Today (28 July) the Association of British Insurers has produced a new guide to inform customers with HIV about life insurance.
At present, misconceptions around HIV and life insurance policies see over a fifth - 22 per cent of people - cancel a life insurance policy following an HIV diagnosis.
According to the ABI, this guide lets people living with the condition know they can get life insurance, and that they do not need to cancel an existing policy if they become HIV positive.
The ABI Guide to HIV and Life Insurance gives information for:
• People who have recently been diagnosed with HIV and have an existing policy.
• People who are HIV positive and would like to buy life insurance
• HIV testing as part of medical screening when applying for life insurance, which is usually only required for large cover limits.
The guide has been drafted with input from the Terrence Higgins Trust, HIV Scotland, NAM Aidsmap, National Aids Trust, and Unusual Risks Mortgage & Insurance Services.
ABI head of protection and health insurance, Raluca Boroianu-Omura, said: “It’s very concerning that people with HIV think that they cannot get life insurance, or that they have to jump through hoops in order to get a policy.
“The market has been modernising and the industry is here to support customers living with HIV to understand their options. In particular, we want people to know their policy remains valid after diagnosis,and to know where to go when thinking about buying insurance.”
Alex Sparrowhawk, membership and involvement officer at the Terrence Higgins Trust said: “There are countless concerns facing people when they receive a new HIV diagnosis and this guide provides clear information and advice in relation to questions about HIV and life insurance.
“Many people, both newly diagnosed and living long-term with HIV do not understand their full rights in relation to life insurance and this guide is a welcome tool to give peace of mind to those reviewing either current or new life insurance cover.”
Elsewhere, the amount of insurance being taken out by the gay community has reduced slightly to £176,695 this year.
Compass, the gay insurance advisers who ran the research, explained the reason for this is the continued inclusion in the survey of LGBT people living with HIV, with the average life assurance taken out within the HIV community being lower at £134,733.
This year the survey was widened to look at the reasons that LGBT people take out life assurance, with 76 per cent of policies taken out to protect mortgages and 24 per cent taken out to protect families, partners or children.
Compass noted only 8 per cent of respondent also answered that the policy was specifically to protect children.
The LGBT Insurance Survey took in over 100 policies taken out by lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender clients between 1 January 2009 and 31st December 2015, along with finding out the reasons applicants had taken their insurance.