When the corona pandemic broke out, it raised questions for private insurance companies and also for their customers. For example, what role does an infection play in concluding a new contract. In the meantime, many questions have been answered, but not all.
Answer health questions about Corona honestly
“Do I have to indicate a corona infection in the health questions about private disability insurance?” – this question can be found in various online forums, for example. “If in doubt: yes,” says insurance consultant Helge Kühl, who also works on behalf of the consumer advice centers. The General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) also says: Although a cold will not normally be indicated in health questions about private insurance, it is better to indicate a corona infection.
If you are not sure, you should ask the insurer. And the insurance broker Kühl found out that many insurers ask about a corona infection on his account. He must provide correct and complete information, otherwise the insurance protection is jeopardized later.
Corona is not an obstacle to take out insurance
Many consumers are concerned that after a coronavirus infection, they will no longer be able to take out private insurance where health issues play a role. This concern can be mitigated, at least for those who have fully recovered from the disease. “If someone has fully recovered, there is basically nothing standing in the way of a contract,” says a spokesman for the GDV insurance association. However, he limits: Anyone who has permanent health problems after a coronavirus infection should expect surcharges or not get a policy. But that has always been the case with other diseases. The principle “We cannot insure a burning house against fire” applies, according to the GDV.
Insurance broker Helge Kühl said to the claim that anyone who had Corona no longer had an insurance contract: “Nonsense.” Anyone who has had a severe course and has been in the hospital, for example, should expect surcharges or rejection, explains the expert. But he has made the experience: “An infection that has been cured without consequences is actually normal everywhere.”
Corona is a disease like any other for insurance companies
The General Association of the Insurance Industry highlights that it is a misunderstanding to believe that the industry treats Covid19 differently from other diseases. The virus with the technical name “Sars-CoV-2” was considered “novel” in early 2020. But the calculations made by insurers to cover the risks associated with the virus follow the same pattern as any other disease.
The PCR test is not a requirement for insurance benefits
When it comes to whether an insurance company pays benefits, for example for disability, it is less important what diagnosis an insured has, but how much is restricted by health, according to the GDV. Statements on online forums, according to which you will not receive any benefits, for example, due to a “long Covid” illness, if there is no positive PCR test, are therefore difficult to understand from the point of view of view of the spokesperson of the association.
For example, if someone has clearly restricted lung function and is therefore no longer able to practice a certain profession, this may be a case for disability insurance benefits. Whether the restricted lung function is due to corona infection does not play the main role.
It depends on the effects of a disease.
The insurance broker Helge Kühl, who regularly works with consumer centers, has a similar assessment. That is why he also considers a different evaluation of online users doubtful. Because “Largo Covid” has not yet been thoroughly investigated, insurance companies would not accept it as a reason for payment, according to online forums.
When it comes to the question of whether insurance pays, the focus is on health issues, Kühl says: general resilience, physical ailments, breathing difficulties, as well as mental issues. She is in charge of a case where an insured person received benefits for a few months after a corona infection before he was considered healthier again. Another of her cases is still under investigation, with an open result.
Special case “infection clause”
According to some consumers, the so-called “infection clause” in disability insurance could also play a new role with the corona pandemic. It is aimed primarily at men and women working in the health professions. Several insurers offer them protection in the event that they can no longer practice their profession because their employer applies Section 31 of the Federal Infection Protection Act to them. It establishes that the competent authorities may “prohibit in whole or in part sick persons, suspected illnesses, suspected infections and excretors from carrying out certain professional activities.”
Insurance broker Helge Kühl considers it fundamentally good if insurance customers have another basis for possible claims for disability insurance benefits. And the infection protection clause could theoretically apply to coronavirus infections as well. But he clarifies that in practice, according to his experience, the clause is almost never applied. That’s why she was “actually a showcase”. Cool recommends that anyone interested in a policy not be guided by whether or not the insurer offers an infection protection clause.