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Living with HIV doesn’t mean you can’t access insurance

In this series Kathryn Knowles explains how she is helping clients protect themselves and their families.

In today’s CuraVision I am talking through a client that we were able to help, that is living with HIV. Hannah came to us because she had recently set up a mortgage with her partner and wanted to make sure that she had life insurance in place.

We spoke through Hannah’s circumstances and established that she could do with life insurance to protect her mortgage and some additional family protection too. For Hannah there was not just the HIV that needed to be discussed with the insurer, she had also had Kapowsi’s sarcoma (a form of cancer) and hepatitis C in the past.

We spoke to Hannah in-depth about these conditions, making sure that we had all of the information to hand, so that we could get an accurate indication of terms from protection underwriters. We found an insurer that could consider Hannah’s application at good terms and we began the application process.

One thing that I discuss in this video is the need as an adviser to make sure that you ask any client living with HIV, if their GP knows about it. This will not be on the insurer’s application questions, it’s one for you to know as an extra. You may assume that a GP will know about the diagnosis of HIV, but that isn’t always the case and it is essential that you find out if they don’t. If the GP doesn’t know you will have to contact them immediately after submitting the application, to tell them that the medical report request from the GP cannot mention HIV. They will need to get evidence from the specialist.

For Hannah getting the information from the GP took some time. We have specific processes to monitor and chase these reports, between the GP and insurer, whilst also keeping the client fully updated that things are ok. We often find that information is missing in GP reports and this was the case with Hannah. The report went backwards and forwards between the GP a few times, with the insurer having to ask for more and more further information.

The good news is that we were able to get Hannah the cover that she needed. To cover her mortgage and to give some additional family protection, we arranged for her to have £500,000 level life insurance over 20 years for £90 per month.

There are a lot of things to consider when you are advising someone living with HIV, on which protection insurance options will be right for them. I have written a sort of guide to help people living with HIV, to understand what can be available to them when it comes to life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection. You can find this information and alongside pointers to help you in factfinding your clients medical history, here.

Lastly, I recently hosted a podcast with Andrew Wibberly, where we spoke to Rosalie Hayes from the National Aids Trust. We discussed a lot of things in regards to how insurance is changing during the pandemic and I also talk through two case studies, where we were able to help people living with HIV to get life insurance and income protection.

Kathryn Knowles, Cura Insurance

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