Nearly three-quarters of providers offer HIV cover

Nearly three-quarters of providers offer HIV cover

None of the UK’s major life assurance providers offer income protection or critical illness to those who are HIV positive.

Research was carried out by Devon-based advice firm Unusual Risks as part of the fifth HIV Life Assurance Survey.

It found that while three-quarters of providers who took part in the survey offered some form of HIV life assurance cover, none offered PI or CIC to those who are HIV positive.

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Chris Morgan, lead financial adviser at Unusual Risks, said: “It is encouraging to see an increasing number of Life Assurance providers and products available to the HIV community.

“We are actively campaigning for insurance providers to offer income protection and critical illness cover to HIV-positive people and are currently in discussions with the ABI over these matters.

Mr Morgan’s firm surveyed the top 11 insurance providers servicing independent brokers between March 2015 and August 2015.

The survey found that no insurance providers currently offer income protection insurance or critical illness cover to those who are HIV positive.

Mr Morgan has campaigned for the introduction of HIV life assurance from 1999 until its introduction in 2009.

He has now shifted his focus onto income protection and critical illness, especially given that, according to Mr Morgan’s research, there has been an increase from 61 per cent up to 90 per cent of HIV-positive people who said they would consider IPP and CIC if it were available.

A spokesman for the ABI said: “The ABI continues to have constructive conversations with Unusual Risk and others about insurance for people with HIV.

“It is down to individual firms to reach their own decisions about what products to offer.”

Deepak Jobanputra, deputy chief executive of VitalityLife, said: “The introduction of treatments for HIV are enabling more people who are HIV positive to better manage their condition.

“In recognition of this, VitalityLife was the first mainstream insurer to market cover to individuals with well managed HIV, helping them protect themselves and their families.

“This is particularly useful for those looking to take out a mortgage. This innovation has driven further interest in the market to ensure greater social inclusion.”

Adviser view

Mike Pendergast, a financial adviser with Cheshire-based Zen Financial Services, said: “Like with any other illness, cover should be available.

“From an ethical point of view it should be assessed in the same way as any other illness.”