Protection provider LV has paid out more than £2.5m in coronavirus-related income protection and death claims to nearly 300 individuals and families.
The insurer said it had paid out on 146 personal sick pay claims relating to Covid-19 up to April 30. Claims were paid to policyholders within two days, after assessment via a tele-claims service.
It also paid out on 150 Covid-19-related life insurance claims.
Debbie Kennedy, director of protection at LV, said: “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.”
LV has changed its underwriting practices in response to the coronavirus crisis, such as increasing non-medical limits for income protection, personal sick pay and critical illness cover by 10 per cent.
This came as a survey of more than 100 life insurance advisers, conducted in April by NMG Consulting, highlighted delays in decision-making and challenges around obtaining GP reports amid tight underwriting practices.
Last month LV also introduced payment breaks to vulnerable customers who are financially struggling due to the coronavirus. The payment holidays are funded through the insurer’s member support fund.
Andrew Brown, managing director at broker Bennison Brown, said: “It is very encouraging to see that LV has rapidly assessed claims and made payments within two days to policyholders. It is vital that families get financial support quickly when they need it the most, and for the families that have suffered a tragedy, LV’s action will be seen as very commendable.”
Mr Brown added: “It is also good news that existing clients can potentially qualify for a payment break for up to three months.
"A payment break might be the difference to a client’s decision about whether to keep or cancel a policy. But it is important we encourage clients not to let their policies lapse in the current period as they will lose the protection they have in place, and it may prove more costly to re-arrange this cover in the future.”
Last year LV paid 99 per cent of life insurance claims, 88 per cent of critical illness claims and 93 per cent of income protection claims.