Coronavirus Update

Page updated at 15:00 Friday 27 March 2020

As a Friendly Society we must protect our existing members so if they need to make a claim, we’re here for them when they need us the most.

At the moment we are receiving unprecedented levels of applications for income protection plans. Because of this we have made the difficult decision that from 3pm on Friday 27th March we won’t be accepting any new applications with either a 1 week, or a 4 week deferred period. This is only a temporary situation which we will review regularly.

We’re sorry we’ve had to put these measures in place but these are unprecedented times and we’re doing our best to deal with things as well as we can.

Page updated at 14:45 Thursday 19 March 2020

If a Member thinks they have coronavirus

Please ask them to contact us so that one of our Claims Specialists can speak to them about their symptoms. To be able to claim on their plan for coronavirus, they have to be totally unable to work because of coronavirus and also have suffered a loss of income because they can't work due to their illness.

Our plans do not cover self-isolation. If their employer has sent them home because their company cannot work during the coronavirus outbreak, then unfortunately they cannot claim on their income protection plan. Their plan only covers them for loss of income when they have been unable to work because they have been ill. 

Page updated at 08:00am Tuesday 17 March 2020

What have we changed?

As a friendly society it’s important we protect our existing members so that we can be there when they need us the most. To be able to do that we have had to change our approach to accepting new applications. From 00:01am Tuesday 17th March all new applications with a 4 or 8 week deferment period will have a coronavirus exclusion added.

This means we have now added a coronavirus exclusion to all new plans with a 1, 4 or 8 week deferment period.

All other information is correct and the rest of our approach hasn’t changed.

How we're dealing with coronavirus

Correct as of Friday 13th March 2020. 

Are we still open?

Yes. We can pay claims, answer the ‘phones’, accept new business and pay commission.

We have plans to make sure that we can work from home if we need to. There might be some teething troubles, but we’re reasonably confident that our service will not be interrupted.

How will we treat Members’ claims?

If a Member has a positive coronavirus test...

…and has lost income because they haven’t been able to work due to ill health, we’ll pay their claim as usual.

If a Member has self-isolated because of Government or medical advice?

…but has not tested positively in the UK for coronavirus, then we will not pay the claim. Self-isolating is not covered by our policies.

If a Member tests positive in the UK while self-isolating, and has a loss of income because they are too unwell to work, then we’ll pay their claim as usual.

How long will this situation last?

No-one knows. We are working to ensure that our service remains in place for all.

Can Members still apply for insurance that pays out after 1 week's sickness?

Yes, but we will not cover coronavirus-related claims for new policies.

Why not?

Our plans work because many people pay a small amount into a pool and the pool meets the claims of the small number of Members that get sick and need to make a claim. If lots of Members make a claim soon after starting their policy, the pool will not be big enough to meet all of these sudden claims.

We have three choices:

  1.  We could increase our price
  2.  We could stop offering cover
  3.  We could add a claims exclusion for coronavirus from new applications

We have chosen the last option because it is the fairest way to continue to offer cover at a reasonable price. Things are moving fast, so our approach might change again.

What change are we making?

We are excluding coronavirus-related claims on 1 week deferred period policies. We are not excluding coronavirus-related claims from any other policies.

When will we make this change?

We will start adding this exclusion to all new applications we receive with a one week deferment period at 5pm on Friday, 13th March 2020.

Can we pay claims?

Yes, we have sufficient financial strength to pay all valid claims, including those for existing Members who get coronavirus and are too ill to work, so lose income.

Will we accept new applications from people who are self-isolating?

We will not accept the application, we will ask that the application is postponed for a reasonable period of time before we will consider cover. An application should only be completed when:

  • the self-isolation is over
  • the applicant has no coronavirus symptoms
  • the applicant is coronavirus free

We will also postpone applications when:

  • the applicant has been in close contact with someone with symptoms or who is currently self-isolating
  • the applicant has had a positive diagnosis

Will we accept new applications from people who are planning to travel or have travelled?

No, we will postpone them. If people are planning to travel to countries on the Foreign Office list, or have travelled in the last 30 days to or from a country on the list, then we will postpone any applications we receive until they have been back in the UK for at least 30 days .

What if the Government introduces distancing practices like working from home?

We will accept applications from people following this advice as long as they don’t have any coronavirus symptoms and haven’t been in close contact with someone who does. Our usual terms and conditions of the policy still apply.

This approach is correct as at 13th March 2020. Our approach might change again as the situation develops.

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact your Business Development Consultant.

Download acrobat reader