Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Several factors impact life insurance eligibility and premiums, such as age, health history and high-risk occupations. With the COVID pandemic and increasing vaccine availability, questions arise regarding vaccine impact on life insurance.
People wonder if vaccination affects coverage or eligibility. Unfortunately, misinformation about this is rampant, so here's some information about the COVID vaccine and life insurance coverage.
- Misinformation suggesting that COVID vaccines void life insurance policies is untrue, according to multiple state departments and insurance industry groups.
- Life insurers do not consider vaccination status when deciding whether to pay a claim, and COVID-19 vaccination is not a cause for benefit denial.
- Vaccination can potentially have a positive effect on life insurance by reducing the risks of long-haul symptoms and serious illness from breakthrough infections.
- To clarify any doubts, individuals can reach out to their life insurance company for direct answers and review policies thoroughly.
- Educating oneself about the facts via reliable sources can help dispel concerns and ensure timely acquisition of life insurance coverage for financial protection.
Does the COVID Vaccine Void Life Insurance?
First, it's important to note that after clinical trials involving thousands of participants and extensive clinical and research data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent; Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent; and Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted.1,2,3,4 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all three vaccines are safe and effective.5 More than 672 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and March 1, 2023.
Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccines & Life Insurance
Confusion has emerged among some segments of the public because of misinformation stating that the vaccines are experimental, and that if you're vaccinated, this could void an existing life insurance policy or make it more difficult to get coverage. Many states and insurance industry groups have released statements to clarify that this is untrue.6
Please note that these sources have not been updated since 2021. While the pandemic has ended, this information is still relevant in regard to misinformation about COVID-19 and life insurance.
State insurance departments
The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued guidance reminding residents that insurers are prohibited by state law from refusing to pay out a death benefit if someone has received a COVID-19 vaccine.7 The Texas Department of Insurance also has issued a statement saying the vaccine doesn't affect death benefits, and the president of the Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers — a major trade association for life and health insurers in the state — says the COVID-19 vaccine is not one of the causes stipulated in a life insurance contract that could lead to a benefit denial.8 Several other states have issued similar statements, including Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, Washington and Wisconsin.9,10,11,12,13
American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI)
Clarifications have come not only from states but also from the American Council of Life Insurers, whose membership consists of 280 life insurance companies, representing 94 percent of industry assets in the U.S.14,15 The ACLI says: "The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them."
Could the Vaccine Actually Have a Positive Effect on Life Insurance?
Getting the vaccine won't negatively affect your life insurance coverage. However, the life insurance industry is still trying to understand how mortality assumptions related to COVID-19 may affect the underwriting process.16 A policy director and attorney at the Center for Insurance Research said, “While you may not see a vaccine question on a life insurance application yet, it’s more likely two to three years from now.”
COVID-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2022.17 Life insurers often look at an applicant's health history and weigh their mortality risks when setting premiums. Vaccination can reduce the risks of long-haul symptoms — such as anxiety, depression, permanent lung damage or ongoing cardiac issues — and prevent you from getting seriously ill if you do end up with a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated.18,19
Vaccination can reduce the risks of long-haul symptoms and prevent you from getting seriously ill if you do end up with a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated.
COVID Vaccines & Life Insurance: Learn the Facts
If you've heard or seen information about COVID vaccines and life insurance and are still wondering whether the COVID vaccine will void your life insurance, it's best to reach out to your life insurance company. This way, you can get direct answers and additional insight into the chances of a vaccination leading to benefit denials. If you're currently shopping around for a policy, you can call the life insurance carriers you're considering, ask about this issue and review each of their policies thoroughly before you sign up for coverage. Your financial representative can also respond to any questions or concerns.
The Bottom Line
Because there can be a lot of confusion and misinformation in the media, verifying the validity and accuracy of your sources of information about COVID-19 and life insurance is important. Educating yourself and learning the facts could help put your concerns at ease and ensure that you don't delay getting life insurance coverage to help financially protect your family.
- COVID-19 Vaccines. https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines. https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/coronavirus-covid-19-cber-regulated-biologics/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccines.
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines. https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/coronavirus-covid-19-cber-regulated-biologics/moderna-covid-19-vaccines.
- Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted. https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/coronavirus-covid-19-cber-regulated-biologics/novavax-covid-19-vaccine-adjuvanted.
- Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html.
- Does the COVID Vaccine Void Life Insurance? https://www.helpadvisor.com/insurance/does-the-covid-vaccine-void-life-insurance.
- New York State - Life Insurance and the COVID-19 Vaccine. https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/alerts/Life_Covid.
- Texas - COVID-19 vaccinations don’t affect life insurance benefits. https://www.tdi.texas.gov/news/2021/tdi03172021.html.
- CONSUMER ALERT - COVID-19 Vaccine and Life Insurance. https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/ConsumerAlert_03.26.2021.pdf.
- LDI Corrects False Information About COVID-19 Vaccines and Life Insurance. https://www.ldi.la.gov/news/press-releases/4-15-21-ldi-corrects-false-information-about-covid-19-vaccines-and-life-insurance.
- Consumer Alert - Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination does not imperil life insurance benefits. https://insurance.maryland.gov/Pages/newscenter/NewsDetails.aspx?NR=2021279.
- Kreidler sets record straight on vaccines and life insurance. https://www.insurance.wa.gov/news/kreidler-sets-record-straight-vaccines-and-life-insurance.
- Press Release, March 15, 2021, Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Confirms Getting Vaccinated Will Not Impact Life Insurance Policies. https://oci.wi.gov/Pages/PressReleases/20210315Vaccine%26LifeInsurance.aspx.
- American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Responds To Social Media Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccine. https://www.acli.com/Posting/NR21-012.
- American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) - WHO WE ARE. https://www.acli.com/about-acli/who-we-are.
- ‘It’s a work in progress.’ How Covid has changed the life insurance marketplace. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/01/how-covid-has-changed-life-insurance-underwriting.html.
- Covid-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in 2022, CDC data shows.https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/04/health/covid-fourth-leading-cause-of-death/index.html.
- COVID long-haulers: Questions patients have about symptoms. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/covid-long-haulers-questions-patients-have-about-symptoms.
- What doctors wish patients knew about breakthrough COVID infections. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/what-doctors-wish-patients-knew-about-breakthrough-covid-infections.