Best Life Insurance If You Have HIV/AIDS (2022 Guide)

Peer reviewed by
Ivana Govedarica
, Certified Life Insurance Advisor

Key takeaways:

  • To get the best life insurance if you have HIV, consider all your options. Rates and coverage will vary across companies. 
  • Just because an insurer asks you health questions doesn’t mean their policy will be more expensive than a no-medical life insurance policy. It might actually be more affordable!
  • You absolutely can still get life insurance if you have HIV.

Life insurance with HIV in Canada, explained

Having HIV might impact your life insurance rates in Canada, but you can still get life insurance with HIV.

There are some differences in how everything works if you have HIV because you might be considered "high risk". The term high risk means you have health or lifestyle risks that the life insurance company needs to be made aware of.

So what does this mean for you?

  • Be honest about your condition and be ready to give insurers more details about your HIV status
  • Other factors will be considered too, such as when you were diagnosed, whether you have health complications because of your HIV, and how well you’re managing your condition
  • The higher your risk, the more your monthly premiums will cost (e.g., if you have HIV and you smoke, you’re at higher risk than someone with HIV who doesn’t smoke)
  • Some companies won’t offer as much coverage for high-risk life insurance policies
  • Aging also increases your risk, so if you have HIV, it’s better to get life insurance now instead of waiting
  • You can get no medical life insurance to avoid a thorough medical exam. But premiums may end up being equally high (or even more so) than a traditional policy

Best life insurance companies for HIV/AIDS in Canada

We reviewed the best life insurance companies for HIV-positive people in Canada. They are PolicyMe, Canada Protection Plan and Sun Life.

These companies can help you get the insurance you need without breaking the bank, even if you're living with HIV.

PolicyMe

Company bio: PolicyMe was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. It’s an online life insurance company. In 2021, PolicyMe launched digital life insurance with the backing of Canadian Premier (Betakit).

Pros

  • Fully underwritten term life insurance policies
  • With properly assessed risk and a streamlined process, get more affordable rates compared to other companies
  • Get a quote with a few clicks, no commitment required
  • You can apply online in 20 minutes or less
  • Will only ask follow-up health questions if more details are needed for a response
  • Licensed advisors who aren’t working on commission. Plus they’re available 24/7
  • Not sure how much cover you need? Try our life insurance calculator; no credit card, zero commitment.

Cons

  • Online only
  • Policies are non-renewable
  • Not available in Quebec, New Brunswick or Newfoundland

Customer review

“The process was quick, support was top notch and the price was competitive.” – Verified customer on Reviews.io.

Canada Protection Plan

Company bio: Canada Protection Plan is an insurance company founded in 1992 in Toronto. It shouldn’t be confused with the Canada Pension Plan, a Canadian government program that helps retirees. It’s the leading provider of no medical life insurance in Canada.

Pros

  • Anyone can qualify, whether they have health conditions or not
  • Applications don’t require medical exams
  • Available to temporary residents (international students, temporary work permit holders)
  • More affordable than other insurers for people with health conditions
  • Allows any plan to be converted to permanent coverage until age 70

Cons

  • Can be more expensive, especially for applicants with generally good health because there’s no medical underwriting
  • Coverage is limited to $1 million and may be less if you have health conditions
  • Maximum coverage age is 80, compared to age 85 for other companies

Customer review

“Thank you, CPP for giving coverage to those who are difficult to insure. This was the easiest and most seamless e-application I have ever done.” – Customer testimonial from CPP.

Sun Life

Company bio: Sun Life was founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1865, making them of the oldest insurance companies in Canada. They’re known for their group benefits and individual insurance products (Forbes). They have a financial strength rating of A+ and over $170 billion in assets.

Pros

  • You can get a life insurance quote online (estimate)
  • They offer whole life insurance and no medical life insurance, but these policies tend to be more expensive compared to Canada Protection Plan and PolicyMe 

Cons

  • Coverage is limited to a maximum of $25,000, which isn’t enough for the average Canadian to cover funeral expenses, mortgage, and other everyday expenses
  • Customer reviews suggest their customer service is lacking. Clients have complained about difficulty with making a claim and getting information about their coverage
  • You'll likely be overpaying for what you get so not a good option for most people 
  • Not much policy information is available on their website. This could point to a transparency issue

Customer review 

“Waiting 5 months on a claim decision.” – Customer on Insureye.

How to apply for life insurance with HIV in Canada

Here are some tips for getting HIV life insurance in Canada from certified life insurance advisor, Tobin Tuff.

What you can expect to be asked about your HIV status

“One of the contributing factors to your life insurance approval will be questions on your viral load and if you’re managing it with medication.

But being HIV positive does not mean you will get denied life insurance,” says Tobin.

What happens if you're denied life insurance because of HIV?

“If you get denied, no worries. A ‘denial’ is not a red flag on your record. It’s something that helps underwriters make a decision faster, but it’s not something they can automatically see. It might even help you skip another nurse visit.”

Tobin also says, “Every company will have a different policy — some will deny you right off the bat. PolicyMe is not one of those companies. You can still absolutely get a term life insurance policy, but it’ll likely have to go through underwriting.”

“This is a process in which the company assesses how much of a “risk” you are to cover most companies can take months to do this, but with PolicyMe your typical waiting period is just a few weeks.”

The sooner you have an answer on your life insurance application, the sooner you can move on or shop elsewhere.

Bottom line: you can still get life insurance with HIV

  • The Globe and Mail reported that sometimes people with HIV don’t even consider life insurance because of stigma.
  • But, in reality, there are affordable life insurance options for HIV/AIDS patients.
  • To ensure you get the best policy, first shop around and consider all your options. 
  • Try to go with an insurer that will let you get reassessed after a couple of years. This way, if you manage your health well, your rates can decrease later on.
  • Remember, life insurance rates only increase as you get older, so get insurance now to lock in your rates.
  • Take note: there's typically a two-year waiting period for life insurance. If you pass  before then, your loved ones just get your premiums paid back, not the payout you intended.

FAQ: best life insurance for HIV-positive patients

Can HIV patients get life insurance?

Yes, HIV patients can get life insurance. Each company will have its own policies around what types of health conditions they will approve, but more often than not, having HIV does not lead to an immediate denial. You can still get affordable rates from traditional insurers like PolicyMe, so get quotes from different companies before buying a policy. 

You might be surprised to see that rates can be more affordable with an underwritten policy compared to a no-medical life insurance policy.

Can you get life insurance with AIDS?

You can get life insurance with AIDS. If your HIV diagnosis progresses into AIDS, you are still very much insurable. Life insurance providers will each have their own specific rules around what they will automatically deny and what they won't, but it is still a possibility to find an insurer in Canada who will cover you.

In most cases, living with AIDS means that your premiums will cost more than the base rate; and this is true for most types of life insurance policies you could apply for. The best thing you can do if you're trying to get a life insurance policy with AIDS is shop around with different providers so you can get the best rate.

How do I get life insurance if I have HIV?

If you have HIV, to get life insurance, apply through the regular channels but be honest about your HIV status. With some companies, you will qualify for their high-risk life insurance policies. 

They will likely ask you more questions about your HIV status, but that doesn’t mean your premiums will be expensive. This is because insurance companies consider many factors about your health and lifestyle before offering you a policy. 

If you have HIV and are otherwise healthy, you can still get an affordable policy with an insurance company like PolicyMe.

Which type of insurance coverage is more common for people living with HIV?

Term insurance is better for people living with HIV because it’s more affordable and flexible. 

You can also take advantage of group policies offered through your employer, especially if they don’t require medical exams or questions. Alone a group policy likely won’t offer enough coverage. But if you can afford to pay for it on top of an individual policy, it can give you extra coverage.

Is HIV classed as a critical illness?

No, HIV is not classed as a critical illness by many insurance companies. If you have critical illness insurance and are later diagnosed with HIV, your health condition likely won’t be covered by the policy. Make sure you read the conditions covered by your critical insurance policy before signing.

Laura McKay

COO & Co-Founder

About the Author

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