Life Insurance for HIV Patients - The Ultimate Guide

James Rodriguez James Rodriguez  updated on September 14, 2020

You are suffering from HIV and are wondering if it would be a good idea to take out life insurance?

If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place!

If you want to get:

the appropriate life insurance cover for your diabete
top tips to pay attention to when applying
medical screening questions example
and indicative quotes

you will find everything you need in the below guide. Let's dive in.

Do I need life insurance if I am suffering from HIV?

Taking out a life insurance policy when you're suffering from an illness is always a wise decision.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

There is currently no effective cure. Once people get HIV, they have it for life.
But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. People with HIV who get effective HIV treatment can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners.

Can I get life insurance if I have HIV?

Although you might find it harder, in most of the cases, you will always be able to get life insurance if you are suffering from HIV. There are still plenty of providers on the market who will accept to cover you. 

The severity of your condition will affect the risk assumptions used by insurance companies to calculate your premium though. As a result, your monthly spending on life insurance is likely to be higher than it would be for the average individual. 

In any case, it is absolutely essential that you tell your insurer about your condition. Even if you think you could save money by keeping the information to yourself, you would actually be putting your cover in jeopardy. This fraud is called 'fronting'.

Find out more on life insurance with our ultimate guide.

Which kind of life insurance can I apply to?

There are different types of life insurance you can apply to if you are suffering from HIV.

  • Whole of life: whole of life assurance covers you for your entire life, as long as you keep paying the premiums. It's called 'assurance' not 'insurance', and the reason for this is technical. Insurance covers you for a risk that may or may not happen, like a house fire.
  • Level term: with a level term life insurance, both your premiums and the sum insured remain the same for the length of the policy. The payout is fixed.
  • Decreasing term life insurance: it reduces the sum insured. It’s usually linked with a repayment mortgage and is designed to ensure your mortgage is paid off if you die. As you pay off the amount borrowed, the sum that you need to insure reduces. Payments will stay the same throughout the length of the policy.

How can HIV affect my life insurance?

Here are the factors that will have an impact on your life insurance:

  • How you contracted HIV (e.g. drug use)
  • Treatment administered
  • CD4 Count
  • Viral load
  • Any history of drug use
  • History of Hepatitis B or C

Depending on your condition, certain exclusions might be added to your policy. 

How will my insurance premium be affected If I am a HIV-positive?

Life insurance will generally be more expensive, since insurers consider HIV to pose an added health risk and increase the chances of a claim being made before the term of the policy (if there is one). 

HIV is now classed in the same category as other pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes and asthma. As a result, premiums are often up to 50% more expensive than cover for HIV-negative people.

Will my premium increase if my HIV condition gets worse?

We would recommend a guaranteed premium policy for HIV life insurance. With that kind of guarantee, your insurer won’t be able to raise your premium, regardless of the evolution of your condition.

Is there any way to keep my premium down?

There are a number of behavioral, lifestyle and health improvements that can influence your life insurance premiums for HIV. 

Some elements that can influence and reduce your life insurance premiums are :

Be on highly active anti-retroviral therapy for at least two years and demonstrate favorable lab results

How to apply for life insurance covering HIV?

What questions am I likely to be asked when subscribing to life insurance with HIV?

As you fill in your application for life insurance, the chosen insurance firm will ask you a list of question to evaluate your condition and estimate what premium you should pay. 

You will have to answer honestly and fully to the best of your knowledge. If you omit to mention a specific illness or provide any misleading information, you will encounter issues when making future claims. 

With a medical condition, you will be requested to disclose more information. As a person suffering from HIV, you will generally have to deal with the following questions:

  • How old were you when diagnosed with HIV?
  • What was your CD4 level at the time of diagnosis?
  • What was your lowest ever recorded CD4?
  • Do you have your numbers when diagnosed, during treatment, and your current levels?
  • What medications/dosages do you take?
  • Do you have any other health issues?
  • Do you have lab work completed regularly?
  • How often do you visit your doctor?
  • Are you a non-tobacco user?

Which documents will I need to provide?

Not all life insurance policies involve a medical examination, depending on your age and the amount of life cover you are requesting. However, with a medical history of HIV, your insurer might request a professional to undertake your medical examination. 

Indeed, in order to proceed with your request, the insurer will need proof of your condition, and will likely request that you provide medical documents and tests. 

If you are HIV-positive, you will have to provide:

  • Medical screening
  • GP report
  • HIV tests may be required during the application under certain circumstances, such as high levels of cover, travel, drug use or previous sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Can I not get covered if I am suffering from HIV?

You can be denied your life insurance if you are a HIV-positive, particularly if there are aggravating conditions:

  • A history of intravenous drug use
  • A history of an AIDS defining illness.

However, you should always be able to find a specialist insurer able to cover you as long as your illness is not terminal.

Does life insurance with critical illness cover is enough for my HIV?

In most of the cases, if you are diagnosed with HIV after taking out a life insurance policy with critical illness add-on, you will be covered and you will receive a lump sum payment.

However, you must know that applying for life insurance with critical illness covering your medical condition is not enough to be covered. You must mentioned in any case your medical record to your insurer when applying.

Critical illness insurance is an extra that can be added to your policy, or can be combined with your standard life insurance. It pays out a tax-free lump sum if you contract a disease. The illness developed must be specified in your policy contract.

Critical illness is defined as an illness that is curable; this is different from terminal illness, where the life expectancy is really low (not more than one year). Terminal illness is usually covered by life insurance. 

The most common illnesses covered by critical illness insurance are heart attacks, stroke, non-terminal cancer etc. If you become really ill, your insurance will pay out exactly as if you’ve passed away. 

There are two types of cover and it’s important to know the difference:

  • additional cover will pay out if you’re diagnosed, and it will also pay out if you die:
  • combined cover will pay out either on diagnosis, or if you die, but it won’t pay out twice.

Check out our guide to know more about life insurance with critical illness.