Legal & General has added a Covid-19 question into application forms for protection.
The new question asks individuals to detail their exposure and experience of Covid-19 and Covid-19 symptoms at the point of application, and advises customers who have been in contact with the virus; experienced symptoms of the virus; or tested positive for the virus to reapply at a later date.
The addition of a specific question relating to Covid-19 is a progression from the insurer’s approach to postpone decision making on an application post-submission. L&G says this approach had been consistent with any disclosed condition in an application when a recent diagnosis had been made and the outcome and severity is unknown, where the insurer would postpone an application until the individual had fully recovered.
Ali Crossley, managing director, distribution, Legal & General Insurance, said: “We made the decision to be upfront and transparent with customers through our application form that in some cases we will not be able to offer cover for a short period, and so will not ask this group of people to complete the application form and instead re-apply after a fixed period. Our aim in making this change is to ensure that applying for protection is as simple and straightforward as possible.”
The guidance to customers as a result of their answers to the new question into Legal & General’s application process will reflect the individual’s circumstances:
- If the customer has tested positive or been diagnosed with Covid-19 then they will be asked to re-apply after 90 days has elapsed following the cessation of symptoms
- If the customer has experienced / is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 then they will be asked to re-apply after 30 days has elapsed following the cessation of symptoms
- If the customer has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 OR someone who has experienced / is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 they will be asked to re-apply after 14 days has elapsed since they had the direct contact and the customer has been free of symptoms for 30 days
If a customer is following UK Government guidance as part of the lockdown protocols, including following guidance to self-isolate for 12 weeks following identification as a higher risk individual, but has not been in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms, has not experienced symptoms and has not been diagnosed with Coronavirus, then the customer will be able to continue with their application.
L&G has not applied this approach retrospectively, with no need for customers to make any changes to applications already submitted.
Crossley added: “As a business, our purpose has always been to offer services and products that support our customers when they need it most. We understand the vital importance of having access to protection and want to ensure that customers are fully aware of our approach from the start rather than postponing decisions post-application at such a worrying time for so many of us. In uncertain times, we would like to offer two certainties: our claims approach will always be fair and thorough, paying all valid claims and our purpose of supporting our customers in some of the most difficult times in their lives will never change.”