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COVID-19 & Life Insurances FAQs

Our top frequently asked questions by clients about life insurance policies and COVID-19 and vaccinations

FAQs about Life Insurance policies and COVID-19 in Australia

Australia is now in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With rolling lockdowns and much general uncertainty ahead, as we race towards the nation's next mass vaccination target, it's only natural people are looking for certainty and asking important questions about 'whether COVID-19 affects their life insurance policies in any way?'

Well we have some good news to share.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about life insurances and COVID-19 and COVID-19 Vaccinations.

Published in Blog

Be careful what you Google for, when searching for simple answers to complex questions like; Can people with HIV or other complex health conditions can still qualify for life insurance?

Google Search is part of our modern-day lives.

Who hasn’t made a quick Search for the bio of an actor, the secret to a killer Bearnaise sauce or asked, ‘Is there a sequel to Game of Thrones?’

Search is also a growing part of our personal health management. People's tendencies for a late-night search session with Dr Google self-diagnosing potential medical conditions —by searching for symptoms —are known to trigger many an anxious night of misinformation and questionable comparisons.

The reality is many of our late-night search results usually add to our anxiety and uncertainty.

The new skill of knowing ‘when to consult a professional’ is becoming the new 21th Century survival skill to learn.

Published in Blog

People taking PrEP can now access all Life Insurance products in Australia, through Unusualrisks

And that's great news for everyone who's using this medication to take better control over their health.

PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an anti-HIV medicine taken by a person who doesn't have HIV to lower their risk of infection.

The brand name of the drug known as PrEP is Truvada and it's now listed on the PBS and subsided by the Australian Government.

Published in Blog

Good News for Australians taking PrEP for HIV prevention.

People taking PrEP are now eligible for the full range of Life Insurance products stigma-free: if you know specialist Financial Advisor Drew Browne, the person behind unusualrisks.com.au

PrEPThis means people using PrEP can get a full range of insurance covers;

It's now all available to Australians taking PrEP - stigma and attitude free - through the specialist financial advisers behind unusualrisks.com.au

So what is PrEP?

You may have already heard about PrEP or perhaps you're looking for more information about how it affects your chances of getting Life Insurance or Income Protection cover?

Either way, PrEP is a medical breakthrough that's already playing a vital role in the efforts to End HIV by 2020.  Now the medication is listed on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme), just about anyone can now get on it.

Taking PrEP is a highly effective medication for preventing exposure to HIV.

  • PrEP is an acronym that stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves HIV negative people taking antiretroviral drugs to protect them and prevent HIV infection – in just one tablet a day.
  • PrEP is, as the name implies, a pre-exposure strategy, unlike post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is taken after potential exposure to HIV has occurred.

In a nut-shell

  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or technically more accurate, HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), simply refers to the regular use of HIV medications by HIV-negative people to prevent them from acquiring HIV.

  • Studies also show it helps lower HIV- anxiety among its users. *JAIDS Journal 11.2019

Who is taking PrEP?

Whether exposure to HIV is through sex or needlestick injuries, there are many people using PrEP to prevent them from being exposed to HIV and taking control of their sexual health and future wellbeing. 

  • Studies show PrEP is effective but the uptake of PrEP has been slow with research showing that's partly due to Stigma and Discrimination concerns - something the team at unusualrisks.com.au understands and provides a complete solution for when you need to apply for Life Insurances or Income Protection.

In Australia, lots of people use PrEP for lots of reasons

  • Some sexually active gay and bisexual men, transgender people and heterosexual people with an HIV positive partner who doesn't have an undetectable viral load, are part of the population groups at higher risk.
  • Similarly, Medical Professionals, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Emergency Services Workers are all at higher risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses through sharps and needlestick injury.

Real Life statistics

  • In Australia, approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds occur per year.
  • At least 18,000 healthcare professionals suffer from an NSI every year.
  • And 80% of reported NSIs involve a contaminated needle. The Alliance for Sharps Safety and Needlestick Prevention in Healthcare

Research shows that the medication used for PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission among these population groups.

You can learn more about PrEP here.

What's the problem with PrEP and getting Life Insurance?

Up until now, Australian's taking PrEP have faced uncertainty, stigma and discrimination from Life Insurance companies towards the use of PrEP (and routinely find they also have to be the educator about PrEP).

  • People applying for insurance through online comparison websites report completing the application with full lifestyle and medical disclosures, only to feel insulted when a formal decline is issued due to 'lifestyle considerations'
  • People applying for insurance in their Superannuation fund report being routinely knocked back (and usually after having to disclose a full medical and lifestyle history) as the insurance provider doesn't 'deal with PrEP users'.

Most insurance companies and super funds simply do not provide underwriting for people with unusual occupations, hobbies, pastimes or lifestyles - if you get what we mean.

That's why people use the expertise of unusualrisks.com.au to get their insurances sorted - stigma-free.

How have Life insurance companies treated people taking PrEP?

The New York Times broke the story of Dr. Philip Cheng, a urologist in Boston taking PrEP and being denied full insurance cover until he stopped taking, Truvada (the pharmaceutical brand name for PrEP) to prevent HIV infection.

When American News is not accurate for Australia

Today as many people get their news from the internet, the growing risk is it may not always be relevant in Australia.

  • Many American Life Insurance companies take a discriminatory approach to how they underwrite the use of PrEP and outright deny any form of insurance coverage.

  • Many Australian Life Insurance companies and Super funds formerly decline applications for insurance by people using PrEP and discriminate in a similar way against people with well managed HIV or Diabetes.

Good news for Australians taking PrEP

The good news is Australian's using PrEP and who need Life Insurance or Income Protection, now have a clear pathway to getting their cover sorted - stigma and discrimination free - through unusualrisks.com.au

Where to now?

  Discover someone with a similar situation in our Case Studies.

  Have questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions.

  Make sure you Browse through our Blog.

  And when you're ready to know if we can work with you take our Anonymous Pre-assessment.

#LoveTakesAction

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drew browne (he/him)

Drew Browne (he/him)

Senior Adviser Unusualrisks
& Director Sapience Financial

 

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