Life can be unpredictable. When you least expect it, a crisis could come your way and catch you unawares. This is why it is important to plan for contingencies. While you are planning for any unexpected things that may come your way, it is a smart decision to buy term insurance. Term insurance plans can be particularly useful during a crisis; since they help your family get through the loss of income and achieve their life goals as planned.
The current COVID-19 crisis we are in has only reinforced the need to buy term insurance plans in order to safeguard the future of your dependents. You can use a term insurance calculator to determine the amount of premium you will need to pay for the sum assured that family might need in future. A term insurance calculator is an easy-to-use online tool that helps you plan your insurance purchase.
Having a term insurance policy is an important part of your financial plan, and it helps your family tide past a crisis like this one. To understand more about how this works, let us take a closer look at the pandemic and its impact.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)? 
Coronavirus is a group of viruses that derive their name from the crown like appearance (corona is Latin for crown). There are seven known strains of this virus that can infect human beings. Among these are the MERS-CoV, which was the coronavirus responsible for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and the SARS-CoV, which caused SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
The current strain of the coronavirus that is responsible for the global pandemic is SARS-CoV2. It causes COVID-19, which is also a respiratory disease like MERS and SARS. The common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• Muscle pains
• Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
In some cases, patients have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and diarrhoea. In the worst cases, COVID-19 can lead to pneumonia and respiratory illness, eventually causing death. COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets emitted when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
Steps you can take to prevent the spread of this disease
To stay safe during this crisis, it is important to take some steps that can help prevent the spread of the disease. Here is what you can do.
• If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or with the crook of your elbow.
• Dispose of used tissues hygienically and immediately.
• Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after you have come into contact with outside surface.
• Refrain from touching your eyes, mouth, nose, or other parts of your face without washing your hands.
• Clean and regularly disinfect objects and surfaces that you are exposed to frequently.
• Avoid coming into close contact with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home as much as possible, leaving only to seek emergency medical care.
COVID-19 has spread across multiple countries in the world, and the global death toll has crossed one lakh. In uncertain times like this, many people wonder about the future of their loved ones who may be dependent on them. In case the primary breadwinner of a family succumbs to COVID-19, the surviving members of the family may be left financially weaker, with no alternate source of income to support their daily needs. Here is where term insurance benefits can be useful. If the insurer finds that your family’s claim is genuine, they will pay out the sum assured to your nominees. This lump sum amount can help them meet significant expenses to fulfil various life goals such as the higher education or the wedding of your children, or the repayment of any debts you may have left behind.
Many people who have purchased term insurance plans now find themselves wondering if their policy includes a cover for coronavirus-related incidents. If you have been thinking about this as well, here is a closer look at the details of this subject.
If you buy a term plan now, will it include a cover for COVID-19?
This is another interesting question that many people looking to buy a term plan at this point may wonder about. The thing to keep in mind is that generally, insurers look at various factors like your age, health conditions, and risk factors before setting your premium or even accepting your application for a term plan. With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, it is likely that insurers will scrutinize anyone applying for a term plan now with great attention to detail.
If you have already contracted the infection, the insurance company may hold or deny your application, depending on the details of your specific case. However, if the disease has not affected you and if your application is approved, you can rest assured that your term insurance plan will include all the relevant term insurance benefits, including a cover for COVID-19 deaths.
What other kinds of deaths are covered and excluded under term insurance plans?
On a general basis, there are some kinds of deaths that are covered by these plans and others that do not qualify for term insurance benefits.
Those that are generally covered:
• Demise due to natural causes
• Death on account of a medical illness
• Accidental demise on involving causes like a fire, a vehicle, heavy machinery, or electrical shocks, among others
• Coronavirus-related deaths occurring due to COVID-19
Those that are generally not covered:
• Murder of the policyholder if the nominee is the criminal
• Murder of the policyholder on account of their involvement in any criminal activity
• Demise on account of driving under the influence of alcohol
• Health complications on account of lifestyle habits like smoking, if they were not disclosed in the term plan application
• Suicidal demise (covered with one year exclusion)
• Demise on account of pre-existing health conditions
It is important to keep in mind that these cases may vary from one insurer to the next, and that this is only an illustrative set of lists. If a claim is made to the insurer following an incident that qualifies for settlement, the insurer pays out the sum assured to the nominee under the policy. This financial aid can be of great help to families who have many life goals to meet.
Steps to file a term insurance claim online
To enable your dependents to utilize the financial safety net offered by your term plan and to ensure that they meet their life goals, it is vital that you and your family are aware of the claim filing process. The details of this process may vary slightly from one insurance service provider to another, but overall, this is generally how you can go about filing a term insurance claim online.
Step 1: Get your documents ready
The first step is to get all your documents ready. Typically, insurers require the following documents to be submitted as part of the claim process:
• Death certificate
• Proof of age and identity of the policyholder
• Proof of identity of the nominee
• Original policy documents
• Bank account proof of nominee
Step 2: Fill up the insurance claim form online
Next, head to the insurer’s web portal and fill out the relevant claim form. If there are multiple forms to choose from, ensure that you pick the right one. It is always advisable to raise the claim as soon as possible, as there can be provisions of time bar.
Step 3: Attach the required documents
Attach the soft copies of the documents required by the insurer. Doing this correctly will make the claims process much smoother. Not all insurers would have this process available, hence it is important for you to check and proceed accordingly.
Step 4: Submit your claim
That is it. Once your form is duly filled out, submit the claim and wait for the insurer to review and settle it. If you need to post physical copies of the submitted form to the insurer, ensure that you do that on time.
The process to file a term insurance claim for COVID-19 deaths is also pretty much the same. If you (or anyone you know) have lost a family member to this illness, rest assured that insurers are liable to cover such incidents as well. Therefore, if the deceased person had a term plan in place, there is a high possibility that the insurance company will honour this claim, as long as other factors hold up.