The insurance industry needs to communicate clearly that a Covid-19 diagnosis won’t result in a claim under a group — or individual — critical illness policy, said speakers at an emergency Corporate Adviser virtual round table on group risks’ response to the coronavirus epidemic yesterday.
Although the effects of this disease can be severe, most people do recover, said speakers at the event. Influenzas, like coronavirus, do not appear as one of the listed conditions on a critical illness policy. Those who survive this disease are unlikely to have lasting health problems affecting their ability to work, or an extended period out of the workplace.
Canada Life marketing director Paul Avis said the sad fact remains that people will die as a result of Covid-19, and it is important to reassure clients that death benefits will be paid to surviving families and other beneficiaries.
“Health and wellbeing will be at the forefront of people’s mind now. People will be asking those ‘what ifs’? The industry needs to come together and up its game show clearly how protection insurance can help address these issues and provide support, both financial and practical, should the worse happen.”
Consultants and advisers have a key role to play in the ongoing crisis, added Howden Employee Benefits and Wellbeing head of benefits strategy Steve Herbert.
Herbert said they need to remind employers — and keep reminding them — of these various added value services and ensure this measure is communicated to employees.
He added: “Whether we are paid by fees or commission, we are paid to deliver a service. And employers need this service more than ever. It is our moral responsibility to continue delivering this.”
Cavendish Ware associate director Roy McLoughlin said it is essential that advisers “don’t disappear”. “We have a responsibility to be proactive, not wait for clients to call us.” He points out that this can be challenging work for consultants – very often these are emotional calls, with clients laying off staff, and concerned about sickness rates. “Our job is to provide professional advice on how to alleviate some of the problems they are facing.”
Those who deliver proactive support will help cement relationships going forward, he says.