Accident and sickness insurance for people with HIV

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Key points

  • Policies do not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • This means that having HIV should not stop you from taking out a policy, but you wouldn’t be able to claim for an HIV-related illness.

Accident and sickness insurance is designed to cover a proportion of your monthly earnings if you can’t work due to illness or injury, usually for up to a year. These policies can help you pay your bills if you are off work due to a short-term illness or accident. However, most absences due to stress, mental health and back problems are excluded.

Accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) insurance is a similar policy that will also provide cover if you lose your job through no fault of your own.

Can you take out accident and sickness insurance if you have HIV?

Yes. However, policies do not cover pre-existing conditions – anything which was diagnosed or caused symptoms before you took out the policy. If you can’t work due to an illness that is linked to HIV, you will not be able to claim.

Will accident and sickness insurance still be valid if you are diagnosed with HIV?

If you took out a policy before you were diagnosed with HIV, it’s worth checking the wording of your policy. In many cases, you will continue to be covered, so long as you continue to pay the premiums.

To be sure, you could write to the insurer, explaining when you took out the policy and when you were diagnosed, and ask whether you will continue to be covered.

If the policy is still valid, it may well be a good idea to hang on to it. If you cancel it and then decide at a later date that you would like to be insured, it will be hard to get cover. Don’t cancel the policy without thinking carefully and getting professional advice.

Will accident and sickness insurance cover an HIV-related illness?

If you had symptoms or were diagnosed with HIV before taking out the policy, it won’t cover an HIV-related illness.

The situation may be different if you were diagnosed after taking out the policy. With most modern accident and sickness policies you will be able to claim if you are unable to work due to an HIV-related illness.

However, older policies may only cover you if you are unable to work due to injury or illness that is not linked with HIV. To find out whether a policy covers HIV or not, check the conditions and exclusions.

This page reflects the personal finance market in the UK.

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