Coronavirus: Update On Why Life Insurance Coverage Is Being Denied And Why

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Can life insurance cover someone if he/she dies from the Coronavirus? The straight answer is YES! Let’s take a look at why applicants get denied, and what the process for getting coverage is like.

Back to basics: A New Additional Covid 19 Questionnaire - And Why Should You Care?

power of attorney typesAnswering ‘yes’ to any of these questions can result in your life insurance application being denied (not to worry, we have alternatives you can get approved for if you do answer ‘yes’):

  1. Within the past 14 days, have you been diagnosed with, or been treated or given medical advice for any of the following?
  2. Within the past 30 days, have you been diagnosed with, tested positive for, or been advised to take a test for, that has not yet been started or completed or the results of which are not yet known for, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)? 
  3. Within the past 30 days, has a parent or sibling living in your household been diagnosed with or been treated for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)? 
  4. Within the past 21 days have you returned from travel outside the United States? 
  5. Within the past 30 days, have you been advised to self-isolate or be quarantined, due to symptoms of, or for any other reason related to, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

How To Use Non Medical Check Life Insurance To Safely Apply

no medical check insurance no medical exam insuranceThere is no need to meet with anyone. Everything can safely be done over the phone.

This way you don’t risk catching the Coronavirus while trying to protect your loved ones with life insurance. The average cost of a funeral is $9,000! You’re doing the right thing by researching burial life insurance.

As of March 21st, 2020 ; non medical policies are still easily available for purchase and provide necessary coverage a lot faster. For this reason, I will only reference no medical  exam policies.

First, let’s start with the types of questions that are on the application, and then let’s define immediate coverage. 

Medical questions will typically include a 5 year look back towards a history of illnesses not limited to but including cancer, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases.

Having any of these diseases doesn’t automatically exclude someone from getting a policy, it just means an insurance agent will be happy to find a specific carrier for whatever illness was diagnosed in the past.

The 5 year look back isn’t for pandemic diseases like SARS, OR H1N1, or the Coronavirus. So having a past with any of these viruses doesn’t generally prevent anyone from getting insurance.

Any illnesses which have not needed treatment for over 5 years can generally make it easier to get insurance. Even if it hasn’t been 5 years, there are insurance companies that can still provide immediate coverage for these illnesses. 

How Your Prescriptions Affect Getting Life Insurance Coverage For The Coronavirus

No matter what medications you take, you can get life insurance. The carrier that will accept you as well as the price is what will be affect. 

Again, it’s just a matter of finding which carrier will approve certain medications. For example, if someone takes warfarin as a blood thinner for a stroke from over 2 years ago – getting coverage immediately shouldn’t be a problem.

Taking more than 50 units of insulin a day?  Some companies won’t offer day one coverage, but we know of an insurance company that as of right now doesn’t look at how much insulin is taken  daily.

So that won’t prevent us from getting day one coverage for anyone that takes over 50 units of insulin daily. 

How Does Your Lifestyle Affect Getting Life Insurance Coverage For The Coronavirus

Lifestyle questions on these applications we see are asking if someone has been out of the U.S. to China or Italy in the past 6 months or so. So having travelled to Coronavirus hot zones recently are proving to be factors in the application process for no medical exam life insurance products.

Questions about lifestyle can include questions asking about things like reckless driving or driving under the influence. Felony convictions can be okay with some companies depending on how far back they were.

Some companies look at these past incidents as 10 year look backs. Some look at them as 5 year look backs.

The amount of look back time doesn’t necessarily indicate whether or not someone gets approved with a cheaper company. It’s simply a formula the insurance company follows to offer coverage based actuarial statistics.

This is why it’s good for the applicant to work with an independent life insurance agent who can shop each applicant around for the right fit, and then narrow down options from there. 

How Fast Can I Get Approved?

LIFE INSURANCE APPROVALSome carriers can approve you right away. Some take up to 2 business days to approve you. 

The day you get approved, and the day your coverage begins can be two different days. 

Immediate coverage is always the goal. Immediate is defined as the death benefit is effectively available to be paid to your beneficiaries right after you’re approved and made a payment to the insurance company.

Immediate coverage tends to begin right after the day of the first premium payment. This is when the insurance policy kicks in.

If someone applies today, and the first payment is in 2 weeks because of the way his/her income is set up – then he/she did the right thing by signing up right away as opposed to putting it off.

However, there might not be a death benefit available to your beneficiaries until after that first premium payment. After the first payment is confirmed as processed and received by the insurance company is when the insurance company can decide to put a new policy into force.

This usually takes 24-48 hours to process.  So in the same scenario where an application is submitted today, but the first payment drafts in two weeks: there’s no death benefit if the insured dies from the Coronavirus before the first payment was processed.

This may seem like it stinks!

This is super duper important. This is why hindsight is 20/20. This is why it’s crucial to apply right away.

Focus on shopping for policies from insurance companies that don’t require medical exams. Let’s talk about other options besides immediate coverage.

Previously Denied? Answered Yes On the Questionnaire? You Still Have Options!

cancer heart attack stroke insuranceWhat if an insurance company doesn’t approve immediate coverage? There are still the options of  either graded coverage or modified coverage towards dying from the Coronavirus. Let’s look at how they help. 

How To Get Graded Coverage

cancer heart attack stroke insuranceGraded death benefit policies will usually last for two years for deaths due to health issues. Usually, insurance companies will still pay the full benefit if a death is ruled an accident by the doctor because of something like choking to death on a popcorn kernel.

However, dying overnight while sleeping from health issues related to the Coronavirus would provide beneficiaries a graded death benefit during the first two years. Let’s say a new policy is purchased  with a benefit level of $10,000 for the beneficiaries, and the insured dies at night while sleeping.

Graded coverage will usually be something like 30% of the benefit if death occurs while asleep from health issues in year one, and 70% of the benefit is paid out in year two if death occurs while asleep from health issues. Do the math – that’s $3,000 to the beneficiaries during your first twelve monthly payments, and $7,000 to the beneficiaries during making premium payments in months 13-24.

The full $10,000 would kick in right after monthly payment number 25 in this example. The key is – when did the medical professional perform a test that provided a positive result for the Coronavirus?

That would be what would determine if the death benefit is covered by the insurance policy, and what amount the death benefit will be paid out in a graded policy. No matter what, the benefit tends to be higher than the cost.

This means it’s always worth the monthly payment.  Being diagnosed by a medical professional before the policy is active could prevent any death benefit from being paid out. 

How To Get Modified Coverage

cancer heart attack stroke insuranceFor these products, insurance companies usually pay 100% of the death benefit from day one for deaths due to an accident. Modified death benefits will also usually last two years for deaths due to health issues or complications related to the Coronavirus.

Insurance companies will pay the beneficiaries 110% of the paid premiums for deaths due the Coronavirus or other  health issues until monthly payment 25 is processed in year 3. This is where the full benefit becomes available to the beneficiaries.


Life insurance applicants are being denied based on several new facts. There are additional questionnaires, and some companies are denying applicants based on other factors. 

These factors include but are not limited to; age, healthy history, and your current list of medications. 

No matter what your scenario is, we can get you life insurance. 

Would it be a bad idea to act now by getting an instant quote before it’s too late? You can use our quote form or click instant quote here on your mobile device(not available on desktop. Desktop users will have a quote form on the right side of the screen). 

About the author

Victor Vega has over a decade of experience in working with individuals regarding their personal finances after starting in 2007 at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. I started Garden Mutual in 2020 so that you could have access to a life insurance agent that puts your interests first! As an independent agent, I work with over 10 carriers. This means that my loyalty is to my customer and not any one particular insurance company . Let me provide you with objective information that you can use to pick the best life insurance policy for yourself today.  We are always looking to improve ourselves for your benefit!

If there are any problems with the information in this article would it be ridiculous to let us know in the comment section below?

Email me at info@gardenmutual.com or call me at 908-388-4916.

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