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Covid Australia: How suffering severe coronavirus could leave you struggling to get life insurance

Australians who suffer long-term effects from Covid could be locked out from life insurance policies or forced to pay more in premiums, experts have warned.

Jane Tiller from Monash University’s Public Health Genomics Program said coronavirus victims who suffer ‘long Covid’ may be deemed by insurers to have a pre-existing condition.

That could mean Covid victims will have to pay hefty premiums to insurance companies decades after first being infected with the virus.

Australians who suffer long term effects from Covid could be locked out from getting life insurance or forced to pay more, experts say

Australians who suffer long term effects from Covid could be locked out from getting life insurance or forced to pay more, experts say

Ms Tiller said insurers may also look at what variant a person was infected with when deciding whether to offer them a policy.

‘If it becomes possible to find out what variants you had, then it’s possible that they could try and distinguish between them,’ she told the ABC.

 ‘As long as there’s evidence to support a differential risk, an insurer can use that to discriminate against someone who had that risk factor.’

Ms Tiller said she was concerned there may be a ‘divide’ between those who caught the virus and experienced lasting health impacts which were out of their control.

Some effects from long Covid include fatigue, difficulty remembering things and the inability to taste or smell.

However Policy Director for Life insurance at Financial Services Australia Nick Kirwan said there was nothing to suggest Covid victims would struggle to secure life insurance.

As some insurers won't cover specific pre-existing health conditions, Aussies with long-lasting impacts from Covid may not be covered by insurance companies in the future (file image)

As some insurers won’t cover specific pre-existing health conditions, Aussies with long-lasting impacts from Covid may not be covered by insurance companies in the future (file image)

He said insurers may look at Covid victims with long-lasting impacts and treat them similar to Australians with diabetes or heart conditions.

‘We would expect that to be treated in the same way as if they have long-lasting and ongoing symptoms,’ Mr Kirwin told the publication.

It’s understood Covid infections would have no impact on those with existing life insurance policies.

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