Misconceptions around HIV and life insurance policies means that over a fifth – around 22% - of people cancel a life insurance policy following an HIV diagnosis.
The ABI said the guide lets people living with HIV know that they can get life insurance, and that they do not need to cancel an existing policy if they become HIV positive.
The ABI guide to HIV and life insurance gives information for:
People who have recently been diagnosed with HIV and have an existing policy.;
People who are HIV positive and would like to buy life insurance; and
“Many people, both newly diagnosed and living long-term with HIV do not understand their full rights in relation to life insurance."
HIV testing as part of medical screening when applying for life insurance, which is usually only required for large cover limits.
The trade body revealed that it has drafted the guide with input from the Terrence Higgins Trust, HIV Scotland, NAM Aidsmap, National Aids Trust, and Unusual Risks Mortgage & Insurance Services.
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.
“The market has been modernising and the industry is here to support customers living with HIV to understand their options. In particular, we want people to know their policy remains valid after diagnosis, and to know where to go when thinking about buying insurance.”
Alex Sparrowhawk, membership and involvement officer at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “There are countless concerns facing people when they receive a new HIV diagnosis and this guide provides clear information and advice in relation to questions about HIV and life insurance.
“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.”
LGBT assurance dip
The guide follow figures published earlier this week by gay insurance adviser Compass Mortgage and Insurance Services, which show that the average sum assured for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the UK fell by more than £8,000.
As part of their annual survey, Compass measured the average amount of life assurance taken out by LGBT people, including those with HIV.
Chris Morgan, lead financial adviser at Compass, revealed that the amount of insurance being taken out by the gay community has reduced slightly to £176,695 ($231,801, €210,818).
He put the decline down to the continued inclusion in the survey of LGBT people living with HIV, with the average life assurance taken out within the HIV community being lower at £134,733.