Life Insurance & Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

Through this time of uncertainty, Oswald Life Insurance is here to help you navigate your risk and insurance challenges, as well as create a world of support and protection around your business and personal interests.

Below you will find important updates on answers to common life insurance questions and please contact us with your specific questions and needs.

Questions & Answers

 

Question:  What can I do to make sure my life insurance portfolio is in good order?

Answer:  First, make sure you have a complete summary of your life insurance portfolio. This summary should include the insurance company name, policy number, benefit amount, premium amount, premium due date and beneficiary name. Trusted family members and advisors should have a copy of your life insurance portfolio summary. 

Second, review your beneficiary information. When personal situations change, people often forget to update their beneficiaries. Also, many people forget to add contingent beneficiaries to their policies.  Many times, these can be updated online at the insurance carrier’s website. If not, please contact your insurance advisor for assistance. 

Finally, now is a good time to have your life insurance portfolio audited. With dividend and interest rates at historic lows and some insurance carriers increasing inforce policy costs, many life insurance policies are projected to lapse earlier than initially expected. A life insurance audit will identify risks and provide solutions within the current policy, as well as, recommend potential replacements if appropriate. 

Question: Are life insurance carriers still servicing policies? Is there a risk that they will not pay claims?

Answer: Carriers continue to provide all client services and claims processing primarily from virtual locations. We have experienced some delays in turnaround times for service requests and longer hold times for calls placed to all carriers.

Question: Are life insurance carriers still offering new policies in light of COVID-19?

Answer: Yes, carriers are still issuing new life insurance policies. Term, universal life and whole life continue to be available from a wide variety of highly rated insurance carriers. Some carriers are however, limiting the amount of premium they will accept on a single policy.   

Question: With social distancing and stay at home orders, what is the most efficient way to obtain new life insurance?

Answer: Many carriers are offering accelerated underwriting programs. Individuals can acquire $10M+ of life insurance without an insurance exam if they have had a compressive physical with their primary care doctor within the last two years. For policies under $5,000,000 applications can often be done online, and in some cases, we’re seeing people be approved for coverage in less than 48 hours!  

Please note carrier approvals are based on age and relative health. Carriers reserve the right to postpone offers subject to additional medical records and/or a formal insurance physical.  

Question: I am considering surrendering my coverage, what should I do?

Answer: Some individuals no longer need coverage for personal, estate tax or business purposes. While others need access to their cash value and/or can no longer afford to pay their premiums. If you are in this situation here are a few items to consider:

-There may be tax consequences to surrendering a policy with cash value.

-A commercial bank loan against your policy’s cash value may provide lower cost access to cash than borrowing from the insurance carrier. 

-If you are over 65 the life settlement market may provide the option to sell your policy for an amount greater than your cash value. Term policies that have no cash value could also be sellable for significant value.


For more information contact:
jeff wasserman of oswald life

Jeffrey M. Wasserman

Director of Specialty Life, Executive Vice President

Oswald Specialty Life

216.367.5990