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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Insurers and charities join forces to tackle HIV misconceptions 

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced a guide to raise consumer awareness that life insurance products are available to those living with HIV.


Blood test © iStock
"It's very concerning that people with HIV think that they cannot get life insurance," said the ABI. © iStock

The industry notes that there are consumer misconceptions over the availability of life products for those with the condition, said the ABI.

The insurers’ comments come after a survey conducted by Unusual Risks, which discovered that 22% of people had cancelled a policy following their diagnosis with HIV.

The ABI’s head of protection and health insurance Raluca Boroianu-Omura said: "It’s very concerning that people with HIV think that they cannot get life insurance, or that they have to jump through hoops in order to get a policy.” 

Published today with input from the Terrence Higgins Trust, HIV Scotland, NAM Aidsmap, the National Aids Trust and Unusual Risks, the guide gives information to people who are HIV positive with an existing policy as well as those would like to obtain cover in the future.  

The document also provides information on HIV testing as part of medical screening when applying for protection.

Boroianu-Omura added: “The market has been modernising and the industry is here to support customers living with HIV to understand their options. 

“We want to reassure customers that insurers will only ask questions that they need to know the answers to in order to provide the policy, and any information provided to the insurer will be treated sensitively and securely."

Alex Sparrowhawk, membership and involvement officer at the Terrence Higgins Trust said: “Many people, both newly diagnosed and living long-term with HIV do not understand their full rights in relation to life insurance and this guide is a welcome tool to give peace of mind to those reviewing either current or new life insurance cover."