This page was archived on 27 May 2020 - for previous updates see below. For the latest information, click here.
Page updated at 08:00 Thursday 16 April 2020
Our new 3 month premium holiday
Today we have launched a new 3 month premium holiday option.
We already offer 6 month ‘premium holidays’ (also known as a career break) to our Members if they’ve had their plans for more than 3 years. But we wanted to do more to help our Members through these unprecedented times. So, we’ve listened to Adviser and Member feedback and are now temporarily offering a 3 month premium holiday outside of our normal terms and conditions. Members can use this after they’ve been paying for their plan for 3 months.
Our 3 month premium holiday option means our Members can have a little more financial flexibility by having a break from their monthly payments, and putting their income protection cover on hold.
We want to offer this additional premium holiday because social distancing has led to a significant number of Members being unable to work and some Members have seen their income reduce so they may not be able to afford their monthly payments at the moment. We want to support our Members and help them keep their income protection cover.
What are we offering?
We’re introducing an extra premium holiday option to give our Members more financial flexibility.
Between 15 April to 15 July, Members can request a 3 month premium holiday, as long as they’ve been paying for their cover for at least three months. During their premium holiday they won’t be able to make a claim.
Once their 3 month premium holiday has finished we’ll get in touch with the Member and let them know that we’re going to start collecting their monthly payments again.
The monthly payments and their income protection cover will re-start without the Member having to answer any health questions.
How can Members take a 3 month premium holiday?
Members, or their Advisers, can contact our Member Services team at MemberServices@holloway.co.uk
We’ll need their full details including their plan number. We’ll let them know when the premium holiday starts and finishes, and we’ll also remind them they won’t be covered during that time.
Can Members restart cover sooner than agreed if things change?
Yes, Members can stop their premium holidays and re-start their cover at any time. They just need to contact us at MemberServices@holloway.co.uk and we’ll take care of the rest.
What if a Member is already behind on their premiums because of financial difficulties?
We can only apply a premium holiday if the plan is paid up to date. We will aim to start the premium holiday from the 1st of the following month, however this may be delayed if their premium is due to be collected shortly after the request.
Is there commission clawback if a Member pauses their cover?
No, we want to support you as well as our Members through this difficult time, so there will be no commission clawback for Advisers if Members use this option. But the clawback period will be extended by the same amount of time that the cover is stopped for. So, for example if a Member paused their cover for 3 months the clawback period would be extended by 3 months.
Can the Member choose a premium holiday of less than 3 months?
Our system will automatically apply a 3 month premium holiday. If the Member wants less than three months, they can restart their cover whenever they like but will need to let us know by email so we can make this change.
What if a Member has had their cover for less than 3 months?
A Member needs to have their income protection plan for more than 3 months to use this new premium holiday option.
Extra information on our existing premium holiday feature
The existing premium holiday is called a ‘career break option’ in our Schedule and KFD, though it can be taken by our Members at any time after they’ve had their plan for over 3 years.
After 3 years, Members can take a premium holiday for up 6 months during any 12 months. A Member can take premium holidays for up to a total of 24 months during the lifetime of their plan. Once the premium holiday finishes the Member doesn’t need to answer any health questions or fill in any other forms.
For the existing premium holiday, our conditions currently say a Member can’t claim again until they’ve been back at work for 3 months.
To make it fair to all of our Members, if they are currently taking a premium holiday then we are waiving this rule. This means that they can make a claim once their cover has been restarted. Their cover will be reinstated once their premium payments restart.
What if a Member tries to claim while they’re taking a premium holiday?
When a Member is taking a premium holiday their income protection cover isn’t in place, so this means the Member cannot make a claim.
If they restart their cover and then claim for an illness or injury that happened while they were using their premium holiday, their claim wouldn’t be paid, as their cover wasn’t in place at the time.
What happens if a Member doesn’t start paying their premiums after the premium holiday?
If a Member tells us they don’t want to restart the cover then we’ll cancel their plan and any commission which needs to be clawed back will be shown on the next commission run.
If we re-start the cover but we can’t collect the monthly payments by direct debit then we’ll follow our normal process. If the Member misses 3 months of payments then the next commission run will show the commission which needs to be clawed back. The plan will also be cancelled.
Is the clawback calculation any different?
The clawback period will be extended by the number of months that the Member has taken a premium holiday for.
For example, normally if a Member has paid 12 months premiums and a policy lapses, the clawback would be pro rata based on 12 out of 36 months of premiums being paid.
If a Member paid 12 months premiums then took a 3 month holiday and it lapsed, the clawback would be pro rota as if 15 out of 39 premiums had been paid.
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.
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:
- We could increase our price
- We could stop offering cover
- 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.