Getting the COVID-19 shot won't result in denied claims, insurers say
TORONTO -- Life insurers are battling rumours circulating on social media that their policies won’t apply to those who get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The original Facebook post that was shared widely on the social network and Twitter has since been deleted, and Facebook has put a “false information” warning on posts that remain up.
The post was by a woman who said that her insurance company, Manulife, wouldn’t cover her policy in the event she died from complications from the COVID-19 vaccine. It went on to say that the company called the vaccine “experimental.”
“Well guess what? Confirmed they would NOT pay out my policy because the vaccine is experimental! Wake up Canada!!! Do your research!!! Share share share,” the post said.
Manulife has been combating these rumours for weeks, in regular tweets reading: “We can confirm that the COVID-19 vaccination in no way negatively impacts your current insurance policies or valid Group Benefits coverage, nor does it factor into new insurance applications you may apply for with us.”
They’ve also addressed the issue in a public post on their website and, as of March 23, members of Manulife’s Vitality rewards plan receive extra points for getting their COVID-19 vaccine.
“Recently, there has been misinformation circulating on social media that getting vaccinated could somehow negatively impact current life and health insurance coverage with Manulife (including claims) or prevent Canadians from getting new life or health insurance coverage with us. This is untrue,” Sean Pasternak, assistant vice president of global communications at Manulife said in a statement to CTVNews.ca
“As it states on our website, COVID-19 vaccination in no way negatively impacts our customer’s current insurance policies or valid Group Benefits coverage, nor does it factor into new insurance applications Canadians may apply for with us,” he added.
The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Associations has also issued a press release addressing the social media posts.
“Canada’s life and health insurers stress that vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and others from serious illness and death from COVID-19,” the press release says. “Receiving the vaccine will not affect your individual or workplace life or health insurance policies, or ability to apply for future coverage.”
Other major insurers in Canada have also said there won’t be negative consequences for people who get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“At Sun Life, the wellbeing of our Clients, Employees, advisors and communities is our top priority. There are no changes to our claims policies because of COVID-19 or due to receiving the vaccine. COVID-19 (or any viral illness) and their related vaccines would not impact payment of a claim under the terms of the Client’s contract,” Alessandra Nigro, director of corporate communications at Sun Life, said in a statement to CTVNews.ca
Canada Life has a statement about the rumours on their website.
“When a COVID-19 vaccine has been given by an authorized health professional, side-effects or complications from the vaccine would not limit an individual’s eligibility,” it reads.
On March 12, the original poster updated the situation with screenshots of emails and letters with what appear to be Manulife headers.
“This will be my last post on this subject that has gone completely viral,” the poster said.
The letter, with Manulife letterhead, apologizes for misinformation and reiterates their stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.
“On that call you asked about what would happen to your life insurance if you got a COVID vaccine and the agent incorrectly indicated a claim would not be covered,” the letter says. “The information you received was not accurate, and getting vaccinated will not impact your coverage or result in a denial of claim.”