Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- Life insurance companies, trade groups and state regulatory agencies have all said that the COVID-19 vaccine does not play a role in life insurance eligibility or payouts.
A post that’s spreading on social media discourages people from getting a COVID-19 vaccine because it suggests that doing so could jeopardize your life insurance policy.
"My friend’s aunt recently died from the COVID vaccine," reads a screenshot of an Instagram post that’s being shared online. "She was denied for life insurance because… she willingly took an EXPERIMENTAL vaccine."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We can’t see the original Instagram post because the account that appears to have first published the claim is set to private. USA Today reported that the account declined to provide additional details about the "friend’s aunt."
But this isn’t the first time someone claimed that life insurance companies won’t pay out if policyholders get the COVID-19 vaccine. When it started to spread on social media in March, the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade group that represents 280 companies, issued a statement responding to what it called "entirely false information."
"The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim," said Paul Graham, the group’s senior vice president for policy development. "Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to a denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them."
Other companies and organizations have issued similar statements.
A couple days later, John Hancock Life Insurance Co. said its "underwriting assessment of an applicant’s insurability is not impacted by the vaccination status of the individual."
And a few days after that, the Texas Department of Insurance, which regulates the state’s insurance industry, said that "getting a COVID-19 vaccination doesn’t affect your ability to collect on a life insurance policy."
"Baseless social media posts claim getting vaccinated threatens life insurance benefits because the vaccines are ‘experimental,’" the department said March 17. "That’s not true. Experimental drugs haven’t been approved by a government agency. Vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson received emergency authorizations after FDA safety reviews."
We rate claims that getting a COVID-19 vaccine disqualifies people from life insurance False.
Instagram post, May 19, 2021
USA Today, Fact check: COVID-19 vaccine won’t jeopardize your life insurance coverage, May 23, 2021
Forbes, Will COVID-19 vaccination disqualify you from life insurance? Here are the claims, March 13, 2021
American Council of Life Insurers, statement on "social media misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine," March 12, 2021
John Hancock, John Hancock underwriting and COVID-19, March 15, 2021
Texas Department of Life Insurance, COVID-19 vaccinations don’t affect life insurance benefits, March 17, 2021
AARP, AARP Answers: your insurance coverage and the coronavirus, April 27, 2021
Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Getting the vaccine will not affect your insurance coverage, March 8, 2021
Email interview with Whit Comman, American Council of Life Insurers, May 25, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.