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What is Term Insurance? Can I Get it if I am Not Vaccinated for COVID-19?

COVID-19 became one of the most common causes of insurance claims during last year. This is because a payout at death is one of the primary term insurance benefits.  However, this year, vaccination against the infection has been widely promoted by government and citizens. It is now widely recommended that individuals get the jabs as soon as they get a slot. Healthcare experts believe that vaccinations will help minimise the spread of COVID-19 and thus, the number of COVID-19 related insurance claims in the current year could be lower.

Since COVID-19 has raised concerns about the profitability of the insurance industry, many insurance companies have been issuing policies that are geared towards addressing these concerns. Accordingly, individuals who are yet to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus might find it difficult to buy a term insurance policy. In most cases, a person would require a certificate from an approved medical facility to purchase a policy. However, the exact situation depends on which insurer you choose to buy from. At the same time, it is very important that the right amount of financial security is provided to you at every stage of your life.

Covid-19 Vaccination in India

Vaccination against Covid-19 in India started in early 2021. As per the data collected by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare of the central government, more than 75 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the country, as of mid-September 2021. This means that a large part of the population has at least received the first dose of the vaccine.

In India, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation deals with the authorization of any mass distribution of medicines or vaccines. It has granted approval in the country for three vaccines so far, Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik-V. Starting from May 2021, all Indian citizens over the age of 18 have started getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why do insurance providers focus on COVID-19 vaccination?

Anyone who has been staying up-to-date with the vaccination drive in the country knows that the vaccination was started and managed by the government. Hence, the obvious question in this situation would be that why insurance companies focus on COVID-19 vaccination. There are 2 main reasons for it.

This would help the insurers in managing the risks associated with policies sold to non-vaccinated individuals. Such individuals are termed as risky by the underwriting team that works for the insurance company. It helps them lower the claims burden that could be caused by a potential third wave of the pandemic.

This would also help the insurance companies differentiate between the policyholders who are vaccine-hesitant and those who are not. It would also help them enforce high scrutiny on such individuals and also charge high term insurance premium. The logic is that the policyholder that has so far not taken even a single dose of the vaccine may not take the vaccine in the future as well. This creates concerns about health risks for the insurance provider. If you fall into this category of individuals, you should use a term insurance premium calculator to get an idea how much coverage will cost you.

Although it’s a good step, the requirement for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate to make purchasing a term insurance easier can also have a negative impact on individuals who are yet to be inoculated. Due to the shortage of vaccines, people may not be able to get the second dose easily. Moreover, it is usually necessary to wait for a certain period of time before receiving a second dose of COVID-19. This means waiting more to buy a policy or getting it for a higher term insurance premium.

Getting the vaccine is a vital step to making sure that you are safe from the Covid-19 infection. In most cases, this will help you avoid getting seriously ill even if you happen to contract the virus. Some insurance firms also have a cooling-off period after the vaccinations. Hence, vaccination can also help you with your term insurance woes. Once you have taken you vaccine, there is nothing that will stop you from enjoying term insurance benefits.  

Bottom Line

To answer the question, there is no rule that mandates a consumer to have taken Covid-19 vaccine before buying a term insurance policy. At the same time, the insurance companies are also free to decide as per their own underwriting policy if they would like to cover an unvaccinated individual or not. On your part, it is better to get the jab at the earliest, not just to get an insurance policy, but also to protect yourself and others against the spread of the Covid-19 virus.


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