Opinion  

Do I tell the client to get the vaccination?

Kathryn Knowles

Kathryn Knowles

I had my third Covid jab on Thursday.

My arm is so sore, but I am incredibly grateful that I have the choice to have it. As someone that is deemed to be clinically vulnerable, I certainly feel that a sore arm is much better than risking Covid without some protection.

This past week I had a client ask me if getting a Covid vaccination would help to get insurance. Some insurers are now taking Covid vaccinations into consideration in their assessment of applications. I imagine at first sight the instinct is to say that, yes, it would help.

The difficulty that I had in this situation is a conflict of personal and professional choice. The person had recently been declined insurance and there was still debate over why this was the case. Based upon what the client told me, the indication had been a small premium loading for life insurance; to go from that to a decline is not a small change.

That makes me think that the client either does not fully understand their health or the GP report is wrong (this happens far more than you would think).

So, what do I do? Do I tell the client to get the vaccination?

This is really hard. The client is old enough to automatically be offered a vaccination, and there is a medical history. Having the vaccination could help the insurer to see this person as a more acceptable risk, but will it mean that the insurer will offer cover instead of declining. 

My personal view is that the vaccine is an incredibly important thing to have, but I respect that not everyone feels the same way. There is then a potential problem. If I say, 'Yes, get the vaccine', I know it might help the client to get insurance. 

But if I say yes and then the insurance is still not available with that insurer, I have encouraged someone to get a vaccination that is against their personal preference. I am then in a situation where the client has no insurance and has had a vaccination that they do not want, on my advice.

Some might argue that it is a good thing if I say yes, as the vaccination is a positive thing to have. But I feel that there is a moral and ethical dilemma here.

My instincts were to say to get the vaccine, but despite my personal opinions, despite the medical evidence that I have seen, I have chosen to say that they should not jump into getting the vaccination just for the sake of getting insurance.

I am not sure which way is right, but I think more advisers will be faced with this question and it is important to be ready with a response.