Insurer has processed £3.7m in coronavirus-related income protection and death claims
Numbers released by LV= show that, as of 16 May, it has handled claims to 470 individuals and families due to COVID-19 so far.
Up to 30 April, we reported that its tele-claims service had facilitatived 146 coronavirus-related pay-outs to almost 300 individuals.
Two months after its first COVID claim, LV= has paid out 150 pandemic-related claims to policyholders with short waiting period ‘personal sick pay' policies. According to LV=, payments totalled £50,000 with the most common claimant occupations being nurse, care assistant, carpenter, hairdresser and builder. The youngest claimant was 21 and the oldest 60, with an average age of 36 years - 24% male and 76% female.
LV= received more than 270 coronavirus-related death claims from members totalling over £3.6m, including non-underwritten life policies. For underwritten life policies, the insurer said the highest claim value was £380,000, the oldest claimant was 87 and the youngest was 47 with 74% of death claims for men.
Over the COVID period LV= has reported a 35% uplift in LV= Doctor Services app downloads and 90% increase in remote GP appointments.
The insurer recently introduced a number of changes to support policyholders who may be struggling financially during the crisis.
Last month, LV= introduced a premium and cover reduction, with the option to reduce monthly premiums by decreasing cover amount by up to 75% for a period of six months. Earlier this week, the mutual confirmed that this limit had been removed it.
LV= told COVER: "Following agreement from all our reinsurers, we have removed the ‘you may reduce cover by up to 75%' limit, so customers can request a reduction down to the relevant contractual minimum premium (£5 a month in most instances), or any applicable minimum cover amount (for example £500 a month benefit for PSP)."
It added: "Cover is reduced for a fixed six-month period, and then automatically reinstated to its original level."
The insurer also recently told COVER that premium and cover reductions will not affect adviser commission, so won't trigger any clawback or change the indemnity period.
LV= today announced that, during the first month, it has arranged payment breaks for 87 of its members, 92% of whom are self-employed, with ‘waived' premiums totalling £7,650 a month.
Debbie Kennedy, director of protection at LV=, said: "LV= saw a 70% rise in call volumes to our claims teams during the first weeks of lockdown and I'm proud of the way our team rose to the challenge and provided members with much-needed individual support during an extremely difficult time
"The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is shocking and the families who have lost loved ones will be devastated. Yet it's in times like these that the strengths of mutuality can come to the fore.
"We understand the emotional impact of bereavement and are doing all we can to make sure death claims are paid as quickly as possible so that families do not have to worry about the immediate financial impact of bereavement while they are grieving."
LV= has used its quarterly claims and underwriting report (Protection Pays) to highlight the importance of advisers talking to clients about protection during the pandemic.
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