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Income Protection

Our commitment to protection insurance customers: 

During the COVID-19 crisis and the unprecedented demands on our health system, the Protection insurer members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are offering support to all their customers who may be affected by the impact of Coronavirus when making a claim on a life, critical illness, or income protection policy and reducing the burden on the National Health Service (NHS).

You can read more on these commitments here. 

Frequently asked questions on Income Protection Insurance: 

Income protection policies, whether provided by an employer to employees or bought by individuals, typically cover short and long term absence from work due to ill health or injury, and have a waiting period before money is paid out. Such policies are unlikely to cover people self-isolating as they probably won’t be off work longer than the waiting period and may not be too ill to work.

What is income protection insurance?

  • Income protection policies, whether provided by an employer to employees or bought by individuals, typically cover short and long term absence from work due to ill health or injury, and have a waiting period before money is paid out. 
  • Income protection policies are unlikely to cover people self-isolating as they probably won’t be off work longer than the waiting period and may not be too ill to work.

What products will pay out when I cannot work due to illness?

  • Income protection and sick pay-style products are designed to pay a benefit to replace a loss of earnings if you are unable to work due to illness or injury for the length of the policy, or until you can return to work, depending on which comes first. 
  • Typically, there is a waiting period before the policy kicks in. The waiting period is typically between 1 to 12-months, often depending on your individual circumstances and budget. There are also short-term policies available that provide cover from day 1 of absence.

Will insurance cover pay out if I self-isolate?

  • Insurers will pay out under the terms of their contracts, but policyholders should be clear on the terms of their coverage. Self-isolation is unlikely to be covered for income protection policyholders unless you have experienced loss of income if you are out of work because you are ill. 
  • For claims to be paid the policyholder needs to meet the definition of incapacity. Policies will vary and it is important to check with your insurer or adviser. 
  • Self-isolation which is not medically advised is unlikely to be covered unless symptoms are severe and continue beyond the waiting period.

Can I still buy income protection insurance?

  • Yes, most customers will still be able to get life, critical illness, or income protection insurance at this time. 
  • Like all firms, insurers have adapted to a completely new operating environment in a matter of days and are trying to make decisions to support new customers as quickly and as fairly as possible.

Do I need medical evidence to apply for income protection insurance?

  • In a minority of cases, insurers may have to request medical evidence about a customer from a GP, consultant or an independent medical examiner before offering cover. With these cases, there could be a delay to the decision as some insurers have temporarily postponed new applications where medical evidence is needed to avoid putting further strain on the NHS. Where appropriate, insurers are continuing to explore alternative approaches to these complex cases to avoid unnecessary delays to new applications.

What happens if my application has been delayed?

  • In the instance where your application is delayed, insurers are working with advisers and customers to enable an efficient re-application once there is less strain on the healthcare services. 
  • The delay will not impact your ability to apply for insurance in the future. 
  • Customers should also check with their employer to see if they have policies through work or can purchase them through their employer.

Are there any alternatives to find cover?

  • Insurers are working hard to explore other ways to accept applications which require medical evidence in this new environment and will continue to review their processes in light of any changes to government or medical guidance.
  • If you are having trouble finding insurance, it might be helpful to speak to an adviser.