Why protection cover is essential during the Coronavirus outbreak
Thursday 2 April, 2020
Vishal Gulrajani Financial Planner in North London, Cheshunt and Goff’s Oak reviews protection and explains why it is more important than ever to review your cover.
What to do if you don’t have protection cover?
If you don’t have any protection cover, for example life cover, critical illness cover, or income protection we recommend you call our Thomas Oliver financial planning team on 01707 872000. Our qualified mortgage brokers can offer mortgage and protection advice so you can get covered quickly.
The importance of staying protected
Coronavirus is having a huge impact on all of our lives and, it goes without saying, that this is a very unsettling time for everyone. Not surprisingly, we've received a number of enquiries from our Hertfordshire and North London clients in relation to protection cover and claims which I have made every effort to provide answers to in the following Q&A section.
Am I still covered during the Coronavirus outbreak?
Providing you have paid your monthly premiums with your insurer, the protection cover, our mortgage advisers arranged remains in place and the terms of it are unaffected by the Coronavirus outbreak. If you have missed any recent insurance payments, give our financial advisers or mortgage brokers in Goff’s Oak a call on 01707 872000 and we will do what we can to get you protected again.
If you have cancelled your policy in recent weeks, it may be possible to have the policy re-instated. The exact terms for re-instatement vary by insurer, so please get in touch with our North London financial planning team and we will explore what is possible.
Can I take a premium holiday?
At the moment, insurers are not offering this same facility as lenders are doing - allowing you to defer premium payments. However, I am a member of the Openwork advisory network and they are currently in discussions with the major insurers on this issue. So, it is possible that the position may change, but there is no guarantee that it will.
If you are in a position where you are worried that you might not be able to afford your premiums, then please get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can explore what options may be available to you.
I cannot, however, stress enough that whatever you do, you should keep your existing plan(s) in place and get personalised financial advice before taking any further steps!
Now is NOT the right time to be without protection cover
For obvious reasons, now is NOT the right time to be without protection cover. Cancelling your insurance policy, with the expectation of reinstating it in a few months’ time when your income position is more stable, not only leaves you without protection cover at this critical time but would also mean you need to go through medical underwriting all over again. It is possible that insurer terms and conditions will also be tightened up in future, so you could also end up with an inferior policy to the one you currently have.
Will my insurer pay out if I die from Coronavirus?
The good news is that the vast majority of people who catch the virus go on to make a full recovery. If you were to die, then assuming the medical information you provided at the inception of the policy was correct, then the answer would be yes. Your insurer would, however, need to go through their normal claims process to confirm the insurance claim is valid.
Will my insurer pay out for critical illness if I get Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is not a specified illness on critical illness policies and the view from most insurers is that the virus is unlikely to produce the permanent symptoms or impact on lung function required to meet the definitions evident on policies.
As stated above, the evidence from around the world is that the vast majority of people recover fully from the virus, therefore it is not an on-going critical illness. If you were unfortunate enough to die, then you would be covered. Insurers will, however, assess individual cases on their merit and will always seek to be fair in their assessment.
Will my insurer pay out on my income protection policy if I cannot work as a result of Coronavirus?
If the definition of disability is met as a consequence of the Coronavirus, or its impact on underlying or existing conditions, then we would expect the income protection claim to be paid. Most policies do have deferred periods (i.e. a period, usually 1, 3 or 6 months) before which a payment is made.
Will the redundancy cover in my mortgage payment protection policy pay out if I cannot work as a result of Coronavirus?
We would expect that any claims for unemployment will be paid for existing customers. However, temporary or voluntary redundancy or a reduction in working hours by your current employer, is unlikely to be covered.
Can I take out a new policy or increase my cover?
If you are looking to take out protection cover or increase your cover levels, please do make contact at the earliest opportunity. Many insurers are tightening their medical underwriting to reflect the additional risk associated with the Coronavirus. However, all the insurers we deal with are still accepting new life, critical illness and income protection cases.
It is also worth pointing out that many existing policies will also allow cover levels to be increased without the need for additional underwriting.
Vishal Gulrajani, Financial Planner in Goff’s Oak and Cheshunt said:
‘The insurers we recommend have been carefully selected because we believe they are the very best in the UK protection market. Included in our assessment is the proportion of claims they pay out every year – which for all the insurers I recommend is very high. You can, therefore, be confident that they would deal with all claims fairly and pay all valid claims. Can I also remind you of the support services available on many protection policies, including in many cases remote access to GP services. Please refer to your policy booklet to check exactly what services you have and how to access them.’
Vishal Gulrajani, Financial Planner in Goff’s Oak and Cheshunt continued:
‘I know that for many people these are worrying and uncertain times, so I hope that the information I've provided here is helpful and may answer at least some, if not all of the queries and concerns you may have. However, if it raises any additional questions or you are still worried, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or call one of our qualified Thomas Oliver Mortgage brokers on 01707 872000. Over the last few years we have helped many clients organise protection cover, this includes critical illness cover, life assurance and income protection. We always offer our protection clients personalised financial planning advice. We will review your financial and personal circumstances and then recommend the best protection cover for you. We are all very worried about the Coronavirus outbreak but by putting protection cover in place it will give you peace of mind at a difficult time. We can easily arrange meetings over the phone with you to discuss your financial requirements and we can progress your protection cover application, so your cover is organised as quickly as possible.’
Don’t delay if you think you need protection cover for your family call Thomas Oliver on 01707 872000. We work with you to get the right protection cover in place.