Life Insurance & COVID-19 and the Vaccine

Vaccine and COVID-19 and Long COVID

Luckily for us in New Zealand our public hospitals don’t charge for treatment and overnight stays. In countries like the USA there are patients that have racked up million dollar bills for Long COVID treatment. If you go get the vaccine and something happened to you your Life Insurance would pay out. Secondly if you don’t get the vaccine and something happened to you – your Life Insurance will pay out. Delta has taught us COVID rapidly evolves and in the future insurers could change their minds for new clients. Overseas major insurers are routinely denying Life, Critical Illness and Income Protection to those with Long COVID. Insurers are running scared because medical professionals don’t know enough about the condition and what the lasting effects could be. In New Zealand currently insurers are asking new applicants if they have suffered from COVID or if they have been exposed to it by a close contact. Whilst not currently occurring it may happen in the future that insurers will ask if you have had the vaccine. Income Protection would cover policy holders if they suffered long COVID and couldn’t work and I know of at least one ongoing claim in New Zealand for exactly that. In trauma and critical illness policies in New Zealand there is currently no pay out for getting COVID but if you suffered serious conditions from COVID there are several options for claiming under this benefit. Life Insurance would pay out for death claims from COVID – bearing in mind that New Zealand has been largely spared from large numbers of deaths due to our lockdowns and carrying out the “elimination strategy”. In the future when we open up the borders again and learn to live with COVID it could open up discussions and changes of tune with New Zealand insurers – particularly around vaccination questions. Also in the future if you got COVID and were unvaccinated and then later sought Life Insurance etc. there would no doubt be questions, possible stand down or at worst a deferral – obviously each situation would be underwritten on a case by case basis.

Sourced from

ACC will cover the cost of your treatment in the rare case of a vaccine injury – and the vaccine won’t invalidate your health insurance.

Severe reactions to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine being used in New Zealand are rare, but when they do happen, these events – known as ‘treatment injuries’ – will be covered by ACC if the criteria for treatment injury are met.

ACC Treatment Injury Guide’s contains three core requirements that need to be met in order for a claim to be accepted.

Firstly, the injury has to result in physical harm or damage to the patient. Next, the injury must have been caused by the treatment – in this case the vaccine – and finally, the injury cannot be an ordinary consequence of getting a vaccination.

The more common, mild reactions that some people experience when they get a vaccine, such as inflammation around the site of the injection, is unlikely to be covered.

But infections such as cellulitis or septic arthritis due to the vaccination, or anaphylaxis, are not ordinary consequences and are likely to be covered.

As of August 2021, more than 2.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in Aotearoa, and from that figure, ACC have received 201 claims for treatment injury.

Two of New Zealand’s largest health insurers, Southern Cross and AIA, have also recently reassured customers that getting a Medsafe-approved Covid-19 vaccine (at this stage, the Pfizer, Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines) won’t invalidate or otherwise affect your insurance policy

These insurers have excluded injuries from Covid-19 vaccinations from their cover but this is not new or exclusive to the Covid-19 vaccine: it is a standard health insurance clause that applies to all vaccine treatment injuries in New Zealand, because this is already covered by – you guessed it – ACC.


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