The pandemic has caused many people to assess their financial security. With daily mortality statistics flashing across our screens, we are reminded of the fragility of our lives. We are mortal and are one unfortunate or unforeseen event from needing the financial protection afforded by a life insurance policy. In a survey conducted from May to June 2020 by Life Happens, an industry-funded education group, 67% of Americans said the pandemic was a wake-up call to examine their finances and 30% said that life insurance has become the focus of many discussions.
The challenges for insurance companies posed by the pandemic has led them to adopt new procedures for underwriting life insurance. Some insurers are now waiving their requirements for paramed exams, medical records and lab work, especially for healthier individuals applying for lower face amounts of coverage. Instead, they are using data from electronic health record and prescription databases to gather the needed underwriting information. This information is obtained with the insured’s consent. In-person meetings with clients have been replaced by virtual meetings and electronic signatures are widely accepted. Some carriers have replaced long paper applications with brief telephone interviews.
If you have a current life insurance policy and haven’t done a policy review recently, we suggest scheduling a meeting with your agent. We have seen with the pandemic that life can change quickly. As life changes, so do your insurance needs. A policy review can identify if you are adequately insured or if you require additional coverage to fill in any gaps. If you have people who depend on you financially, life insurance can provide them with the means to maintain their current lifestyle after your passing. It also “buys” them to take time make rational, rather than emotional, long-term decisions.
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