Option to defer monthly premiums for up to three months and career break restictions relaxed
Zurich has introduced a series of measures to give flexibility to protection customers who may be struggling financially during the coronavirus crisis.
They include an option to defer monthly premiums for up to three months, as well as an opportunity for Life Protection Platform customers to decrease their sum assured for six months and revert back to the original level without the need for underwriting.
For existing income protection (IP) customers, Zurich has relaxed its career break restrictions to allow people to reduce their IP cover level to a minimum of £250 a month, with their premiums reducing accordingly. Customers then have the option of re-instating their original cover within 12 months without the need for further underwriting.
Zurich said this career benefit option is only usually available after 12 months, however, customers can access it immediately. And for those who choose to exercise this benefit, it will not be counted as their single option to do so.
Peter Hamilton, head of retail protection said: "We are currently assessing how we can best support advisers and our customers in response to COVID-19. Ultimately, our aim in offering customers this added flexibility, is to help them maintain vital cover at this critical time.
"These features provide an extension of the benefits already available on our Life Protection Platform - enabling customers to flex their cover up and down as their circumstances change. We are also keen to remind policy holders of add-ons like Zurich Support Services where they can access advice on wellbeing as well as professional counselling services.'
Roy Mcloughlin, associate director, Cavendish Ware and co-chair, Income Protection Taskforce said: "Any measures taken by protection providers to support their customers in keeping vital cover are very much welcomed. Life insurance, critical illness and income protection cover have never been more important. While many households will be concerned about finances, flexibility like that being offered by Zurich means that people can retain their cover, making them more financially resilient should the worst happen."
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