limited to, insurance companies and broker dealers. Transamerica Resources, Inc. does not offer insurance products or securities. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, securities, ERISA, tax, investment, legal, medical or financial advice or guidance. Please consult your personal independent professionals for answers to your specific questions.