LV= pays out more than £2.5m in coronavirus-related IP and death claims

David Sawers | 5th May 2020 – healthinsuranceandprotection.com

Protection specialist LV= has paid out more than £2.5m in coronavirus-related income protection (IP) and death claims to nearly 300 individuals and families.

The provider said that up until the end of last month, it paid out 146 Covid-19-related claims to policyholders with Personal Sick Pay policies, its short waiting period product.

All claims were assessed through a personalised teleclaims service, with payments in the policyholder’s bank account within two days, LV= said.

LV= has also supported members’ families and dependants following 150 death claims that were related to coronavirus.

LV= said it has also put together a package of measures to help customers facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.

The package includes a “payment break” for qualifying existing members, funded through LV’s Member Support Fund. Payment breaks will be offered a month at a time, for up to three months, and members’ cover will remain in place. They will also be able to access services and make a claim on the usual way, in line with the terms and conditions of their policy.

LV= Protection Director Debbie Kennedy said she was “proud” of how the life office is adapting to offer “reassurance and support where it can” and it is “times like these that the strengths of mutuality can come to the fore.”

She said: “We understand the emotional impact of bereavement and are doing all we can to make sure death claims are paid as quickly as possible so that families do not have to worry about the immediate financial impact of bereavement while they are grieving.”

“Insurance should be more than just about providing cover and paying claims. It should also help provide emotional and practical support at times like these. That is why we offer our members and their families additional services such as expert counselling for emotional health issues and legal advice, along with additional financial hardship funding for those members in extreme financial distress.”

The provider has also introduced a series of changes to the way it underwrites income protection, critical illness and life assurance policies, including an increase to non-medical limits by 10% for income protection, personal sick pay and critical illness cover.

LV= said it is also trialling virtual medical screening for life-only applications where the non-medical underwriting limit has been triggered and where “mild” disclosures have been made.

The provider said it is extending its current practices to get customers covered, without medical evidence exams and reports, and “reduce the burden on the NHS”.

LV= pays out more than £2.5m in coronavirus-related IP and death claims

Do I need Life Insurance?

 

We’ve been asked a lot of questions about Life Insurance recently and coming up a lot seems to be “Do I need Life Insurance?” and “Is Life Insurance worth it?”

There are lots of different types of Life Insurance but the amount of cover and the type of policy you choose depends primarily on the reason you need Life Insurance.  Firstly, no-one should ever take out a Life Insurance policy simply because they are worried about getting sick or because they are looking to make money.  Standard Life Insurance is not an investment or a cash windfall, it is designed like any insurance to try and ensure that when something bad happens it doesn’t also hit you or your family financially.

A terribly sad fact is that 1 in 29 children will lose a parent before they grow up.  This of course brings unimaginable grief and distress to any family, but it also brings financial consequences.  If a parent works and brings in an income, if they are no longer around, this income will stop.  If another parent looks after the children and they die, there will be either increased childcare costs or a loss of income to accompany the grief.

There is no personal benefit from taking out Life Insurance.  Your £20 per month won’t put a shiny new TV in your living room.  It simply gives you peace of mind that should the worst happen you have protected the people who matter to you.  That if something terrible happens, at least your loved ones won’t have to worry about paying the rent or the mortgage and putting food on the table.

Types of Cover

Essentially there are 3 main types of Life Insurance, each one is designed for the different reasons you might need Life Insurance.

  1.       Level Term Life Insurance – Very simply, you choose the sum assured and the term.  If you die during the term the policy pays out, if you don’t die it doesn’t pay out.
  2.       Mortgage Decreasing Protection – Designed to repay your repayment mortgage if you die so your loved ones don’t have to pay the mortgage.
  3.       Whole of Life Insurance – Typically 4 times the cost of Level Term Life Insurance.  There is no term so this is usually used for funeral expenses or Inheritance Tax planning.

Level Term is cost effective, and so is the most popular form of Life Insurance in the UK.  With Level Term Life Insurance, a question we get asked a lot is “so if I take £200,000 out over 25 years and I’m still alive then I’ve wasted my money?” 

What’s in it for me?

Life Insurance is a selfless act.  It is also one thing you will buy and hope you will never claim on, you hope it will be money for nothing.  It’s not designed so you get £200,000, it is not an investment, and if it was it would cost an awful lot more than it does. The point is, if you are 40 years old and your youngest child is 5 years old, in 25 years time you will be 65 years old and your youngest child will be 30 years old.  The reason you take out Life Insurance when you are 40 years old with young children is very different to the reason you might take out Life Insurance at 65 with no dependent children.  As such the amount of cover and type of policy you need will also very likely be different. 

The aim of Life Insurance is to have enough cash to cover the lack of income if you’re gone. So if you’ve no partner or children who need the money then you probably don’t need Life Insurance.

 If you do have a partner or children, it’s important to consider the financial impact if you died.

You would be looking for a lump sum that’s enough to repay any outstanding debt (including a mortgage if you don’t have a separate policy), and provide for outgoings your dependants would have in future years.

Term Time

The term time has less of an impact on the cost of the policy than the sum assured, but generally the longer the term the more the cover costs.  Some people still fall into the trap of thinking they should maximise the chances of the policy paying out and looking for a 40 or 50 year term.  This pushes the cost right up, and for many people means you are paying a lot more money now, to protect your children when they are in their 40s or 50s and you have long since retired.  Instead, consider at what age your children will no longer be financially dependent upon you, possibly after full time education will have finished for example.  Doing this will keep the cost down and ensure your policy protects what it needs to.  You can always look at a funeral expenses or funeral plan policy when the term policy finishes.  Again, with Term Life Insurance, your main hope should be you will never claim on it as that will mean you have lived to see your children grow up.  Sadly, not all parents have this luxury.

Those who’ve had serious medical conditions, have a high BMI, and smokers, often pay more for cover. If you already have life insurance and have been nicotine free (including e-cigarettes and patches), it could be worth seeing if a new policy would be cheaper.  The same applies if you took out cover a few years ago when you were overweight or had a poorly controlled health condition which has now improved.

Will it pay out? 

The great thing about Life Insurance is its simplicity.  There isn’t going to be an argument with an insurance company like you may get on other policies.   Was your 70 inch TV really stolen or or is it just stashed in the attic?  If you’re dead, you’re dead so that won’t be disputed.  With a couple of exceptions from new insurers, Life Insurance providers don’t have any exclusions apart from suicide in the first 12 months of the policy and not answering the questions truthfully.  As a result most Life Insurers report claims acceptance rates of between 98% and 99%.

So if you have people who rely on you financially or who rely on you for care, you probably want to make sure you have some Life Insurance.  For most people it costs a lot less than they think.  At www.saveonlife.co.uk you can quickly compare leading providers and as you probably have more exciting things to be doing than answering 50 medical questions, they also have a policy that allows you to get up to £250,000 of cover by answering just 5 questions.  It is a really fast way to protect your family, score this one off the list and get back to enjoying life.

I’m Over 50, so what are my Life Insurance options?

 

Life Insurance is designed to provide financial support to your loved ones when you pass away. This can be used to clear off a mortgage or debt, cover funeral expenses or Inheritance taxes, replace lost income or simply to provide your loved ones with financial security from a lump sum.

Once we are over 50, we get bombarded with postal, email and TV advertising about Over 50’s Life Insurance. It is important to know you may have a lot more options than just the ones put on the table from big name advertising.

The type of cover you need and the options you have come down to 3 key areas. Your age, your general health and the reason why you want Life Insurance. It’s no secret the older we get the harder it is to get well priced Life Insurance, and of course the older we get the more likely we are to have some health concerns. If you’re considering Life Insurance, it’s a good idea to plan ahead as early as you can as this will increase your options to achieve quality cover at the lowest price.

If you are looking for Life Insurance to pay out a fairly large lump sum to cover a mortgage or other debts for example, then you will probably need fully underwritten Life Insurance. With this policy you would typically have no serious health concerns as you are required to answer a series of medical and lifestyle questions before the provider would accept you and offer a final underwritten quote.

Until recently you would need to run through each provider’s specific medical questions to get a decision from that specific provider. If they could not offer you cover, or if they increased your premium significantly above the pre-underwritten quote, the only way to find out if another provider could offer better terms would be to start this long process all over again.

The good news now is that technology in this area has improved dramatically in recent years meaning you can effectively run multiple applications with entirely different providers at the same time, answering only one set of medical questions. They will then all come back with their decisions based on the answers you have given, so you may have some providers needing more information before they can decide on your final premium and others offering you immediate terms and giving you a “buy now” option. This smart way to get an underwritten quote is a huge time and money saver and is a service offered by leading brokers who simultaneously compare big reputable providers such as LV=, Scottish Widows, HSBC, AIG Life and AEGON. You can now get a smart quote through Saveonlife.co.uk who will help you through this time and money saving process.

If you require a smaller lump sum from your life insurance, for example to cover some funeral expenses, then an Over 50’s Life Insurance policy could be the answer. These plans do not ask any medical questions, so acceptance is guaranteed for all UK residents up to age 80, and for non-smokers up until age 85. They typically pay out up to £10,000 dependent upon your age and smoking status and once you reach age 90 or 95 you won’t need to make any more premiums while your cover remains in force. Saveonlife.co.uk allow you to quickly and easily compare quotes from leading providers.

Whether you are looking for Life Insurance for a mortgage, family protection or funeral expenses, Saveonlife.co.uk can help you easily get you and your loves ones the right cover at the right price.

Protection claims at MetLife UK hit a new high

 

MetLife have announced they have paid out 3,216 protection claims in the first quarter of 2019 with a total value of £2.411m.

Around two out of five claims paid during the quarter were for customers, or their children, suffering broken bones.  MetLife MultiProtect covers a number of eventualities from broken bones and hospitalisation to accidental death and funeral cover.

Total claims for MetLife paid in the first three months rose to 3,216 compared with 2,577 for the same period in 2018, while the value of claims paid increased to £2.411 million from £1.885 million.

Richard Horner, head of individual protection, MetLife UK said: “The record rise in volume and value of claims, shows that MultiProtect is playing an increasingly important role in covering customers for everyday risks and widening the options for advisers.

“The fact that around two-fifths of claims are for broken bones, suffered by customers or their children, highlights how advisers are supporting their clients by offering cover that meets their needs at a time when they need financial help.”

MultiProtect offers cover for between £8 and £40 a month and does not require medical underwriting.

5 things you should know before you buy Over 50’s Life Insurance

1. No Medical Questions – Over 50’s Life Insurance is offered on a guaranteed acceptance basis. Provided you are a UK resident aged 50-80, or 85 in some cases, then you can get cover without having to answer any other medical questions. As a consequence, if you are fit and healthy then Over 50’s Life Insurance can be more expensive when compared with medically underwritten Whole of Life Insurance.

2. Faster Payouts – Due to the fact you didn’t need to answer any medical questions, Over 50’s Life Insurance policies can usually pay out very quickly on receipt of the death certificate. This means the money can be used to pay for the funeral as opposed to potential having to wait weeks or months for the provider to process the claim. Currently up to £10,000 can be taken out of an estate for funeral expenses without the need for going through probate so the family receiving the money within 72 hours is not uncommon.

3. Deferred Periods – All Over 50’s Life Insurance policies come with a deferred period, this is the length of time you need to have a plan in place for before the sum assured is paid out on death. Typically this time frame is 2 years but this can be less with some providers.

4. Protected Benefit – With most Over 50’s Life Insurance policies if you stop paying premiums the policy will lapse and you will get nothing back. AIG Life offer a Protected Benefit within their plan once you are at least half way through the paying term. With AIG Life you pay premiums up until age 90 so if you take out the policy at 60 years age the Protected Benefit will commence from age 75. If after this point you were to stop paying premiums or cancel the plan for any reason, your family would get a pro-rata payment on death based on how long you paid premiums for.

5. Compare – Some companies spend big on TV advertising but the product or price often fails to deliver. You will want to check if premiums are fixed or can increase, if you stop paying at 90 or if you have to keep paying for as long as you live and of course compare how much cover you get for your budget. Join 300,000 UK residents who have compared Life Insurance online with SaveOnLife.co.uk –

Over 50s Life insurance Quotes

Zurich pays out 97% of 2017 protection claims

 

Paid life claims reached 99% and mental health most common reason for IP pay-out

Zurich has announced it paid 97% of all retail protection claims last year – a payments total of £235.2m to 2,872 customers and their families – which compared to 95% paid claims in 2016 (£224.6m).

Critical illness

A total of 867 critical illness claims were paid in 2017 (95%), at a cost of £65.2m to the insurer.

Cancer – the most common cause of critical illness pay-outs – alone accounted for 59% of CIC payments and amounted to £40m worth of claims.

Heart attack was the second most common reason for claims (14%), followed by stroke (6%) and multiple sclerosis (3%).

The average CIC claim last year was £75k and 54% were from men with the average claimant being 52 years of age compared to 49 years for women.

Families with children covered by policies received £647k in total from pay-outs.

The small number of declined claims were because a customer had not disclosed key medical information on their application such as lifestyle (smoking or drinking habits) or existing medical issues (3%) or because a condition claimed for was not covered for by the policy (2%).

Life

The total percentage of life claims paid was 99% in 2017, to 1,929 customers (£144.6m).

The 1% of denied claims were due to non-disclosure of important medical information on application forms.

Income protection

For IP, more than £8.8m was paid in claims and there were 76 made and 87% of these were paid.

Ten were claims not paid over the period, including seven where the policy’s criteria were not met, and where three customers returned to work before the policy’s payment period started.

Accounting for 22% of IP claims, mental health was the most common reason for a pay-out, followed by musculoskeletal conditions (18%), cancer (15%) and neurological illnesses (14%) such as multiple sclerosis.

“Research periodically suggests that customers aren’t necessarily confident that these kind of plans will pay out – these figures evidence that the overwhelming proportion of claims are successful” said Peter Hamilton, Zurich’s head of market management. “We know that the likelihood of claims being paid is a key factor in helping customers decide whether or not to buy life insurance including income protection and critical illness.”

Claims publicity

According the Zurich’s internal research, a quarter of people do not have cover because they think it’s too expensive and nearly a third do not think it is relevant, he also pointed out.

“We hope that sharing this information helps to chip away at the commonly held view that insurers don’t pay out,” added Hamilton. “Having cover like this in place means people can maintain their standard of living without having to worry about covering large costs like mortgages while they’re trying to deal with serious illness.

“We’re also keen to highlight the extra support available to customers through their policies such as professional counselling, therapies and advice on everything from sourcing suitable elder care through to money management.”

Article : Covermagazine.co.uk – Adam Saville @AdSaville_COVER 13 April 2018

Defaqto introduces Star Rating for prepaid funeral plans

Defaqto has added pre-paid funeral plans to its Star Ratings

The Star Rating for prepaid funeral plans will help consumers identify where products sit in the market, in terms of the overall quality and comprehensiveness of the features and benefits of the product.

The prepaid funeral plan market currently comprises of almost 100 products and Defaqto has analysed these from 26 product providers.

Many of the products are purchased direct; the Star Rating will help consumers take into account the value of the cover rather than just the cheapest plan.

Defaqto has witnessed the continuing growth and emergence of a burgeoning funeral plan market as a result of the desire for consumers to have arrangements already in place whilst they are still alive and to lock in the cost of their funeral against inflation.

Reflecting this trend, Defaqto has used criteria that differentiate products in terms of their comprehensiveness, portability if a client moves location and the customer experience in areas of the quality of the funeral service and the treatment of third party disbursements.

Over 60 experts independently research, collect and assess nearly 41,000 financial products, of which just over 10,000 are star rated.

Defaqto has given each product an independent Star Rating from 1 to 5 based on an expert assessment of the overall proposition and quality it offers.

Ben Heffer, Insight Analyst for Wealth and Protection at Defaqto, said: “With consumers increasingly focused on price, our Star Ratings help segment the market in respect of the cover offered across a wide range of financial products.

“We have extended our Star Ratings to include prepaid funeral plans as more and more products have come onto the market, which is largely unregulated, yet taps into the consumer interest to plan ahead for their funerals and thereby relieve the burden on their loved ones.

“Funeral inflation is considerably above the ordinary rises in cost of living, so paying for your funeral at today’s prices is an attractive proposition for customers.”

Fiona Murphy – covermagazine.co.uk – 22/05/2017

Vitality first UK insurer to partner with Apple Watch

Vitality has introduced Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch Series 2

This latest evolution of Vitality Active Rewards enables Vitality members to get an Apple Watch Series 2 from £69 and then fund the remaining balance by getting active.

Vitality Active Rewards is designed to work seamlessly with Apple Watch Series 2. Members can track their activity via Apple Watch Series 2 to earn Vitality points.

They can also receive notifications to their Apple Watch Series 2 when they unlock Vitality Active Rewards, which include weekly Starbucks drinks and cinema tickets.

Continue reading “Vitality first UK insurer to partner with Apple Watch”

Are we ready for a longer life?

Are we ready for a longer life?

It’s a fact people are living longer thanks to advances in medical care and an increasing awareness about how to live our lives in a healthier way.  This is great news for mankind but are we prepared for a longer life?

People are buying their first homes later, starting families later and often working into their retirement years (or past it with the abandonment of ‘Default Retirement Age’).

As these key financial milestones are now often occurring later in life, it’s important that people review their life insurance to ensure they’ve not only got enough cover in place, but that the length of time they have it for is also adequate.

Continue reading “Are we ready for a longer life?”

Equity Release Sales Hit Record High – Here’s What You Need to Know.

According to statistics from the Equity Release Council, Equity Release sales in 2015 hit a record high of £1.71 billion. So why is this market growing 29% year on year and is this really the best option for homeowners seeking a lump sum or monthly income ?

Continue reading “Equity Release Sales Hit Record High – Here’s What You Need to Know.”