How Protection Cover has Changed Since the Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds for some time now, and it has impacted us all in some shape or form. In regard to protection insurance, the start of the pandemic saw enquiries skyrocket up to 3 or 4 times the norm. Months later, this has changed somewhat as the realities of financial strain including job losses and the fear of a recession have increased.

Covid-19 has made many families and business owners realise just how damaging a change to your income could be. According the ONS, the UK economy has experienced the most significant quarterly drop in GDP in 41 years.

In some cases, people’s circumstances may have changed drastically in the last few months. CEBR found British households had £515 less on average, mainly due to furlough and rising unemployment. This has led many to re-evaluate their finances, however it is essential not to overlook vital regular payments.

You may be apprehensive about taking out a new policy in the midst of Covid-19 but taking out protection cover could offer some financial peace of mind.

Taking out protection insurance during a pandemic

The information you may have to provide during the application process may have changed for new businesses and unemployment cover may have changed, but obtaining the right protection insurance is still possible, even during the pandemic.

The pandemic has had very little impact on the cost of life insurance, and many policies remain just as affordable as before. Insurance providers are still working hard to provide you, your family or your business with suitable cover.

You may also be comforted to know that most Income Protection policies will cover Covid-19. If you become unable to work due to falling ill during your policy term, you may be eligible for a claim. 

There is likely to be a deferral period within your policy. This is the period of time you will have to wait before a claim can be paid should you be unable to work due to presenting symptoms of Covid-19, during your policy term.

Finding the right protection

Developing a significant illness, losing income, or passing away are still genuine prospects we should prepare for. NICE revealed that 100,000 strokes every year in the UK cause 38,000 deaths and two-thirds of survivors are left with a disability, while, according to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Both Critical Illness and Income Protection cover can financially protect families, mortgages and businesses. They could be crucial policies to provide financial stability for your family, if you become critically ill or unable to work during your policy term due to sickness or injury.

What’s more, life expectancy continues to rise. In 1981, life expectancy was 70.9 years for men and 76.9 years for women. In 2019, this has risen to 79.8 years and 83.4 years respectively. Living for longer could increase your chance of experiencing poor health, which is where the benefits of Critical Illness cover could come in.

Critical Illness policies have evolved over the years to cover more conditions and to include severity-based pay-outs. It’s important to consider any protection you may already have in place, such as sick pay or other employee benefits, as well as any future career or family plans that may impact your need for protection.

Income Protection differs to Critical Illness and they may be able to complement each other. Critical Illness is based on the diagnosis of a listed critical illness, while Income Protection is there to help if you can’t work due to illness or injury.

Understanding your cover

There are many misconceptions surrounding both types of cover; the most prevalent being that the policies are too expensive, don’t pay out and won’t cover Covid-19. For the most part, this is untrue. It can be helpful to know that protection is largely still written on guaranteed rates, whereby the premium stays the same for the length of your policy.

Before taking out a policy however, it is important to check any exclusions. Equally, be sure to look for any added value services. Many of the leading providers can offer additional benefits such as a virtual GP, prescription delivery or access to wellbeing programmes.

Insurers have a 98.3% average pay-out of claims protection (2019)*. Some of the main reasons for declined claims include non-disclosure, whereby you didn’t disclose important and relevant information, and not meeting the definition or criteria.

If you’re trying to find the right protection in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, let us help. Get in touch today and we can talk you through your options. *Figures are reflective of Individual & Group Protection Sources: Life expectancy data