Insurance and pandemic coverage

Allen Wastler

By Allen Wastler
Allen Wastler is a former financial journalist with over 30-years of experience, including time at CNBC, CNN, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.
Posted on Mar 18, 2020

We are living through worrying times. Protection — physical or financial — can help ease some of that concern. To that end, it’s important to know that life insurance and individual disability income (DI) insurance products do not exclude pandemic events, such as the new coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Indeed, life insurance is there so that in the event of your passing, your loved ones and beneficiaries will receive some support to carry on. With hope that passing is long into your future. But it also covers the possibility of death, be it by illness or accident, in the near term.

Hopefully you and your loved ones stay healthy during this outbreak. Of course, even in the absence of a pandemic, there are things to bear in mind about a life insurance policy. Policyowners should be aware of terms and conditions relating to the application and premium requirements. (Related: Why you shouldn’t lie on insurance applications)

It’s also important to bear in mind the strength of the insurance company behind your policy. At MassMutual, we’ve followed a prudent investment strategy for more than 160 years. This strategy has enabled us to consistently earn some of the highest financial strength ratings of any company in the industry. (Related: Check our ratings here)

MassMutual has a history of weathering emergencies, such as the Great Depression and East Coast floods, and still meeting its commitments to policyowners, all while keeping up its Live Mutual ethos. In fact, during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, MassMutual set up a tent camp to treat influenza victims near its Springfield, Massachusetts, headquarters.

And what stands for life insurance applies to disability income insurance as well. Of course, whether a disability is due to a pandemic or not, there are steps to take. Typically, for benefits to go into effect, the insured must have a sickness or injury that prevents or limits them from performing the main duties of their occupation and be under a doctor’s care.

Depending on the terms of a specific policy, those under quarantine and not ill might not meet the definition of disability. That’s why it’s important to review your policy for the specific definition(s) of disability. (Related: How to use disability income insurance)

Knowing about the protection measures you have available to you and how they work is always important, but more so in a crisis. Many opt to speak with a financial professional about how the protections of life insurance and disability income insurance may come into play.

For individual guidance and advice, contact your financial professional. Don't have one? Find one here .

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The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.