What to Know When Buying Life Insurance During the Pandemic

June 16, 2020
Family walking together through a park.

Many things in life have changed due to the pandemic — including some aspects of getting life insurance. Some of these changes are designed to help make it safer and more convenient to get the coverage you need during this unprecedented time, while others address the illness itself.

Learn more about the impact COVID-19 is having on the process of protecting your loved ones.

Changes to medical exam requirements

Nationwide® is taking extra steps to ensure that we can continue to provide the competitively priced coverage you need to protect your loved ones during this time of social distancing by:

  • Waiving medical exams whenever possible
  • Using medical records or annual exam results from the past 24 months when exams are needed
  • Offering digital signatures (via DocuSign) on applications so there’s no need to mail or fax anything
  • Rapidly implementing other solutions that will provide alternate sources of underwriting data in lieu of labs, exams and medical records

International travelers may experience underwriting delays

Due to the nature and uncertainty of the illness, travel to a COVID-19 hot spot (an area with a particularly large cluster of cases)[1] could potentially result in an underwriting delay of 30 days or more. This type of travel could also require additional medical testing. Please know that we’ll work with you if your exam has been put on hold, though.

Please note that if you had a policy in place before the coronavirus outbreak and were honest on your application about any known travel plans, life insurance companies cannot cancel your policy or deny your beneficiaries the death benefit if you pass away. This includes travel to high-risk areas.

Changes in the life insurance application process

If you are applying for life insurance and are diagnosed with COVID-19 in the process, what happens to your application will depend on the life insurance company. There’s a chance that your application will be rejected or postponed, with the opportunity for reconsideration after you have recovered.

On the other hand, if you already have a policy in place and pass away due to a coronavirus-related illness, life insurance providers, including Nationwide, will still pay the death benefit to your beneficiaries.

There are a lot of things we can’t control right now. But life insurance is still a simple way to make sure the people you love are protected, regardless of what the future holds. Learn more about the types of life insurance available to you. For more information, please contact Nationwide’s team of life insurance specialists at 1-866-207-9160.

As your personal situations change (e.g., marriage, birth of a child or job promotion), so will your life insurance needs. Care should be taken to ensure these strategies and products are suitable for your long-term life insurance needs. You should weigh your objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance as well as any associated costs before investing. Also, be aware that market volatility may lead to the need for additional premium in your policyLife insurance has fees and charges associated with it, including the costs of insurance, which can vary depending on sex, health, age and tobacco use. Riders that customize a policy usually carry additional charges.

[1] “What does furlough mean? Can I leave my home under shelter-in-place? Coronavirus terms, explained,” Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, March 31, 2020.

  • Family & Life