The Coronavirus pandemic is exactly the kind of situation that reinforces the value of group protection and the importance of using a quality, strong insurer with beneficial terms and conditions.
As an industry we insure around 9.8m people for death benefits, around 2.5m for income protection and over 600,000 for critical illness and it is at times like these that people begin to think, “What happens if…” and begin to consider their families protection in the event of a bad outcome-whether that be a death or long term disability. For those covered by group protection they have peace of mind that should the worse happen, the financial, emotional and practical impacts are in some way mitigated with the use of the insurers’ extensive support services.
Whilst experience is evolving, it is already clear that the most vulnerable are people who are in the main beyond state pension age. It is clearly too early assess the eventual impact for pricing purposes but as most insurers have reinsurance in some form or another, this is once again exactly the situation the actuaries plan for.
As the UK’s largest provider of group protection benefits, covering almost 2.9m people across approximately 26,000 employer schemes, we have been reviewing the impact that Covid 19 would have on our extensive book of business. Not only are we looking to pay all valid claims, we have reviewed our more detailed technical terms and conditions and suggest both employers and advisers do the same.
Specifically employers that have seconded employees or those that have international workforces should review the travel terms and conditions of their policies, for group life policies the insurer’s understanding of catastrophic events and also the application of ‘Actively at Work’ clauses should also be reviewed as these are especially important for new entrants to an employer and those seeking increases in their flexible benefits.
We have provided a FAQ on our group insurance webpage, additionally confirming that as an employer we are also mindful of the business continuity implications and are prepared for a change in working patterns to ensure that we provide a continuity of service.