A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 15, 2021 (AFP / Mandel Ngan)

Covid-19 vaccination does not invalidate US life insurance policies

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Social media posts say that life insurance companies will not pay claims if a person dies within one year of receiving a vaccination against Covid-19. This is false, according to the organization that represents American life insurance firms and several US state regulators.

“If you die within 1 year of taking the COVID V@X Your Life Insurance won’t pay because it is experimental,” says a March 9, 2021 Facebook post.

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on March 18, 2021

Similar claims that vaccination will invalidate life insurance policies spread via other Facebook posts and online articles.

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) told AFP via email that the claims are “false information.”

In a statement published on its website on March 12, 2021, a senior vice president, Paul Graham, said: “Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for Covid-19 is not one of them.”

He continued, “Policyholders should rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of Covid-19 vaccinations.”

Insurance associations in Canada and the UK have also issued similar responses to the misinformation.

When asked if the claims had merit, major insurance companies Northwestern Mutual, MetLife and New York Life all responded with the statement from ACLI.

Several US states also addressed the claims. 

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said in a statement, “This is simply not true.” 

He explained, “Whether it’s Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, these vaccines received Emergency Use Authorizations after the Food and Drug Administration determined their safety and efficacy. I assure you that getting a Covid-19 vaccine will not impact your life insurance benefits.”

Similarly, the Insurance Department in North Dakota said in a Facebook post that, “Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine will have no effect on your life insurance policy.”

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on March 19, 2021

And in New York, the Department of Financial Services explained on its website that state law “does not permit life insurance exclusions based on the insured person having received a vaccination.”

AFP Fact Check previously debunked a similar claim circulating in French and English in Canada that specifically referenced the insurance company Manulife, which said the claim was “false.”  

AFP has fact checked numerous false or misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines.