In the past, it was impossible to get life cover when you were HIV+. This brought about companies that focussed solely on HIV+ lives and sad to say, their rates are extremely expensive. I have been offering “normal” life cover to several people who are HIV+ positive and I am pleasantly surprised to realise how affordable their life cover is. Because we do not go out to see customers, people are often happy to phone or email us and they inform us of their status and request us to help them get affordable life cover. I often stop them and inform them that their health information is confidential, even to us as financial advisors and they have NO obligation to inform me or any of our advisors about their HIV status. The only time they must disclose their status is when they get a phone call from the nurses and they are asked questions about their health. At this point, it is absolutely necessary to disclose fully and correctly
The change in attitude of some insurance companies is as a result of the fact that HIV/AIDS can be treated similar as other chronic illnesses given timely and proper treatment. Underwriting will be based on CD4 count and period on antiretroviral treatment. The most important thing to do when you discover you are HIV+ is to go for proper treatment as soon as you can so that your life cover rates are not too high. There are instances where life cover is declined for positive people and this is due to the fact that the CD4 count is too low or the person is not on treatment, when they should be. If your life cover is accepted, the following is likely to happen;
- Your monthly premiums will be loaded. This simply means that you would pay slightly more than you would, if you were not HIV+
- There is likely to be an exclusion of certain conditions i.e. any illnesses that could arise due to your status would be excluded from your Disability / Critical Illness cover. However, your death amount will always be paid to your family.
- The biggest benefit of the insurance company I use is that you will NOT be required to go for on-going underwriting in the future. Underwriting only takes place once, this is at the time you apply for the life cover. There is therefore NO risk that your cover could be cancelled, reduced or premiums increased at a later stage when complications set in.
- You can get a maximum of R15 million death cover
- Your life cover is for whole of life, it is NOT term – cover i.e. it will last for the rest of your life. Note that there are companies that give life cover that comes to an end at a future date and this is not in your best interests because none of us know when we are going to die and you do NOT want to waste money paying for insurance that could come to an end while you are still alive
What is underwriting?
Underwriting is a term insurance companies use which means that they are rating your risk. They do this by asking you various questions about your health; they want to know if you have any illnesses, if you are taking any medication, they also want to know what your HIV status is and they also ask questions about your lifestyle e.g. they want to know if you smoke or not. Smoking causes cancer so if you smoke, your life cover is going to be expensive. As shown above, it is in your best interest to take your life cover insurance with a company that underwrites you at the time of application. If your insurance company underwrites you throughout the life of your policy, your policy could end up very expensive as they are likely to increase your premiums when you fall ill
Note that the life cover we offer is not a special product designed for people with HIV/AIDS only, but normal insurance as for any chronic illness. It emphasizes that HIV can and must be handled like any other illness
So if you are HIV+ or suffer from any other chronic illness, email us firstname.lastname@example.org to help you get life cover. You must also note that your health information is confidential, you don’t have to share it with us if you prefer not to and also note that the life cover is NOT guaranteed so we can only assist you by helping you to apply for life cover