Posted 2 Jan 2021

Look back at 2020 with iam|INSURED

Here we take a few moments to reflect on a year that has proven to be the most difficult in over 20 years in the life insurance industry.

Most of us want to put 2020 well and truly behind us for many different reasons. There are so many stories of suffering and hardship through the past 12 months that it seems difficult to look back.

We have learned a lot over the past 12 months about how we deal with so many tough situations that we never thought were possible.

It seems crazy not to use this time to reflect and learn from what has been the worst period in history for many of us.

What has 2020 taught us?

Some of the main things that we’ve learned over the past 12 months are how we must adapt more quickly. Here’s how we think that the life insurance industry needs to be better in the future.

  • Underwriting medical conditions: we know that life insurance can be frustrating and especially for people with a pre-existing medical condition. Since we started helping people with medical conditions to get life cover over 20 years ago, things have never been so difficult. The recent pandemic has set life insurance back to the dark ages for many so we need to be able to offer fair priced cover to more people
  • Life insurance premiums: the cost of life cover for many people is either too expensive or too confusing. We need to take some time to consider how we make life insurance more affordable and more obtainable for more people, especially those with more complex needs. Some people are now paying more than they should be because of how little choice there is currently
  • Access to life insurance: there’s very little help available for people with pre-existing medical conditions to be able to buy life cover online. With so much technology available, it seems crazy that someone with a common medical condition like diabetes, can’t get life insurance online
  • Awareness and understanding: we speak to hundreds of people every week about life insurance and still very few are educated about how important life cover is and what it does. The team are constantly asked about what life cover does and what it is for which seems like madness when you think about what might happen to a family with no cover
  • Support for customers: we should be providing better support services for customers to help them through a very difficult time. Some customers with pre-existing medical conditions might not be able to get the same cover again because of new underwriting restrictions

FAQ’s from customers in 2020

Our team of experts speaks to people every day and this year we had to answer some very different and difficult questions relating to COVID. We’ve had to learn a lot about some very unusual areas of the life insurance industry over the past 12 months to help our customers to protect their families.

Does life insurance payout for COVID?

This is one of the biggest questions that we’ve been asked by customers in the past 12 months which is clearly very new. Most life insurance policies don’t have exclusions apart from suicide for the first 1 or 2 years.

You should be covered for any claims related to COVID, even if you have a pre-existing condition that might be considered higher risk. There are some medical conditions that have been closely linked to higher risks due to COVID, such as:

If you have a life insurance policy in place then you’ll be covered for COVID and anything relating to your condition.

Can we have a payment holiday for my life insurance?

In some cases, there are schemes available to help policyholders to keep their cover if you’re struggling to make your payments. As with mortgages and loans, this is very new and will potentially continue for a period of time after the pandemic.

You should contact your insurance provider or your adviser to find out what support is available. iam|INSURED has also in some cases helped customers where possible because we know how difficult it can be to get the same cover again.

The pandemic has caused many people to suffer financially so we’re aware of the current problems. As a business, we are committed to helping our customers as much as we can through this period and beyond.

How many life insurance claims have been paid out because of COVID?

Some people have been quite rightly uncertain about taking out a new life insurance policy during the pandemic. As we now hopefully draw towards the end of the most difficult period for the life insurance industry, we can see how many lives have been changed.

Many of the top life insurance companies are starting to release figures to show how many COVID related claims have been paid. Some of these figures are available on the internet to show exactly how much money has gone to families who have been affected by the virus.

Legal & General (L&G) COVID related claims paid between March 1st and December 1st 2020:

  • Total claims paid: £42.8million
  • Claimants: Over 1,000
  • Average age: 68 years old
  • Gender: 71% male

Clearly showing the importance of life insurance, especially through these incredibly uncertain times.

Daniel Sharpe-Szunko
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