This COVID-19 Update aims to address questions our clients may have in relation to existing and new protection policies. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, understandably queries arise with regard to coverage under Protection Policies such as Life Assurance, Serious Illness Cover and Hospital Cash Benefit. So to help reassure clients and answer questions for those who are considering putting a Protection policy in place to protect their family and income, we have put together some useful information on protection policies. This note is for discussion purposes and should be read in conjunction with policy terms and conditions.
COVID-19 Update on Life Cover – Personal and Mortgage Protection
If a Life Insured dies from COVID-19, then the life insurance company will pay a valid death claim. Pay-out will be subject to the normal terms and conditions applicable on the policy, no new restrictions will apply as a result of COVID-19. There are no changes to terms and conditions arising from COVID-19.
Serious Illness Cover – COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 is not a defined illness listed in any Serious Illness. So claims are not payable specifically for COVID-19. COVID-19 is not a ‘specified illness’ within the list of covered conditions for any of the Irish insurers.
However, a client may be eligible to claim for a condition arising from COVID-19. This condition needs to be one of the specified illnesses covered under the protection plan and according to the plan’s other normal terms and conditions.
Income Protection Benefit
With income protection, the Life Insurance Company will pay a regular income if you cannot work because of illness or injury. When you took out this plan, you chose a deferred period of 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks. This is the continuous amount of time you need to be medically off work before the life insurance company will pay the incapacity benefit.
If you cannot work because you have COVID -19, and this condition continues for longer than the deferred period on your plan, you will be able to submit a claim. You will be medically assessed as normal at the end of your deferred period.
Please note that income protection cover is a replacement of some income due to a medical inability to work, such as due to illness or injury. It does not cover unemployment or redundancy.
COVID-19 Update – Hospital Cash Benefit
If a client with Hospital Cash benefit is hospitalised with COVID-19, the Life Insurance Company will pay a Hospital Cash claim provided they are hospitalised for the minimum required 3 or 4 days. Benefit is not payable for people who are required to self-isolate or who are quarantined in hotels/cruise ships etc.
New Life Policies
While no new underwriting restrictions have been applied with regard to COVID-19, normal underwriting criteria applies. Hence, each case will be considered on an individual basis. For instance, if a client discloses that they have recently returned from an affected area or if they have contracted the illness, then underwriting may be postponed until a full recovery is made.
Do It all Online – MadeSimple from IPS Financial Advice
Many of our clients want to make sure their family is protected as fully as possible.
Our Fully Online service, MadeSimple, can get the protection in place quickly and without any face-to-face meetings. MadeSimple is a digital financial planning platform which innovates how financial advice is delivered to clients. We use technology to facilitate a more personalised and environmentally friendly financial advice service from the comfort of your own home.