COVID-19 pandemic creating greater demand for life, health insurance

Aetna-Business Sale
Posted at 4:19 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 14:42:13-04

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the nation thousands have been purchasing life insurance policies to protect their loved ones. But in the midst of the pandemic, there have been additional factors companies have implemented when screening applicants. 23ABC's Bayan Wang spoke to an insurance expert to find out more about those changes.

The biggest factor insurance companies are looking for right now is whether someone has tested positive for the coronavirus. But even then you still can get full term life insurance - that is if you're not older than the age of 70.

As COVID-19 continues to surge across the nation - claiming nearly 150,000 lives - the interest in life insurance policies has also surged, according to Jennifer Fitzgerald, the CEO of Policygenius, an online marketplace for life insurance.

"We're seeing higher demand for life insurance across all consumer demographics. So older shoppers are looking for life insurance, younger shoppers in their 30s and 40s are looking for life insurance," sad Fiztgerald. "We've absolutely seen an increase."

But an increase in policies for senior citizens is less apparent because of the pandemic.

"We have seen life insurance companies stop accepting applications for older shoppers over the age of 70 because they are a higher risk group for COVID-19," explained Fitzgerald.

The number of cases for other age groups has also been apparent. In Kern County, more than 1,200 cases have been confirmed for ages 17 and under and nearly 7,000 people between 18 and 49 have also tested positive. These groups will also face barriers to purchasing life insurance, according to Fitzgerald.

"If you have COVID-19 you have to wait until you are symptom-free and are over the disease and have a negative test result. Typically the waiting period is 30 to 40 days after you have tested negative you can apply for life insurance."

According to Jose Reyes, an insurance agent in East Bakersfield, applying for life insurance is critical for ceratin demographics that have been affected by the virus at higher rates. Reyes pointed out that more than 50 percent of positive cases in the county are in Hispanic communities.

"There is a lot of people in the Hispanic community that does not have life insurance or health insurance. We are trying to educate our people, our Hispanic community to get life insurance or health insurance because it is really important," said Reyes.

According to Fitzgerald a huge misconception that a lot of people have is that policies are getting more expensive because of the demand but that's not true. She said it is quite the opposite: more competition between companies is driving costs down.

Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

View Testing Locations Map

State-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free, but if have insurance they will bill
  • No screening criteria

Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27

Rosamond Library
3611 Rosamond Blvd, Rosamond CA 93560

Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin

Wasco Library
1102 7th Street

County-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free
  • No screening criteria
  • Operating with existing provider

Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
  • No Drive-Thru option
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa Wheelchair Logo
  • For Registration call (760) 379-2681 ext 267
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Wednesday - Thursday from 7 am - 2 pm.
Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561

Lamont - Kern County Library
8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, CA 93241
  • For registration call 661-869-6018
  • Drive-Thru and Walk-Up<
  • Testing available for ages 5+ only; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am - 2 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 2 pm - 7 pm

Taft - West Side Health Care District
  • For Registration call (661) 765-1935
  • Drive-Thru<
  • TTesting available for all ages; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 11 am – 3 pm