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  • Writer's picturejimmy ting

The Coronavirus and Life Insurance

A newly identified coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV, can cause individuals to become severely ill. This virus transfers from animals to humans and first occurred in December 2019 in China at an animal market. But it has now reached several other countries, including six cases so far reported in the United States.

Swiss Re, one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, is continuously monitoring the coronavirus situation. They suggest that insurance companies heavily lean on the current travel notices from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) if applicants have plans to travel to China or neighboring countries. The CDC currently lists China as a level 3 travel warning, meaning that individuals should avoid any nonessential traveling to China.

Translation: if a life insurance applicant has plans to travel to China, don’t be surprised if the insurance company opts to post-pone coverage approval until some time has passed after you arrive back in the United States.

Once placed inforce, a life insurance policy will pay out for most types of death, including coronavirus. The rare occasions that the life insurance policy would not pay out would be if the cause of death was suicide within the first two years of the policy being active, if you died while committing a serious crime, or if the policy includes a clause excluding a specific cause of death. For example, if you’re a racecar driver, you may opt for less expensive life insurance policy that excludes coverage for death as a result of racing.

As the number of confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise, health officials are working on all fronts to learn more about the virus and put measure into place to curtail its spread. The risk to the U.S. public remains low but more cases will likely be confirmed in the coming days, according to the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What you can do to protect yourself and prevent spread of the coronavirus:

  • Avoid travel to China- Wuhan, where the virus originated, is on lock-down;

  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs;

  • Use protective coverings when handling farm animals or wild animals;

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;

  • Use hand sanitizer;

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that you frequently touch;

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw tissue away immediately;

  • Stay home if you’re sick.

If you plan on traveling internationally, wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth is an option that can help protect you from germs. Doctors have stated that washing your hands frequently, however, is the most important takeaway and much more effective than a mask.

For more information about Life Insurance call JCT Insurance Agency at (626)354-2000 or email

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