Ignore those rumors about the COVID-19 vaccine & life insurance

While COVID-19 has impacted life insurance, getting the vaccine won't affect whether a policy will pay out.



Myles Ma

Myles Ma

Senior Reporter

Myles Ma is a senior reporter at Policygenius, where he covers personal finance and insurance and writes the Easy Money newsletter. His expertise has been featured in The Washington Post, PBS, CNBC, CBS News, USA Today, HuffPost, Salon, Inc. Magazine, MarketWatch, and elsewhere.

Published March 16, 2021 | 1 min read

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Despite what your Facebook friends may be saying, getting the COVID-19 vaccine won't affect whether a life insurance company pays out a claim. 

The American Council of Life Insurers, a trade group representing the industry, pushed back Friday against social media misinformation about the vaccine.

"The fact is life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim," said Paul Graham, senior vice president of policy development for the ACLI. 

It's unusual for life insurance companies to deny a claim. Most commonly, it's because the person who took out the policy lied on the application or failed to pay for the policy.

Claims can also be denied depending on the cause of death. Most policies won't pay out if the policyholder dies by suicide within the first two or three years of buying the policy. In cases where the policyholder dies by homicide, the insurance company waits until the investigation clears all the beneficiaries of wrongdoing before paying out the death benefit.

But these instances are spelled out in writing when you sign the policy.

"Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of benefit," Graham said. "A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them."

While the pandemic hasn’t affected life insurance policies that are already in place, it has impacted the application process. For example, if you contract COVID-19 during the application process, your application will be postponed and reconsidered once you recover. Make sure you disclose this. Failing to do so might lead to your policy getting canceled later on.

Check out our guide to coronavirus and life insurance for more information.

Image: Hugo Barbosa