The availability of life insurance for people living with HIV in the UK has dropped significantly this year, according to a specialist life insurance and mortgage adviser. This could lead to people living with HIV accessing life insurance at higher premiums or not being able to get it at all.
Research from Unusual Risks (a leading HIV life insurance and mortgage adviser in the UK) shows that over recent months, many life insurance providers have restricted the availability of life insurance to people living with HIV. The findings showed that:
- Four of the 12 (33%) leading life insurance providers are currently offering life insurance to people living with HIV.
- None of the 18 (0%) top banks and building societies are currently offering life insurance to people living with HIV.
- Therefore, four of the 30(13%) providers are currently offering life insurance to people living with HIV.
Last year 70% of providers surveyed were offering life insurance and that figure had risen to 90% earlier this year. The sudden restrictions have been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and also affect people with other chronic conditions, including diabetes and hepatitis C.
The results show that people with HIV may be declined life insurance cover through 'mainstream' brokers, life insurers, banks and building societies. As well as changes to accessibility, there have been changes to premium rates and criteria, which may impact the average amount that is assured.
“This is certainly a backward step that takes us back to the earliest days of the launch of HIV life assurance products in 2009,” noted Chris Morgan of Unusual Risks. The company assesses the availability of life assurance products to people living with HIV in the UK annually and will review the latest research statistics periodically over the next 12 months.
Specialist insurance advisers and brokers believe that the accessibility of life insurance will return to normal for people living with HIV. However, people with a high BMI (overweight or obese) or have diabetes may have ongoing problems accessing life insurance, if links are established between these issues and COVID-19.