Q I was in a serious car accident over Christmas and have since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I’m undergoing therapy to help with PTSD. I want to get life insurance as I have a young family and now I have a heightened awareness of how quickly and easily a life can be lost. Will my recent PTSD diagnosis make it more difficult for me to get life insurance? John, Co Dublin
A First of all I am sorry to hear about your accident and hope you are on the road to a full recovery. You may still be able to get coverage, but your premium can be loaded.
As with any mental illness, insurers pay attention to both the risks and the positives, taking into account inpatient treatment, duration of symptoms, frequency of recurrence, treatment, medication, ability to work, etc. In addition, different insurers have different thresholds for surcharges.
However, standard insurance rates generally apply to patients with mild PTSD, in whom the episode is short-lived or who have had very few mild recurrences, whether or not you are receiving treatment for the condition.
If the episodes last longer, say six months or more, or if the flare-ups take longer to go away, stress will likely be used—usually if the last symptom or relapse was within the last two or three years. If your last symptoms or recurrences are more than three years ago, you can certainly be admitted to the usual insurance tariffs. If an additional premium is charged, it’s likely to be between 50 and 100 percent of your standard premium, although some insurers may charge higher fees if you’re still in treatment.
For severe PTSD, coverage may not be available until a period of 12 months has elapsed from the date of last symptom or relapse, after which a charge will necessarily be imposed. The additionally calculated bonus can be up to 100 pieces of your standard bonus.
If there has been treatment as an inpatient (ie, treatment that required hospitalization) or suicidal attempts or suicidal thoughts, these burdens may increase.
Will Covid prevent me from getting mortgage protection?
I tested positive for Covid a few days ago – just as I was about to apply for mortgage protection insurance. Can I still get this cover despite my Covid diagnosis – or do I have to wait for it? It is a condition of my mortgage that I get mortgage protection insurance before it is drawn and we are about to close the sale so I need to sort out the insurance urgently. Joanna, Co. Wicklow
A As society begins to learn to live with Covid, it is only a matter of time before insurers do the same. The position of insurers on Covid and their assessment has changed frequently over the past two years and will continue to evolve.
Some insurers have already moved to just asking about, or worrying about, hospitalizations due to Covid. This means that the application form will not ask you if you have been diagnosed with Covid, or if you have, your application will be accepted providing there is no hospitalisation. A Covid diagnosis will soon no longer be a temporary obstacle to getting coverage, even if – as earlier in the pandemic – you have a significant medical history, you can get your mortgage covered.
Do I get income payouts in case of long Covid?
QI contracted covid two months ago and am still suffering from long covid. I have been unable to work since I became ill and my doctor has advised me to stay away from work until I have fully recovered. I have disability insurance with a deferral period of eight weeks. As I have now been ill and unemployed for two months, can I receive payouts under this policy and does my policy cover Long Covid? Sam, Co Cork
A Unlike specific medical insurance, income protection pays out when someone is unable to work due to illness or injury, rather than a diagnosis of a specific medical condition. Whether it’s a long Covid or a back injury causing the prolonged absence from work, the claim will be considered.
For all income protection claims, the insurer must be satisfied that the customer is incapacitated and may therefore obtain reports from your GP and/or specialist. This can take some time. So if you are unemployed, especially with an eight week deferral period, it is imperative that you notify the insurance company weeks before the end of your deferral period. This allows the insurance company to complete their assessment before your payment ends – meaning there is a seamless transition to claim income if your claim is approved. Often customers submit their claim as soon as their deferred period has expired, which can result in them being left without pay (other than statutory sick pay if they qualify) until their claim is approved, which can take a few weeks.
Once you have received claims income and whether this is due to long Covid or otherwise, your insurer will work with you to help you return to work if you are medically able to do so.
Does Critical Illness Coverage apply to Covid?
Q My father paid into critical illness insurance for many years. Unfortunately he recently passed away from Covid. His life insurer is refusing to pay, insisting Covid-19 is not a disease covered by his policy. This can not be true? Ann, Co. Mayo
A First of all, my condolences on the passing of your father. Critical Illness Insurance is insurance that provides protection if you are diagnosed with a specific illness of a specific severity or duration. It is not a product that pays out in the event of death (like life insurance) or absence from work (like income protection).
Your policy document lists all of the conditions — and severity thresholds — that the insurer will cover and pay for. To date, no insurer offers protection under its critical illness product for a diagnosis of Covid, even if it results in death.
However, there are certain diseases, such as B. “ICU – Requiring Mechanical Ventilation” – where the person is in the ICU and requires ventilation for a period of time specified in the terms of the policy. It’s worth noting that most insurers have a survival time, usually 14 days, which means that in order to qualify for a claim before death, the person must survive the survival time after diagnosis, or in this case, after admission to the ICU must have ventilation. Check the terms and conditions and see if any condition listed is claimable and what the survivability is.
If your father has “Critical Care” as a listed condition and has required ventilator support or been in intensive care beyond the limit listed in the policy and survived the survival period, a valid claim may exist here. Also, there may be some conditions that pay out a limited partial payment of the benefit that may apply here.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/will-it-be-difficult-for-me-to-get-life-cover-following-ptsd-diagnosis-41535853.html Will it be difficult for me to get life insurance after the PTSD diagnosis?