Life insurance is a type of policy that pays out a certain amount of money when the policy holder passes away. The policy does not just pay out any amount. Only the amount insured for is payable, to the beneficiaries.

The premium that is payable is dependent on a range of factors, such as occupation, length of payment period, the total pay-out needed and medical history.

In South Africa, an estimated five million people are reportedly infected with HIV.  The virus has no cure and affects millions of lives worldwide. What has changed in recent years is that there is easier access to antiretroviral medication.

With antiretroviral medication readily available for individuals with HIV in South Africa, this has significantly prolonged the life expectancy of people living with HIV.

In the past, insurance companies denied people living with HIV access to life insurance policies. The illness was mostly viewed as a death sentence and there was little reliable information on the effects of the illness. In recent years however, there has been a significant change.

HIV and Life insurance can be mentioned in the same sentence.

While life insurance is now available to people living with HIV, the reality is that these individuals often have to pay up to 50 percent more in premiums, than individuals with a negative HIV status.

There really is no guarantee that all HIV positive people will get life insurance, particularly from mainstream insurance companies. If they do, it is usually very expensive.

There are two main types of life cover available for people living with HIV:

  • Life cover
  • Disability cover

If you do qualify for a life insurance policy as person living with HIV, you will usually have to agree to participate in a treatment regimen which is determined by your insurer.

HIV and Life insurance is a topic that will likely undergo a number of changes in years to come, as legislation changes and it becomes easier to live with the illness or a cure is found.