Protection  

Protection providers continue support for financially hit clients

Protection providers continue support for financially hit clients
 Credit: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Protection providers are continuing to make support available for policyholders financially affected by Covid as the country moves out of lockdown.

LV is extending its payment break and premium and cover reduction options until the end of the year to support policyholders unable to maintain premiums because of the pandemic.

Eligible LV customers who start a payment break or premium and cover reduction option in December can receive support until June 2022.

Debbie Kennedy, protection director at LV, said: “This extension until the end of 2021, with support up to mid-2022, is well-timed and can assist those who are self-employed or currently on furlough, providing an additional safety net and peace of mind beyond the end of September when the government schemes are set to end.”

According to LV, around 350 customers have taken a payment break or premium and cover reduction since April last year, with around 90 per cent retaining their cover once the option ended.

LV policyholders who are on a payment break will see their policy and cover remain in place. Breaks are offered a month at a time, for up to six months without a requirement for premiums to be repaid.

Under the premium and cover reduction option, LV policyholders can reduce their monthly premium by decreasing their cover for a period of six months. The amount is then automatically increased back to the original cover without further underwriting.

AIG has also extended its flexible premium request option to the end of September for customers who are experiencing financial hardship.

Individual protection customers of AIG can reduce their premium for six months and continue to be insured at a lower level of cover.

At the end of the six-month period, the premium and sum assured or monthly benefit will return to the levels immediately prior to the change being made, without any underwriting or completion of medical questions.

Zurich is likewise keeping its flexible options in place until September, but said it would be keeping this under review.

Aviva, meanwhile, said it was keeping premium deferrals for individual protection customers in place until further notice, and keeping them under review.

Royal London also said it wanted to help customers keep their cover amid the current uncertainty and in the future.

A Royal London spokesperson said: “If a customer has had a change in personal circumstances or they are facing financial difficulties and unable to pay their monthly premiums in the short term, they can contact our customer service team to discuss the options we may be able to offer them.”

Vitality also said it remained “committed” to supporting customers during and after the pandemic.

A spokesperson at Vitality said: “Over the past year we have introduced a range of financial support options, in line and beyond FCA guidance, tailored to the individual customer’s need. We would encourage any of our members who are experiencing financial difficulties to talk to us.”