HIV Insurance – Part 2 – The Unusual Risks Guide to HIV Income Protection & HIV Critical Illness Cover.

Reference Guide By Chris Morgan (First Published December 2019, with Latest Update August 2020)

Simply scroll down for the product type you are looking for in the following sections.

  1. Who are Unusual Risks?
  2. Supporting Worthy Causes
  3. Key Statistics
  4. A Decade Is Long Enough! – Why has this issue become more urgent?
  5. “Inclusive” Income Protection Cover
  6. Excluded” Income Protection Cover
  7. “Inclusive” Critical Illness Cover
  8. “Excluded” Critical Illness Cover
  9. Our Research Into HIV Income Protection
  10. Press Release (2016) – Could IPP & CIC be possible for HIV Positive People?’ 
  11. Life Insurance, Life Assurance, Mortgage Life Insurance, Whole of Life Assurance
  12. Other Types of Insurance (Travel Insurance, Home Insurance, Pet Insurance, Car Insurance, Wedding Insurance)

Section 1 – Who are Unusual Risks?

Unusual Risks are the UK’s leading HIV Life Assurance, HIV Income Protection and HIV Mortgage Specialists.

Our Lead Financial Adviser Chris Morgan has been campaigning and consulting with the insurance industry on behalf of the HIV communities for over two decades .

His work during the last decade contributed largely to equal rights on Life Assurance for gay men and women and the introduction of Life Assurance for People Living With HIV.

Chris was part of the Working Group that researched and designed Life Insurance products for the HIV Community. Most recently he been campaigning for insurers to introduce Income Protection for people living with HIV.

He is the co-author of the HIV and Life Insurance guidelines issued by the Association of British Insurers, which govern the way in which HIV Positive people are treated by Insurance Companies. He is also co-author of the HIV Life Insurance Consumer Guide that is used in the market currently.

Chris has always maintained that people living with HIV should be treated exactly the same as any other Life Assurance or Mortgage applicant. Which is reflected in this comprehensive reference guide.

Section 2 – Supporting Worthy Causes

Unusual Risks have a long history of supporting worthy causes through donations, free resources and free training Workshops for HIV Charities, Advocacy Groups and Patient Groups. We take great pride in our commitment to the development of strong community relationships, through our ongoing educational program.

Over this last four years we have been supporting HIV Organisations and HIV Professionals across UK towns and cities with our HIV & Finance Workshops. We have so far visited Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham on our tour.

In 2021 we will once again be touring,  this time with our all new HIV & Insurance Workshops – watch our News Blog and Facebook pages for how to access the free tickets for professionals, support workers, nurses, peer mentors and service users – all are welcome to attend and learn about financial products and securing their financial future.

We are committed to producing useful information and resources and are committed to continuing to publish the Unusual Risks News Bulletin and Positive Finance Column periodically. These long term commitment we made to to the HIV community, when magazines like Baseline and Positive Nation ceased publication.

Section 3 – Income Protection & Critical Illness Cover Statistics

Taken from our latest Unusual Risks Research – June 2020

  • “0% of High Street Street Life Insurers, Banks and Building Societies currently offer Income Protection to people living with HIV”.
  • 0% of High Street Street Life Insurers, Banks and Building Societies currently offer Critical Illness Cover to people living with HIV”.

If you are looking for either Income Protection or Critical Illness Cover, then these following sections contain useful and current information.

Section 4 – Income Protection & Critical Illness Cover – “A Decade Is Long Enough!” – Why has this issue has become more urgent?

We do believe “Inclusive” Income Protection is likely to be available for people living with HIV in the near future and are currently consulting with many of the major Income Protection providers about when this is likely to happen.

There has been one policy written in the industry under strict criteria, before COVID restrictions intervened. However a larger roll out of the product has been delayed. If you would like us to contact you when this comes available again email us here enquiries@unusualrisks.co.uk

I’m sure you would agree that the arrival of this product is long overdue and in 2020 and 2021 Unusual Risks will be campaigning for more providers to offer cover under the banner – (“A Decade Is Long Enough”!)

It is quite unbelievable that after a decade of Life Insurance becoming available that the vast majority of Income Protection & Critical Illness Cover products (IPP&CIC) are still unavailable as “Inclusive” & “Permanent” products for people living with HIV.

We are currently talking to product providers and leading industry figures on this issue and will keep you informed of developments through our Unusual Risks News Blog and this Unusual Risks Guide.

We would like to see full equality, with Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover being offered to people with HIV, without any exclusions – our reasons are detailed below in our research dating back four years. We believe PLHIV are insurable for Income Protection & Critical Illness Cover.

We are very proud to have been at the forefront of campaigning on behalf HIV Community for over two decades within the insurance industry. We are not just financial advisers but advocates, activists and campaigners.

Section 5– “Inclusive” Income Protection Cover  – Currently Unavailable – Coming Soon !

We are campaigning for “Inclusive” Income Protection to be available !

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 their own 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.

The vast majority of these types of policies currently have a specific exclusion for HIV, we believe it is now time that this all of these are removed. We are working towards full equality and “Inclusive Cover” for People Living with HIV.

If you are looking for “Inclusive” Income Protection and would like us to contact you when the product is available please email Enquiries@unusualrisks.co.uk

Section 6 – “Excluded” Income Protection Cover – Currently Being Offered to People Living With HIV

We are campaigning for “Inclusive” Income Protection to be available !

Some short term Income Protection products with Exclusions for Pre-Existing medical conditions, are currently being offered that may not cover people living with HIV.

This type of policy offers short term sickness cover with exclusions for any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions recorded on a persons medical file. These exclusions can be for anywhere between 12 months and 36 months, either before, or after the policy commences.

Some of the leading short term Income Protection Providers also have a moratorium that mean those policies will not pay out if the applicant needs any reviews, medication or treatment for up to a further 24 months after the start of the policy. Therefore we have found that some policies can have moratoriums and exclusions for up to 5 years in total.

These policies are renewed each year and the premiums are normally reviewed every year, which means they are likely to increase sharply with age. Pricing of these policies can be amended by insurers in line with their overall claims experience at any time.

This means each year you are likely to be taking a new contract and Terms and Conditions can change. We have seen several examples of these plans, which all have very different wordings and premiums within their Terms and Conditions.

We have noticed that people living with HIV are being offered short term “Income Protection Insurance” and “Reviewable” Critical Illness Cover”, that have clauses in their Terms and Conditions, which exclude people living with HIV.

These policies are not something Unusual Risks currently recommend, as we are working towards a long term solution and Equality for the HIV Community for Income Protection.

Section 7 – “Inclusive” Critical Illness Cover  Currently Unavailable For People Living With HIV.

We are campaigning for “Inclusive” Critical Illness Cover to be available !

Critical Illness Cover is 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 specific exclusions for HIV, which we are working towards having removed. We are working toward full equality and “Inclusive Cover” for People Living with HIV.

This type of policy is not currently available in the market. If you are looking for “Inclusive” Critical Illness Cover and would like us to contact you when the product is available please email Enquiries@unusualrisks.co.uk

Section 8 – “Excluded” Critical Illness Cover – Currently Offered Without Medical Evidence (Also known as Serious Illness Cover).

This type of Insurance pays a Lump Sum Benefit, on diagnosis of a Critical Illness. You will not be asked for any medical evidence by the insurer and in return you will not be able to claim for any Pre-existing medical conditions or any related conditions on your medical file from the last three years. 

These policies are also a known to have morataniums that prevent you from claiming in the first two years, if you have had any medical reviews, medication or treatment. This can therefore mean Exclusions for up to five years for people living with HIV.

They also are known to have specific exclusions and conditions written in to the contract relating to HIV / AIDS, that are separate from their standard Pre-existing medical condition wording.

The policy is renewed each year and the premiums are reviewed every five years, which means they are likely to increase sharply with age. Pricing of these policies can be amended by insurers in line with their overall claims experience.

This also means each year you are taking a new contract and Terms and Conditions can be change by the insurer. We have seen examples of different generations of reviewable polices showing different wordings and premiums within their Terms and Conditions.

These policies are not something Unusual Risks currently recommend, as we are working towards a long term solution and Equality for the HIV Community for Critical Illness Cover.

Section 9 – Our Research Into HIV Income Protection

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 our research, the insurance industry still “exclude” people living with HIV from the vast majority of IPP & CIC policies.

Section 10 – PRESS RELEASE – First Published in 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. For example 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 received 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 campaigning to secure “Inclusive” 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!”

Section 11  – Life Insurance, Life Assurance, Mortgage Life Insurance, Whole of Life Assurance

You can read our guide to Life Insurance, Life Assurance, Mortgage Life Insurance, Whole of Life Assurance here …

Section 12  Other Types of Insurance – (Such as Travel Insurance, Home Insurance, Pet Insurance, Car Insurance, Wedding Insurance)

You may feel concerned that your HIV Status may prevent you from obtaining a number of general insurances that protect your family and home. With the exception of Travel Insurance, all mentioned in this section should be obtainable without any medical questions.

Travel Insurance has become fairly accessible for People Living With HIV in recent years and there are many insurers that offer cover to those who are stable on medication. Unusual Risks do not offer Travel Insurance as this product is so widely available in the market place.

If you require more information on HIV Life Assurance & HIV Life Insurance or Mortgage Life Insurance or Mortgage Protection Life Insurance please contact Unusual Risks Mortgage & Insurance Services by phone 0845 474 3075, or by email at enquiries@unusualrisks.co.uk and on the Website: www.unusualrisks.co.uk News Blogwww.unusual-risks.co.ukEdit