HIV & Life Insurance

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HIV & Life Insurance

HIV & Life InsuranceWe are aware that many people with HIV live long and full lives. Here at Cura, we are fighting for insurers to offer people with HIV, fair and clear insurance policies.

It is important to know from the start, that no-one in our company will ask you anything about how you contracted HIV.

Things we need to know:

  • When were you diagnosed with HIV?
  • Were you diagnosed in the UK?
  • What is your viral load?
  • What is your CD4 count?
  • What medication do you take?
  • Is your GP aware that you have HIV?

Applying for life insurance when you have HIV should cause no apprehension. You can speak with our advisers with the utmost confidentiality.

Insurance providers will want to see a report from your GP about your general health, and will wish to speak to your specialist in regards to your HIV. We have established specific processes with insurers to keep your HIV status confidential from your GP, if they are unaware of your diagnosis. It is important that your application is placed with the right insurer for you.

Some insurers limit the amount of your life insurance to a maximum of 20 years, and it is good to know which insurer is going to be best for you if you require a longer term of cover.

By speaking with your GP and specialist, the insurer is making sure that they have all the information that they need about your health, before they offer you life insurance. This is a standard process for many health conditions, not just HIV.

It is a worthwhile process, as should your family need to make a claim the insurance provider cannot dispute the stage of your condition at the point of application. Until recently the term has been limited to 10 years for people with HIV however some providers will now offer cover for up to 25 years.

HIV life insurance is most likely to be offered if the condition is well controlled with good CD4 counts, near undetectable viral loads and no other health concerns. Many, but not all, providers require you to be on medication.

Insurers on the standard market will need you to have been diagnosed for at least one year before offering cover. You should be prepared that the cost of your cover will be higher than someone who does not have HIV.

The insurer calculates your premium for life insurance based on the details provided by your GP and specialist, that will include factors such as your most recent CD4 and viral count, potentially your original CD4 and viral loads at time of diagnosis, how long you have had HIV and the medications that you take.

It is possible that you may need to look at specialist life insurance policies if you are recently diagnosed, your CD4 or viral loads are outside of standard acceptance ranges, you have other significant health complications, or you contracted HIV due to drug use.

Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

We are now at a stage where some insurers will offer income protection to people living with HIV, without any restrictions to the cover.

Insurers used to say you could only claim for a maximum 2 years and that you had to wait at least 3 months before you could get financial support. This is quickly changing and there are potentially options to have an income protection policy that can pay right up to your retirement age and giving you financial support from as early as 4 weeks, from when you are ill and cannot work.

These options will not exclude claims relating to your HIV.

We are incredibly proud to be able to say that one of our team is the first adviser in the UK to arrange a personal income protection policy, for someone living with HIV.

There is also the option that your employer could arrange a company funded Income Protection scheme. Known as a Group Income Protection scheme, we can arrange this through your employer or your own company, depending upon the size and structure of your organisation.

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.

We are now at a stage where critical illness cover can be available for people living with HIV. This has been a new development in the critical illness market since 2022, so it is still early days and is looking very promising.

There are very specific eligibility criteria set for this policy and we have specialist advisers that are trained to go through these details for you. Please get in touch so that we can help.

We have teamed up with Emerald Life Ltd who are a travel insurance company dedicated to diversity and inclusion. Their travel insurance policy is designed so that most people will not need to declare their HIV status when applying for cover.

You can find out more at our dedicated travel insurance page.

I have a podcast where I regularly chat to a consultant underwriter about the way insurance works, when you have to answer ‘yes’ to the health questions. Here is the one that I did on recent updates to insurance options for HIV underwriting. You can access a transcript of the podcast on the Practical Protection website.

to follow

What is HIV?

HIV affects the strength or fighting ability of the human body’s immune system. This means that the body’s self defence mechanism (CD4 cells) for fighting foreign contagions and bacteria becomes significantly reduced. HIV can be contracted through sexual transmission (blood, semen or vaginal fluid), infected blood transfusion, infected needle sharing and potentially from mother to child.

Diagnosed early and with the quick administration of medication, people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives. HIV should not be mistaken for AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) which is a late-stage development of HIV. A person is considered to have developed AIDs when the HIV virus has weakened their immune system to a point where other serious illnesses manifest e.g. encephalitis, Kaposi’s sarcoma, pneumonia, etc.

Also: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Linked with: Autoimmune conditions

Common problems experienced by individuals who have HIV include:

  • Acceptance of HIV status
  • Additional medical treatments – daily medicines, yearly flu jabs and five yearly pneumoccocal vaccinations are recommended
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Emotional isolation
  • Employment restrictions – primarily regarding surgery, dentistry and the armed forces
  • Fear of social stigma
  • Malnutrition
  • Primary (early stage, up to 3 weeks) – sore throat, fever and blotchy red rash
  • Secondary (potentially years later) – persistent lymphadenopathy, night sweats, mouth ulcers, shingles, seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • Sexual anxiety
  • 3TC
  • Abacavir Sulphate
  • Abacavir sulphate / Lamivudine (Kivexa)
  • Abacavir sulphate / Lamivudine / Zidovudine (Trizivir)
  • Aptivus / Tipranavir
  • Atazanavir sulphate / Reyataz (Ziagen)
  • Atripla / Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate / Efavirenz / Emtricitabine
  • AZT
  • D4T
  • Darunavir ethanolate / Prezista
  • ddI
  • Didanosine / Videx
  • Efavirenz / Sustiva
  • Emtricitabine / Emtriva
  • Emtricitabine / Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate / Truvada
  • Enfuvirtide / Fuzeon
  • Etravirine / Intelence
  • Fosamprenavir calcium (Telzir)
  • FTC
  • Indinavir
  • Invirase / Saquinavir mesilate
  • Isentress / Raltegravir
  • Lamivudine (Epivir)
  • Lamivudine / Zidovudine (Combivir)
  • Lopinavir/Ritonavir (Kaletra)
  • Maraviroc (Celsentri)
  • Nelfinavir
  • Nevirapine / Viramune
  • Nevirapine hemihydrate / Viramune Suspension
  • Ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Stavudine / Zerit
  • T-20
  • Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate / Viread
  • Vistide (Cidofovir)
  • Zidovudine (Retrovir)

Common Questions

Yes you can. Depending on your circumstances you may be able to get life insurance with some insurers on the standard market, or with a specialist provider. Please do not be downhearted if you have been declined life insurance in the past, there are many insurers that will refuse life insurance applications for people with HIV. We know which insurers are going to be right for you. You might pay higher premiums for life insurance with some insurers, but we will do our best to get you normal premiums.

No it wont. Your health is your health. If your partner has HIV it will have no bearing on your application.

No it isn’t. We work with a number of insurers, HIV organisations and charities to develop fairer insurance policies for people with HIV. There are a number of insurers in the UK who will offer life insurance to people living with HIV, it’s possible that you didn’t speak with one of them. Every insurer has different acceptance criteria based on how long you have been diagnosed for, your current CD4 and viral load counts. It’s best to speak to an adviser who knows the market well and can direct you to the right insurer. If you have any additional health complications, such as diabetes, you will most likely need to speak to a specialist insurer.

Client Reviews

Cura Financial Services has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 767 reviews.

Review by Dean on 27th January 2022

Really good tailor made advice, easy to talk to. I found details of Cura Financial Services on a HIV financial advice site. They were really easy to talk to, gave me lots of advice and options and I was able to get cover I thought I'd be excluded from. Highly recommend them. Dean - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

HIV & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

HIV & Life Insurance

Client Reviews

HIV & Life Insurance

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