Covid underwriting restrictions lift amid vaccine progress

Covid underwriting restrictions lift amid vaccine progress
Credit: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Protection providers are lifting Covid underwriting restrictions as the vaccine rollout continues.

Aviva has removed most of its Covid underwriting criteria for individual protection applications that were introduced at the start of the pandemic.

It said that while it was able to offer terms to 90 per cent of individual protection customers during the pandemic, the changes would enable it to offer cover to a further 2 per cent of applicants who typically have chronic medical conditions, which placed them at a higher risk should they have contracted Covid.

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The provider said the move came in light of the progress being made with the vaccination programme and declining coronavirus infections in the UK.

More than 36.5m first vaccinations have been given, according to government figures, with people aged 38 and over now being offered the vaccine.

Robert Morrison, global life chief underwriter for health and protection at Aviva, said: “Given the game-changing effect of the vaccination effort in the UK, lifting our Covid-19 underwriting criteria now is the right thing to do to help those customers with manageable chronic conditions get the protection that they need.

“We’re committed to making insurance as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people. Our decisions have always been driven by data and emerging medical evidence and now we are seeing a reduction in risk I’m delighted to announce this positive move for advisers and their customers.”

David Mead, founder of Future Proof and joint head of protection at St. James’s Place Protection Planning, commented: “We are delighted to hear that Aviva have removed many of their Covid-19 related underwriting restrictions, which have been in place for the best part of a year.

“LV and AIG Life made similar announcements recently. These positive steps can only help clients who have been denied access to insurance because of their pre-existing health conditions.

“When we heard the news, we were able to re-contact several clients and they were pleased to learn that we can now help them to get the cover they need in place.”

LV has removed underwriting restrictions for applicants with chronic medical conditions, such as severe respiratory conditions, cancer, heart and lung diseases, to enable it to consider more life insurance applications.

The provider said it was able to offer life insurance for customers with these conditions as a result of the lowered risk that Covid now presents.

Debbie Kennedy, director of protection at LV, said: “While we expect that will allow us to offer cover for an additional 2 per cent of LV life insurance applicants, it represents an important milestone as the industry continues to step up and respond to the challenges presented by Covid-19.”

AIG Life has also reduced some of its coronavirus underwriting restrictions, by increasing the underwriting ratings cap it might be able to insure people at, if they’re not considered clinically vulnerable due to Covid.