Protection specialist LV= has paid out more than £2.5m in coronavirus-related income protection and death claims to nearly 300 individuals and families.
Up to 30 April 2020, LV= paid out 146 COVID- related claims to policyholders with short waiting period Personal Sick Pay policies*. All these claims were assessed through a personalised tele-claims service, with payments in the policyholder’s bank account within two days. LV= has also supported members’ families and dependants following 150 COVID-related death claims*.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, LV= has introduced a series of measures to help members.
In April 2020, LV= introduced ‘payment break’ financial support for qualifying existing members. Funded through LV’s Member Support Fund payment breaks will be offered a month at a time, for up to three months, to members experiencing financial distress.
While members are on a payment break their policy and cover will remain in place and they will be able to access services and make a claim on the usual way, in line with the terms and conditions of their policy.
LV= also offers members emotional and practical support that they can access every day.
LV= Doctor Services provides members with convenient access to six expert medical services provided by Square Health – it recently extended its remote GP service to 24/7.
The Member Care Line gives access to qualified counsellors if members are experiencing emotional distress, and trained nurses can offer a sympathetic ear and practical information on a range of health-related issues.
Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV=, said:
“The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is shocking and the families who have lost loved ones will be devastated. I’m proud how we’re adapting to offer reassurance and support where we can – it’s in times like these that the strengths of mutuality can come to the fore.
“We understand the emotional impact of bereavement and are doing all we can to make sure death claims are paid as quickly as possible so that families do not have to worry about the immediate financial impact of bereavement while they are grieving.
“Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, we have been reviewing every aspect of what we do and have introduced a series of measures to help our members, including extending access to LV= Doctor Services.
“Insurance should be more than just about providing cover and paying claims. It should also help provide emotional and practical support at times like these. That is why we offer our members and their families additional services such as expert counselling for emotional health issues and legal advice, along with additional financial hardship funding for those members in extreme financial distress.”
LV= shares its 2019 claims performance in its latest report for advisers, together with a series of supporting videos featuring claims handlers, underwriters and rehab specialists. All are available now on the LV= adviser site.
LV= has also introduced a series of changes to the way it underwrites income protection, critical illness and life assurance policies and include:
- Increasing non-medical limits by 10% for income protection, personal sick pay and critical illness cover. This means that the amount of cover policyholders can apply for before needing a further GP report, tele-interview or medical screening will rise 10%.
- Trialling virtual medical screening for life only applications where the non-medical underwriting limit has been triggered and where mild disclosures have been made.
- Extending its current practices to get customers covered, without medical evidence exams and reports, and reduce the burden on the NHS.
*Figure comprises 30 underwritten life policy claims and 120 50Plus – non underwritten whole of life policy claims.