Life insurers outline how clients are protected

Life insurers have indicated they will remain in business, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, following a call to arms from Synchron director Don Trapnell.

Trapnell previously wrote to life insurance chief executives asking them to share their responses to protect people facing financial hardship because of COVID-19.

All firms responded stating they were viewing the cases sympathetically and each case would be considered on its merits.

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The firms which were responded were AIA, AIA/CommInsure, BT Financial, Clearview Life, Integrity Life, MetLife, MLC, Neos Life, OnePath, PPS Mutual, TAL and Zurich.

Measures offered by the 12 major firms included premium suspension for three months and reinstatement offered without medical evidence, policy pauses, suspension of cover and premium if client has lost their job, flexible cover options and ‘cover bounceback’ to allow clients to temporarily reduce sums insured and then reinstate at a later date.

“I was very concerned that the coronavirus could spell the end of the life insurance industry unless appropriate action was taken immediately. I therefore called on insurers to share the measures they were putting in place to protect policyholders,” Trapnell said.

“Clients will be far more likely to be able to hold on to their life insurance policies, which means advisers will be more likely to be able to remain in business and therefore the industry as a whole will be able to remain viable.”

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