A recent survey by Unusual Risks, found that policyholders diagnosed with HIV still have misconceptions about protection cover
The medical financial advisers, Unusual Risks have today released their latest survey which looked closely at issues, such as awareness of insurance products and the cancellation of Insurance products by HIV Positive people. According to the last statistics published on HIV, in 2014 there were 103,700 people in the UK who are living with HIV, seventeen percent of this figure are undiagnosed and don’t know they are infected.
In fact, a number of UK insurers offer life insurance to HIV diagnosed policyholders, but terms can vary wildly between different providers. However, although life insurance is available with limitations, Chris Morgan, Lead Financial Adviser of Unusual Risks, said: “Income protection and critical illness cover was still unavailable for people with HIV. We feel it is time the UK insurance industry considers offering income protection and critical illness cover to HIV-positive people.”
Taking this into account the survey asked to confirm if policyholders diagnosed with HIV had cancelled any Insurance’s including Life Insurance, Endowments, Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover. Unusual Risks discovered that 22% of respondents have cancelled an protection insurance policy following their diagnosis with HIV.
The survey also established that 40% of the respondents who indicated they had cancelled their Insurance, would of in fact been covered by their policy for HIV. It is not uncommon for Life Insurance policies to continue offering Life Insurance to people who have been diagnosed with HIV.
Chris Morgan, who led a campaign which resulted in the introduction of life assurance for HIV positive people in 2009, and was also part of the working group which co-wrote the HIV and insurance guidelines used by insurers today, said about their survey; ‘The results of the survey indicate there is still a great deal of work to do to raise awareness around cancellation of policies for people living with HIV.
“HIV Positive people are still cancelling and surrendering Life Insurance policies that could continue to provide valuable benefits to them”.
Mr Morgan went on to say: ‘I meet people every week who are thinking about cancelling their insurance, who have recently been diagnosed with HIV. There is still a great misconception that Life Insurance does not cover people living with HIV, when in fact in most cases these days it does’.
Due to these serious misconceptions by policyholders diagnosed with HIV, Chris Morgan and Unusual Risks have been working closely with the Association of British Insurers and have helped them to produce a new HIV and Life Insurance Consumer Guide.
The guide includes information about Sexual Orientation and Insurance, Key Principles of HIV and Insurance, HIV testing, Availability of Insurance products, Cancellation of Life Insurance following diagnosis and disclosure of HIV status on Life Insurance applications.
Mr Morgan, said about the guide: “The aim of the guide is to improve awareness of HIV and Insurance within the community and to deliver clear and accurate information about the availability of Insurance. Unusual Risks hope this will encourage HIV positive people to protect their families and look after their financial future.