Friday, May 13, 2011

Insurance and LGBT


I have a few clients who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered hereafter referred to as LGBT. Each time I work with an LGBT client, I find there is a lot of incorrect assumptions or misinformation about if they can get insurance.

The simple answer is YES of course you can get life, disability, critical illness insurance.

Canadian insurance companies make no distinction between any sexual orientation, and neither do I. I have clients and close friends who are LBGT and I am always happy to meet new client and make new friends. I did want to touch on a few bits of the misinformation that I have heard over the years, and just shed some light on a few points.

Do I have to reveal my sexual preference when I fill out an application?
No, there are no questions asked about orientation. The only thing that might give a hint is the beneficiary designation, as you have to indicate relationship and gender of the beneficiary. I will often use the words, “partner” or “spouse”, however, you can put down “friend”, “companion” or whatever term you like.

Do I need to be legally married to get a “joint” policy?
No, as long as there is an insurable relationship (someone stands to lose something if the other dies) anyone can get a joint policy with anyone else.

Are there any special medical questions I have to answer?
Nothing that everyone else doesn’t need to answer. Each insurance company has a list of medical questions they ask and everyone applying needs to answer the same questions.

Are there any questions that I might have a problem with?
I hazard to say it, but the only thing remotely possible is the questions regarding exposure to HIV or AIDS. As long as you have made wise choices over the years you shouldn’t have any greater exposure than anyone else. Everyone has to answer these questions.

What if I am Transgendered, what do I put down for gender?
Insurance rates are primarily based on two factors, age and gender. If you are transgendered we use the bits you were born with.

What if I am undergoing hormone therapy?
You would need to disclose that you are taking medication, you would need to provide, dosage, when you started the program, and if there have been any complications. The underwriters may rate (charge more) or decline the policy, as there are other serious medical issues which can arise from hormone therapy. I haven’t run into this situation yet personally, so I can’t say for sure.

While I am not of that persuasion myself, I am happy to work with anyone who is LGBT.

I also want to say a special Thank You to my friends Kelzey and Tryce who helped vet this post. 

Robert Reynolds, GBA
Certified Group Benefits Advisor
Hendry McKenzie Reynolds Employee Benefits Ltd.

Toll Free: 1-888-592-4614

E.O. E.


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