HIV Income Protection & HIV Critical Illness Cover – “A Decade Is Long Enough” …

Could Income Protection & Critical Illness Cover Be Possible for HIV Positive People? By Chris Morgan (Last Updated December 2019)

It is quite unbelievable that after a decade of Life Insurance that Income Protection & Critical Illness Cover (IPP&CIC) are still unavailable as “Inclusive” products for people living with HIV. I’m sure you would agree that this is long overdue and in 2020 Unusual Risks are going to be re-igniting their Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover campaign. (“A Decade Is Long Enough”!)

We are already talking to various product providers and leading industry figures on this issue and will keep you informed of developments through my Positive Finance column. I’m fully aware that it took over a decade to encourage Insurers to introduce HIV Life Insurance and HIV Life Assurance, so IPP & CIC is not going to be an easy task.

Over the coming weeks I will be re-visiting my past research in this area and invite you all to participate in the campaign to secure Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover for people living with HIV. We are determined that these products should be fully inclusive products, without exclusions within their terms and conditions.

Income ProtectionCurrently Unavailable For People Living With HIV

Commonly known as Permanent Health Insurance or PHI, this type of Insurance policy provides a regular income, should the policy holder be unable to work due to long term illness or accident.

The payment of benefits is normally based upon the policy holders ability to perform the occupation, for which they are trained and educated. Once the policy is in place it cannot be altered or taken away due to multiple claims.

This type of policy currently has a specific exclusion for HIV.

Critical Illness CoverCurrently Unavailable For People Living With HIV

Also commonly known as Lump Sum Permanent Health Insurance or CIC, this type of Insurance policy provides a lump sum benefit, should a policy holder be diagnosed with a Serious or Critical Illness.

The payment of policies benefit is normally upon diagnosis of one of a list of Serious or Critical Illnesses. Once a claim has been made the policy normally then finishes, if the claimant recovers from their Illness, they are not required to repay the benefits.

This type of policy currently has a specific exclusion for HIV.

Life Insurance and Life Assurance This Product Is Available For People Living With HIV.

Commonly also known as Life Cover, this type of Insurance policy pays out a lump sum, upon death of a policyholder. When the policy pays out the sum assured the policy normally finished.

This type of policy is inclusive and does not have an exclusion for HIV.

Why has this issue become more urgent?

We have noticed that certain mainstream brokers have started to offer short term “Lifestyle Cover Insurance” a form of Income Protection to people living with HIV, that includes a catch all “exclusion” clause in the recommended policy, which of course is completely unsuitable.

You won’t be covered in the following circumstances – “In the first 12 months, if your accident or illness relates to any medical condition for which you’ve had symptoms, treatment or medical advice during the previous 12 months before this cover started”.

This means that people living with HIV who are receiving medical treatment are excluded from claiming benefits of the plan. We would like to see Income Protection offered to people with HIV, without any exclusions – our reasons are detailed below in our research dating back four years.

This was our press release from early 2016 …

In 2016 we handed the most relevant and focused research ever completed on these issues to the Association of British Insurers. Our recommendation was for a wide-ranging review and further extensive research on the issue to be completed by an independent source.

We proved in 2016 that people living with HIV (stable on medications) in fact take less time off work than those who are not living with HIV, due to sickness and accident. Four years along the line from publishing my research the insurance industry still “excludes” people living with HIV from IPP & CIC.

PRESS RELEASE 2016

‘Could IPP & CIC be possible for HIV Positive People?’ 

Unusual Risks, the medical financial advisers are today announcing the second part of their survey into the Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover needs of the HIV Community. In a recent study they established that 90% of respondents would consider taking out Income Protection or Critical Illness Cover if it became available in the market place.  

They are today releasing findings that suggest the UK Insurance Industry should consider offering Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover to people living with HIV. In their latest study Unusual Risks established that 89% of respondents had taken less than 7 days off work in the last year due to sickness, with 74% reporting they had taken less than the national average of 4 days or less. 

Speaking about their survey, Chris Morgan, Lead Financial Adviser of Unusual Risks said; 

‘Over the last 12 months we have been conducting a detailed survey into the time taken off work by HIV Positive People due to sickness and illness. The survey was conducted at the heart of the HIV Community through the readership of Baseline Magazine and holders of HIV Life Assurance policies that had been taken out since the products were introduced in 2009’. 

‘Since the new Life Insurance products were launched HIV Positive people have been able to protect their mortgages, families, children, partners and businesses. It is now time to consider if other financial products such as Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover could be offered to people living with HIV?’. 

‘The intention of this survey is to bring attention to the positive effects that HIV medications have had on the work and long-term sickness records of HIV Positive people in the UK. We would like to encourage the UK insurance Industry to enter into a dialogue over these issues with appropriate stakeholders from within the HIV Community’.  

The Unusual Risks survey came up with several other interesting statistics that could be useful for assessing if IPP and CIC products could be offered within the HIV Community. 90% of respondents reported that the duration of their sickness had not been for more than 7 days and 87% reporting they had either not been off work, or their sickness was not HIV related. 

Chris Morgan the lead financial adviser at Unusual Risks led the campaign that resulted in the introduction of Life Assurance for HIV positive people in the UK. He was part of the Working Group that co-wrote the HIV and Insurance guidelines used by insurers and he was also responsible for the removal of the Gay Question from Life Assurance proposals back in 2005. 

Survey Results:

Unusual Risks surveyed 100 HIV Positive people including existing clients, visitors to their News Blogs and readers of Baseline Magazine and recieved the following responses.

  • 90% would consider Income Protection or Critical Illness Cover if it was available. This is a jump from only 60% from a previous survey in early 2014.
  • 89% of respondents had taken less than 7 days off work in the last year.
  • 74% had taken 4 days or less. (The national average is 4.5 days according to the office for national statistics and for NHS Staff 9.5 days according to Health and Social Care Info Centre).
  • 90% of respondents reported that the duration of any sickness had not been for more than 7 days.
  • 87% of respondents had either not been off sick, or the sickness was non HIV related with the most common symptoms reported as flu, migraine, stomach bug. dental and food poisoning.

Unusual Risks are re-launching our campaign to secure Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover for people living with HIV. Ten years after HIV Life Insurance and HIV Life Assurance was introduced –“A decade is long enough!”

If you require more information on HIV Life Assurance, HIV Life Insurance or HIV Mortgages please contact Unusual Risks Mortgage & Insurance Services by phone 0845 474 3075, or by email at enquiries@unusualrisks.co.uk and on the web www.unusualrisks.co.uk