ActiveQuote, the comparison site for protection insurance, has revealed that income protection (IP) insurers are updating their terms for vulnerable policy holders and furloughed employees during the Covid-19 outbreak at ‘unprecedented’ levels.
Providers are accepting new applicants, including those on furlough, for accident and sickness policies as well as introducing payment holidays and premium breaks for existing policy holders, according to ActiveQuote.
The UK Government’s furlough scheme to help businesses pay millions of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus outbreak opened on Monday (April 20th), with more than 140,000 companies reported to have applied on its first day of operation.
IP providers have meanwhile introduced a range of new terms for existing and prospective policy holders, including those on furlough, as increasing numbers look towards income protection for the future.
Rod Jones, Head of Partnerships at ActiveQuote, said: “We have found that the current situation has seen more people than ever are turning their attention to the benefits of having income protection in place, regardless of their employment status.
“We are pleased to say that providers have responded to this long-awaited uptake in interest by flexing their terms in support of existing policy holders, as well as encouraging those who have already seen their employment status compromised to consider the benefits having cover in place can bring in future too.”
“Some providers already had existing career break options available on their policies but have now modified the criteria of this option to assist in the current climate by lowering the terms of months a policy held and how many direct debits have been paid, for example,” Rod explains.
“Individual insurers have suspended policies in the past for policy amendments and other maintenance reasons – and occasionally a specific product has been withdrawn but nothing near the extent we have seen recently – so the current situation really is unprecedented in terms of amending acceptance criteria across the board,” Rod added.
Policy changes introduced since the Coronavirus outbreak include:
There are four main types of income protection insurance – mortgage, redundancy, loan and accident and sickness cover – which are available as individual policies or as a package depending on your individual circumstances.
Each policy type is designed to cover a range of general living costs in the event that the policyholder is unable to work for whatever reason.
ActiveQuote saw IP enquiries peak in the last week of February due to ongoing fears and media coverage around the coronavirus outbreak, as well as increased activity from existing customers concerned about the level of cover already in place.