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”.