Warning issued over scam email claiming COVID-19 vaccine voids life insurance

Warning sign about scams

May 7, 2021

Consumers have been advised to ignore a bogus communication which falsely claims that having a COVID-19 vaccine will invalidate their life insurance policies.

The scam email purports to be from Allianz and claims to be a product disclosure statement and policy document for a life insurance policy.

The email includes a list of scenarios in which the company would not pay a life insurance benefit, drawing attention to a line which reads: “We will not pay critical illness or permanently unable to work benefit where the condition is intentionally self-inflicted”.

Also in the email, it falsely states that: "If you consent to taking a Covid-19 vaccine your consent is 'self-inflicted', it was your choice to have the experimental medical procedure and therefore, insurance will not cover any damage or death."

“All injuries for insurance must not be accidental and a treatment by consent is not an accident.”

The bogus email was originally identified by Allianz in Australia but it has also been sent to clients in the UK, and there are fears that similar scam emails may be sent purporting to be from other life insurance companies.

In a statement, the provider said: “Allianz is aware of incorrect information being distributed in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations and life insurance.

"Allianz has placed a Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions page on our website and encourages customers with questions to refer to this page or call us.”

After originating in Australia, the scam email was labelled as “inappropriate” and dismissed as “scaremongering” by the Financial Services Council (FSC) – Australia’s trade body for financial services firms who confirmed that receiving a vaccine does not invalidate life insurance policies.

Sally Loane, chief executive of the FSC, said: “The Covid-19 vaccine is not experimental treatment. Receiving approved treatment from a qualified medical professional at an approved medical facility is not a self-inflicted injury.

“One of the main reasons why people hold life insurance policies is to provide peace of mind for themselves and their families. 

“This scaremongering is wrong, it is entirely inappropriate and it needs to stop immediately.”

Avoiding COVID-19 scams

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, there has been a huge increase in the number of scams and cyber fraud associated with COVID-19.

To help consumers spot a scam email easily, the FCA has provided advice on how to avoid COVID-19 scams which includes:

  • Don’t click links or open emails from senders you don’t already know.
  • Avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision.
  • If a firm calls you unexpectedly, use the contact details on the Register to check you’re dealing with the genuine firm.
  • Don’t give out personal details (bank details, address, existing insurance/pensions/investment details)

See the full advice on the FCA website.   

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