You can't always believe what you read on social media, especially when it comes to medical information amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A May 2021 Instagram post went viral claiming that a user's family was denied a life insurance benefit because the deceased had gotten the "experimental" COVID-19 vaccine. But the vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all received emergency use authorizations. The post has been flagged as a false claim, and it shows no supporting evidence.
In fact, life insurers cannot deny a death benefit because the deceased is vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). "The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them," Paul Graham, ACLI senior vice president said.
People who are hesitant to get vaccinated because they don't want to lose insurance benefits can rest assured that the COVID-19 vaccine won't have an effect on death benefit payouts.
In fact, now is a good time to take a look at your life insurance coverage to make sure your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death. You can compare life insurance policies on Credible to make sure you're getting a fair quote for a comprehensive plan.
3 legitimate reasons why insurers can deny a death benefit claim
While life insurers can't deny a death benefit because of your vaccination status, there are reasons why a death claim can be rightfully denied.
- The deceased died within 2 years of taking out the policy. In most states, the insurance company can investigate the policyholder's medical records to see if there were any misrepresentations on their policy.
- The deceased had an Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) policy. This type of life insurance policy doesn't cover medical-related deaths or deaths by suicide.
- The deceased was not paying premiums. The insurance company may not be obligated to pay out the death benefit if the policyholder was not paying their premiums and the policy was terminated.
It's important to understand the specifics of your life insurance policy so that your beneficiaries aren't caught off-guard in the event of your death. Check your policy agreement to learn more. If you're not satisfied with your level of coverage, you can shop for a new life insurance policy on Credible.
If you die from COVID-19 complications, will your beneficiaries get a death benefit?
Yes, insurance companies will pay out for deaths from coronavirus-related circumstances. However, the insurer may not pay the death benefit if the policy premiums were in nonpayment, as mentioned above.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is an effective way to protect yourself from the adverse health effects stemming from COVID-19, including death.
Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine make you ineligible for life insurance?
We already know that being vaccinated against COVID-19 isn't a reason for a life insurance company to deny a death benefit. Insurers also cannot prevent you from taking out a policy because you've received the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement released March 15, 2021, the Life Insurance Council of New York confirmed that "receiving a COVID-19 vaccination has absolutely no bearing on a life insurer’s decision to pay a claim or issue new coverage."
Regardless of your vaccination status, you can shop for life insurance on Credible's online marketplace.
Have a finance-related question, but don't know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at email@example.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.