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Life assurance terms for HIV-positive people double

Life assurance terms for HIV-positive people double

The average policy length of life assurance products taken out by HIV-positive men and women has almost doubled during the past seven years.

Research by financial advisers Unusual Risks reveals the average length of policies taken out by HIV-positive people in the UK between 2014 and 2017 was 19 years – up from ten years between 2009 and 2013.

The longest recorded term was 25 years.

According to the study, HIV-positive people who are taking out life assurance in the UK are currently insuring themselves for an average of £129,704.

The findings are based on a survey of 150 Life Assurance policies taken out by people living with HIV between April 2009 and April 2017.

Chris Morgan, lead financial adviser of Unusual Risks Mortgage & Insurance Services, said: “The average sum assured has remained fairly stable for HIV life assurance over the last few years at around the £130,000 mark as the products have become established and premiums have remained stable.

“We are delighted that life assurance has become so readily available for so many people living with HIV.

“In this year’s survey we decided to turn our attention to the average term of HIV Life Assurance and especially those people that between 2009 and 2013 would have taken shorter term contracts of between five and ten years. 

“There are now many more product options in the market and dependent on their current medical information, these people may now be able to secure a longer policy.”

Alan Lakey, director at Highclere Financial Services in Hertfordshire, said: “A number of companies, such as Vitality, have made a big noise about covering people with HIV. Others, like Royal London and Zurich, don’t make much noise but often offer better terms anyway.

“It all comes down to the fact that it is now a controllable condition. Twenty-five years ago it was a shock-horror thing. In 2004, there was a massive uplift in premiums on critical illness where insurers felt they had to future-proof against existing clients by putting up costs.

“They decided it was a concern because there was an AIDS epidemic, so as a consequence they put the costs of critical illness up overnight – but it was also to buffer themselves against paying on existing plans.

“Now AIDS can be managed and is getting to the stage that it is considered not a great deal worse than diabetes.”

simon.allin@ft.com