Protection  

IP and CI non-existent for HIV-positive people

Insurance provision for people living with HIV remains limited, Chris Morgan, lead adviser at Unusual Risks Mortgage & Insurance Services, has found.

The firm asked major providers whether they would offer life insurance, income protection or critical illness cover to HIV-positive applicants.

Although 70 per cent offered life insurance to HIV-positive customers, up from half in 2011, none of the 10 firms surveyed would provide any form of income protection or critical illness cover to HIV-positive applicants.

People with HIV are underinsured compared to the population as a whole. In February, Unusual Risk reported that barely a quarter of HIV-positive people owned life insurance, compared to 44 per cent of the overall population.

Another survey found that half of HIV positive people cancelled an existing life insurance policy after receiving a positive diagnosis, even though such policies often continue after diagnoses are made.

However, the number of people buying HIV life assurance had increased by 40 per cent since 2012.

Mr Morgan said: “It is encouraging to see a wide range of life assurance products available to the HIV community.

“We are now receiving regular enquiries about the availability of IP and CIC from HIV-positive people. However, we are still unable to offer these types of products to people living with HIV as they are unavailable in the marketplace.”

Adviser view

Ruth Whitehead of Ruth Whitehead Associates said: “The insurance industry is based on what the actuary can offer affordably. With HIV, actuaries got it wrong, badly wrong, many times over the years.

“They’re reckoning people with HIV have a greater need of income protection payments. What actuaries allow insurance companies to do is necessarily at least five years behind the times. Statistics are historical – it’ll take quite some time for truth to permeate through.”

“People are living longer and healthier with HIV. With new drugs being released, I think people with HIV will need insurance payouts less that in the past.”

Statistics:

98,400 people living with HIV in the UK

30% of firms do not offer life insurance to HIV-positive customers

61% would consider income protection if available

Source: Unusual Risks