Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your protection insurance (life, critical illness and income)
Given the recent uncertainty created by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and ‘fake news’ stories surrounding insurance companies not paying out on policies and the like doing the rounds we wanted to provide you with some clarity on the situation direct from the protection team.
This will hopefully alleviate any concerns you may have, and we also thought it prudent to warn you about current and potential insurance related scams currently in operation.
We have put together a summary of information below that you may find useful at this time, however if you do have any further questions, please pick up the phone and speak to one of our consultants in the protection team on 02033172826. We are all working from home, but it is business as usual.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who try to capitalise on any crisis in nefarious ways and we have been informed of a scam currently in operation. People are receiving cold calls informing them that their existing life polices will not pay out on death caused by Covid-19 and they need to cancel and take out a new policy. These calls are entirely fictitious and should be treated with caution. We advise that you either speak to your insurer directly or to our protection team before proceeding to make any fundamental changes to your policy.
What does Coronavirus mean for my existing life insurance policy?
This should not affect your policy and any death claims arising from Coronavirus or complications related to the virus would be paid, subject to your policy’s terms and conditions.
Is Coronavirus covered under critical illness policies?
Coronavirus is not considered a ‘critical illness’ but if complications should arise as a result of the disease it could lead to conditions that are considered as such, for example; kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure or respiratory failure, which would be considered, subject to the terms and conditions of your specific policy.
Can I claim on my income protection policy if I have Coronavirus?
For those of you with income protection policies, who are or have been unfortunate enough to contract the Coronavirus, and are thus unable to work past the deferred period on your policy you would be covered, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.
Can I claim on my income protection policy if I must self-isolate and therefore cannot work?
For the most part income protection policies require that you must have a medical condition to qualify. Firstly, this will not affect most policies and policy holders as the isolation period is 2 weeks and the deferment period usually 4 weeks, however several insurers will consider the medically advised 2-week isolation as counting towards any work absence. It should be noted that some insurers will cover self-isolation if in your deferment period, so we advise you contact your insurer directly to ensure clarity on this point.
You will not be eligible to claim in the event that your work closes, or where you are unable to work due to social distancing or shutdowns in the general economy – your protection in this regard will be covered by the Government’s measures.
How does Coronavirus effect underwriting on new policies?
At this point insurers are not putting exclusions on life and critical illness cover, however, any new applications where the applicant has Coronavirus or has symptoms, will be deferred until such a time that the applicant is clear of the virus. You may notice additional questions in the application process regarding this if you choose to take out a new policy in the coming weeks or months.
However, for income protection some insurers are excluding Coronavirus for the first 12 months of all new policies. It is important you speak to our protection team or study the policy documents in depth to get a full understanding of what is and what is not covered and whether this is appropriate for you.
Are there any changes to medical screening?
This will vary by insurer but please be aware that appointments could be significantly delayed and please follow NHS guidelines when considering whether you should attend an appointment.
Insurer contact details
Please be aware that this information should be considered guidance but may not be representative of your particular insurers policy, so please contact them directly or visit the relevant section of their website – we have provided a list of contact details for the major insurers below.
If you would like to review your current level of cover, explore your options to protect you and your family financially, or simply have any questions, please either contact the protection team directly on 0203 317 2826 or use the form on this page to arrange a call back.