What a tumultuous week it has been at Affinity following the pandemic that is the Corona Virus COVID-19. We have had nearly all of our functions and meeting with lenders cancelled and we ourselves have put things in place to combat the potential risks to our staff and our business.
We often talk to our clients about the need for a protection policy which can cope with anything that life may throw at us and this pandemic is exactly the reason why - something which is out of all of our control and clearly is a global issue which is causing great concern both to each of us individually but also to markets, with a move from the Bank of England this morning reducing rates to an unprecedented 0.25%
The Italian government has gone to lengths of a total shut down in the country essentially, and is talking about a break in interest payments to their people’s loans and mortgages for a month.
Talking realistically with our clients is vital but whilst this virus is looming over all of us it Is important that our message is we can help people with what the affects could be to them. An income protection plan would be our first port of call. Our income is crucial to continue our lifestyle whether we own or rent a property, and without it we just wouldn’t get by. By ensuring you have the right cover in place would mean that you would still continue to receive a salary, on top of any SSP or following any sick pay an employer may pay. Income Protection covers any illness or injury that occurs once the policy is in place, but does not cover any pre-existing conditions.
Far too often we see people trying to arrange cover following diagnosis of an illness/injury, when it’s too late. One other thing to be aware of is how long it will take before you can start to receive your claim. There are some providers that will cover you from day one which is key for a self-employed person would be at a financial loss if they couldn’t work for 2-3 weeks due to an illness such as COVID-19. In our opinion protecting your income should be the number one priority when looking at your personal insurance options, as you’re more likely to unable to work due to a sickness or injury. Life (and critical illness) Cover are a worst case scenario and can be life changing, so having the correct cover in place is essential.
If you're wondering how an insurer would view a claim of the Coronavirus, LV have issued us with the below guidelines and commentary on where a claim may be successful...
Self-isolation (existing business before 9 March 2020)
The following approach applies to existing LV= Personal Sick Pay members, with a ‘day one’ and ‘week one’ waiting period only.We’ll consider claims for medically-advised self-isolation,which aligns with current NHS 111 guidance (travel from designated risk areas or direct contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis). These are highly unusual circumstances, so any decision and payment we make for self-isolation will be outside of the normal terms and conditions. We recognise the importance of speed and common sense in such situations.
We handle all claims by telephone, with our experienced team. Our people will take a pragmatic approach to our usual evidence requirements, taking into account the individual’s circumstances, guidance they’ve been given and any other income they’re receiving during self-isolation. We’ll make decisions immediately and any payments we make for self-isolation (current guidance is for up to 14 days from contact) will be in our member’s bank account within a couple of days.
Self-isolation (new business on or after 9th March 2020)
For new LV= Personal Sick Pay applications submitted on and after 9 March, periods of isolation (including periods required as a result of government or other medical advice) where the person insured is not suffering from an illness, are not covered and a claim will not be paid.
If you are unsure of what insurances you should have in place, or unsure of your what existing insurances you have,Affinity can help you with a full market review.