Cover My Bubble have had a number of clients contact us to ask about Coronavirus and the implications of it, in regard to their insurance policies.
As a general rule, Coronavirus isn’t a covered condition on most critical illness policies, however, if the virus leads to other complications like kidney, liver, heart or respiratory failure, the claim should be confirmed. We advise you check the terms & conditions of your specific policy to be sure.
Below are statements and links from some of the top UK insurance providers, explaining their stance on Covid-19. CoverMyBubble are also available to answer questions you may have about your policy or thinking about starting a new policy.
“Coronavirus is not excluded from any of our policies.
If a customer dies or suffers a Critical Illness or is unable to work as a result of Coronavirus their claim will be treated in the usual way, considered on its own merits in line with our existing Claims Philosophy.
We do not expect to see any claims for “self-isolation” as the minimum deferment period we offer for Income Protection is 4 weeks. The isolation period is usually 14 days, occasionally 28 days.”
“Death claims arising from the Coronavirus infection would be paid, subject to the usual policy terms and conditions.
Although the Coronavirus infection isn’t a covered condition on critical illness policies, if complications as a result of the virus lead to other criteria being met, (for example kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure or respiratory failure), the claim would be met subject to the terms and conditions of the specific policy.
Income Protection customers with the Coronavirus infection who are unable to work due to incapacity past the deferred period on their policy would be covered, subject to the terms and conditions of their policy.
In addition, we’ve made changes so your customer’s deferred period will start from the beginning of their self-isolation, should they receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and be unable to work.”
“If a Member is suffering with symptoms and has been told by 111 or Public Health to self-isolate, then a claim will be considered, subject to the contract terms and conditions. We appreciate that currently providing a medical certificate from a GP for Coronavirus is very difficult and therefore we will be requesting alternative documentary evidence, which might include asking if the virus was contracted abroad. After 14 days we will ask members for medical certification.”
“As we have no general policy exclusions any COVID-19 related claims for life or critical illness will be considered in the usual way against the policy terms and conditions and in line with our claims philosophy.
We don't expect to see any claims for Premium Waiver due to clients self-isolating as this is recommended for a maximum of 14 days and Premium Waiver can't be claimed until after 28 days of continual incapacity. As usual, we won't refuse to look at any claim, and will treat each one on its own merits.
We’re aware of reports that GP surgeries are delaying requests for medical information from insurers or refusing to deal with them altogether. While we’ve yet to experience this ourselves, we’re monitoring the situation and if we do, we’ll work with all parties concerned to find a pragmatic solution as quickly as possible.”
Holloway Friendly (Income Protection)
“If a Member has a positive Coronavirus test and has lost income because they haven’t been able to work due to ill health, we’ll pay their claim as usual.
If a Member has self-isolated because of Government or medical advice but has not tested positively in the UK for Coronavirus, then we will not pay the claim. Self-isolating is not covered by our policies.
If a Member tests positive in the UK while self-isolating, and has a loss of income because they are too unwell to work, then we’ll pay their claim as usual.”
Legal & General
“As a business, our purpose has always been to offer services and products that support our customers when they need it most. This remains our primary focus and we wanted to share some details around our approach to claims at this time.
Our claims philosophy has not changed in light of Coronavirus. We will always pay all valid claims. We have not made any changes to the application questions and have no immediate plans to do so. We have no plans to apply an exclusion or to change our current underwriting approach. As with any disclosed condition where a recent diagnosis has been made and the outcome and severity is unknown, if a customer tells us they have been diagnosed with the virus or that they are being tested for it, we will have to postpone their application until they have fully recovered or they know their test result and are confirmed symptom free. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and ensure our customers and partners are updated.
People may be off work due to self-isolation without necessarily experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus. Our product terms state that a person would need to have a medical condition to qualify under the income protection (IP) Terms and Conditions (T&Cs). We would like to confirm that we will consider the medically advised period of self-isolation as counting towards any work absence, even if the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has not yet been diagnosed. The Government has announced a temporary alternative to the fit note which can be used for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. This will be a notification via NHS 111 which can be used as evidence for absence from work. We will, of course, accept this alternative in support of a claim.
Critical Illnesses are identified under a specific set of criteria and Coronavirus is not a specified Critical Illness under the terms of our policy. In the unfortunate event that a customer were to develop a Critical Illness we cover as a result of Coronavirus, then we would approach this claim in the same way as we would usually.
We will continue to monitor the developments of Coronavirus and the advice and updates from Government and health organisations. We think it is important that we are transparent in our approach and clearly communicate with our partners and customers. We will ensure that we update you as the situation evolves. While we aim for this communication to be as full and open as possible, if you have further questions then please contact us.
In uncertain times, we would like to offer two certainties: our claims approach will always be fair and thorough, paying all valid claims and our purpose of supporting our customers in some of the most difficult times in their lives will never change."
“Confirmed diagnosis (new and existing business)
Where a policyholder has a confirmed diagnosis of Coronavirus, we’ll assess and pay their claim in the usual way reflecting their chosen waiting period and the policy terms and conditions.
Self-isolation (existing business before 9 March 2020)
The following approach applies to existing LV= Personal Sick Pay members, with a ‘day one’ and ‘week one’ waiting period only.
We’ll consider claims for medically-advised self-isolation, which aligns with current NHS 111 guidance (travel from designated risk areas or direct contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis).
These are highly unusual circumstances, so any decision and payment we make for self-isolation will be outside of the normal terms and conditions. We recognise the importance of speed and common sense in such situations.
We handle all claims by telephone, with our experienced team. Our people will take a pragmatic approach to our usual evidence requirements, taking into account the individual’s circumstances, guidance they’ve been given and any other income they’re receiving during self-isolation. We’ll make decisions immediately and any payments we make for self-isolation (current guidance is for up to 14 days from contact) will be in our member’s bank account within a couple of days.
Self-isolation (new business on or after 9th March 2020)
For new LV= Personal Sick Pay applications submitted on and after 9 March, periods of isolation (including periods required as a result of government or other medical advice) where the person insured is not suffering from an illness, are not covered and a claim will not be paid.
We are adding a clear addendum to explain this to all Policy Conditions being issued alongside policies starting on or after 9 March 2020. We will also be updating our Policy Summaries and Key Features Documents on our website with this same addendum.”
MetLife have dedicated an area of their site to Coronavirus where they give general information about the outbreak and answer frequently asked questions with regard to their stance.
“We’ll consider any claims for Coronavirus against the terms and conditions of the customer’s plan and our usual claims philosophy.
As our minimum deferred period for Income Protection is four weeks, we don’t expect any claims for this cover from customers who’ve not been diagnosed with the virus itself.
Our plans don’t contain exclusions in relation to pandemics or the contraction of a virus in a foreign country.
We do restrict Critical Illness and Income Protection claims to certain parts of the world. This means if the person covered is living or working outside the UK we may need them to return to one of a list of specified countries for us to consider a claim. See our Plan Details for more information.
Our usual process for Income Protection claims is to get confirmation from the customer’s GP that they’re unable to work. If this confirmation isn’t available, for example if a customer has to self-isolate, our claims team will agree alternatives to ensure that we can pay claims quickly. Any customer who wants to discuss a claim can contact our claims team directly on 0345 6094 500.
The situation relating to Coronavirus is still continually evolving. We’ll continue to monitor it closely and provide an update if there are any further changes to either our underwriting or claims approach.”
“As the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK and across Europe continues to rise, we are monitoring events closely and will continue to update our guidance as the situation evolves.
We are constantly reviewing the government advice and we have a Business Continuity Plan in place, which includes additional home working provision, to allow us to ensure both members and advisers continue to receive the high level of service they have come to expect from The Exeter.
For anyone wishing to make a Coronavirus (Covid-19) related claim on their policy, we will consider claims for medically advised self-isolation, which aligns with current NHS 111 guidance. In these highly unusual circumstances, any payment we make for self-isolation will be outside of the normal terms and conditions. Our team is highly experienced in handling high volumes of short-term claims where evidential requirements will be varied and depend on the specific circumstances at the time.
We are continually monitoring our underwriting approach across all our products lines but have made no policy changes at this time. However, this is a unique and rapidly changing situation. As such we may need to review our approach as more information becomes available.
As always, our employees are also a key priority, firstly to protect their health and safety and secondly so that they in turn can provide an ongoing service to our members, advisers and business partners. At present we are continuing with business as usual but do appreciate that some clients may prefer to cancel appointments, training and networking events.”
Zurich have added a page dedicated to Coronavirus to their website which provides a host of information on the virus itself and their approach across the different lines of business they participate in.
“Unfortunately, each year at the height of winter, we experience a spike in death claims due to flu, pneumonia predominantly in individuals with underlying serious health conditions. We anticipate receiving and dealing with an increase in such claims due to the Coronavirus.
Coronavirus is not a specified ‘Critical Illness’ on Zurich’s policy. The vast majority of people who contract the illness go on to make a full recovery. In a small number of cases, people do die as a result, and in such circumstances, the life insurance attached to our plans would pay out.
Under our “Respiratory Failure – Of Specified Severity” definition, it is possible a claim might be presented but the opinion of our Claims and Medical Officer is that the Coronavirus is unlikely to produce the permanent symptoms or impairment to lung function required to meet this definition.
We will consider any such claims presented on the basis of the individual circumstances.
We have been asked what effect any period of self-isolation might have upon a potential claim under our Income Protection plan. Given that the minimum deferred period we offer is 4 weeks and the recommended self-isolation period is 2 weeks then don’t anticipate this alone should give rise to a claim.
Obviously where symptoms are severe, there are complications or underlying or concurrent medical conditions that result in absence beyond 4 weeks our normal claim process, assessment and process will apply.
We will continue to update, as well as updating Zurich’s approach to this difficult, evolving situation.”
More details on other products can be found via the link.
CoverMyBubble, as an Insurance Broker, will happily advise and chat to you about any queries you may have, whether you are a customer or not. We just want everyone to be reassured about insurance and keep healthy during this unusual period.
We wish you all the best in the coming months and that your health, income, businesses and families stay safe and secure.