Aegon, LV= and The Exeter join Aviva, Zurich and Vitality in resuming physical screenings
LV= has today officially confirmed it is to re-introduce face-to-face medical examinations in partnership with Square Health following the introduction of safety protocols.
As part of its return to medical screenings, Aegon is reinstalling its original routine medical underwriting limits and its immediate cover facility (ICF) for business protection and relevant life policies. Aegon said it is able to offer higher levels of cover and consider more income protection applications as a result.
Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims at Aegon UK said: "We're now able to offer greater levels of cover to more customers. As lockdown restrictions have eased, we've worked closely with our medical partners to allow us to request more routine medical evidence, including general practitioner reports (GPRs), medical examinations, nurse screenings, and saliva and blood tests."
Where it's not possible to arrange nurse screenings or medical examinations, or where clients are uncomfortable attending face-to-face appointments, Aegon will look at alternative medical evidence such as a GPR.
LV= said its new measures include social distancing, the use of PPE, single use equipment and conducting examinations in private gardens where possible.
Staff will receive training on the new safety measures and COVID-19 risk assessments taken before customers can book an appointment. Underwriters at LV= will continue to review all new personal and business protection cases to assess if a physical examination is absolutely necessary.
To limit the risk to LV= policyholders and health practitioners, Square Health will reduce physical contact using telephone interviews. Where a face-to-face examination is not appropriate, Square Health is able to revert to using virtual screenings for life insurance applications. Alternative options will be considered for those uncomfortable with home visits, such as using existing medical information or reducing the amount of cover.
Debbie Kennedy, protection director at LV= said: "In challenging times like these, LV= is constantly reviewing safety measures and adapting our processes so that advisers, their clients and our members can always get the best value. With the help of Square Health, we are looking to reduce the strain on public health services, whilst ensuring that our customers get the right level of cover in an efficient but safe way."
The Exeter, meanwhile, said it is resuming face-to-face screenings where possible. A spokesperson said: "The Exeter has continued to closely monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 to consider how we can safely begin to resume business as usual where possible. As part of our response to the pandemic, we have introduced virtual medical screenings for a number of life and income protection applicants who meet the required criteria. However, as restrictions begin to ease, we are starting to reintroduce face to face medical screenings.
"We are mindful that there will be differing levels of interest for face-to-face appointments, so for applicants who are suitable for a remote screening and aren't yet comfortable with the idea of a face to face meeting, we will do everything we can to accommodate that request. We are working hard with our screening partners, Square Health, to resume face to face screenings where we can, but we acknowledge that it may be some time before we return to pre-coronavirus levels."
At the end of May, we reported that Aviva had resumed face-to-face medical screenings alongside some additional underwriting changes.
As of 10 June
With a number of ‘special measures’
If applicant is happy for nurse to visit them
2019 claims and benefits statistics
Six percent of cases