HIV-Aids no longer reason not to pay up
The Aids Law Project (ALP) has welcomed the decision by major life insurance and funeral policy companies to pay out claims to relatives of people who have died of Aids-related illnesses.
The Life Offices' Association (LOA) announced yesterday that their members had agreed that claims related to death or disability would not be denied by life companies based on the HIV-Aids status of the insured person.
Fatima Hassan, spokesman for ALP, said they were happy that the insurance companies had agreed to treat people living with HIV and Aids the same as those not infected with the virus.
"In the last years we have had to represent about 50 families who sought assistance because insurance companies refused to pay out life and funeral covers based on an Aids exclusion clause. Some of the people actually lost their properties because of this clause," Hassan said.
She said the decision to waive the clause was a breakthrough for people living with HIV and Aids.
The waiving of the exclusion clause will commence from April 1, and will be practised by 95 percent of LOA life insurance companies countrywide.
LOA spokesman Gerhard Joubert confirmed that their members would no longer apply the clause to life and disability policies.
"Any claims related to death or disability will not be denied by life companies based on the HIV-Aids status of the insured person, unless the policy holder is found guilty of material non-disclosure.
"The exclusion clause will be waived for all types of life and disability cover that pay lump sum benefits, including group life, credit life and funeral cover," Joubert said.