Individual Protection - Coronavirus Q&As
Are you accepting new applications for insurance?
Yes, AIG Life remains open for business and we continue to help meet the needs of customers with both in-force and new business. A customer can apply for income protection, critical illness or life insurance in the UK. When they do, they should answer all application questions honestly and accurately, to the best of their knowledge and belief.
Are you introducing any exclusions related to coronavirus?
We have no plans to introduce exclusions related to coronavirus into our UK policies and we have no plans to stop customers applying for income protection, critical illness or life insurance at this time.
Will you be making changes to your underwriting questions?
As part of the application new customers will be asked a question about coronavirus.
Will you insure someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus?
If a new customer who has been diagnosed with coronavirus approached AIG to buy an insurance policy, we would postpone any underwriting decision until they make a full recovery. We do this with any application where we’re aware of a potential health risk that is still being assessed. Where someone has had more serious complications with coronavirus, which resulted in their hospitalisation, their application may be postponed for a longer period of time to understand if symptoms have fully resolved and whether there have been any residual effects.
Do customers need to tell you if they’ve had the coronavirus vaccine, or are waiting for their vaccine appointment?
No. Having the coronavirus vaccine, or waiting for a vaccine appointment, has no impact on your application for insurance.
Do you anticipate challenges in obtaining medical evidence needed to underwrite new applications?
Yes. Insurance reports are not the primary focus for the medical profession at this time. We have adapted our underwriting philosophy accordingly. Please refer to the question ‘Will you underwrite applications if there is no medical evidence?’
Will you still underwrite applications if there is no medical evidence available?
Yes. Our underwriters will use their expertise to consider all applications where we would usually obtain medical evidence. We may be able to suggest alternative evidence or offer cover based on the application questions.
However, if a customer tells us on the application form that they are living with a complex medical condition we may be unable to offer cover without medical evidence.
Are medical screenings available?
Yes. From 1st June 2020, government guidelines mean that some face-to-face screenings can take place. We understand that not everyone will be able to, or be comfortable with, having a nurse attend their house so we’ll continue to consider alternative options, such as virtual medical screening.
What precautions are in place for face-to-face screenings?
Customer and nurse safety is our number one priority. Special measures are in place to maximise safety including:
- Additional questions on symptoms and contact before an appointment is booked
- Minimising face to face time during an appointment
- Nurses wearing PPE equipment throughout appointments
- Single use equipment being used wherever possible
- Disinfecting any non-single use equipment between appointments
What does a virtual medical examination typically involve?
A virtual medical examination is likely to involve answering medical questions with a nurse over a video call and taking height, weight and a pinprick sample of blood, which will be sent to the lab for testing. An approved self-testing kit will be supplied to customers in advance of the virtual examination, which will include instructions on how it can be used and how samples can be despatched to a lab. In some cases, we’ll also provide a digital blood pressure machine so a customer can take a blood pressure reading at home.
Are there limitations to a virtual medical examination?
Yes. The virtual medical examination cannot routinely involve a urine test, and in some cases we may require an intravenous blood test, which cannot be done at home. This means it is not a suitable alternative for everyone but we will use this flexible approach to underwriting life insurance and critical illness applications where we can.
How will you handle the free cover period if an underwriting decision is delayed?
Immediate cover is in place once an application is submitted and ends 14 days after a decision is made or when the cover starts (whichever is soonest). The maximum cover period has been reduced from 90 days to 60 days. If we decide we can’t offer cover, it ends immediately.
Are you accepting foreign residents?
Due to the rapidly changing environment we will need to look at each application on an individual case basis. Currently, we may not be able to offer cover for:
- UK nationals living abroad on a short, medium or long-term basis or live outside the UK permanently
- Foreign nationals living abroad
Do life insurance policies cover death from coronavirus?
Yes. We hope and encourage our policyholders to stay healthy at this time, claims related to coronavirus would be reviewed and handled like any other life insurance claim. There are no exclusions relating to coronavirus or coronavirus vaccines.
Is coronavirus considered a critical illness?
In most cases, a diagnosis of coronavirus will not lead to a critical illness claim. The virus is not a named critical illness, however there may be a valid claim for complications, such as intensive care requiring mechanical ventilation for seven consecutive days.
Have you received any claims relating to coronavirus?
Yes, we have received and paid coronavirus claims, however we can’t comment on specific claims. AIG Life is focused on being here for all of our customers when they need us and on helping them through difficult times, whatever the reason for their claim.
Can someone claim on their income protection policy if they can’t go to work and they are diagnosed with coronavirus?
A diagnosis of coronavirus will be considered under an income protection policy. AIG Life policies are written with a minimum deferred period of four weeks but payments can be deferred up to one year. Payments are also dependent on the insured satisfying occupation definitions specific to their policy wording.
If someone is isolated or quarantined due to coronavirus, can they claim on their income protection policy?
Income protection is paid subject to the illness continuing beyond our defined deferred period – which is a minimum of 4 weeks but can be up to 52 weeks. If after a period of quarantine an illness develops and goes beyond the deferred period, we will consider a claim. All claims will be based on whether the individual meets the definition of disability in their policy. We would not expect coronavirus to be an extended illness in the vast majority of cases.
How will you deal with claims authorisation and payment in the event that you experience service disruption?
The company has activated its Business Continuity Plans and we’re all now working from home. We’ve always had a flexible working policy with claims assessors spread nationally so we’re operating business as usual. You can find our contact details here.
How would you treat an income protection claim for someone falling ill whilst being out of work?
It is difficult to provide a generic answer to this question. The terms and conditions of each policy are clear and would be applied in the various different individual circumstances. This could mean benefits are reduced or a different definition of incapacitated is applied. In the current climate we will consider the unique circumstances of each claim on its own merits and if consideration is needed beyond those permitted by the policy, we will escalate claims internally.
Do you have any plans in place to help customers having financial difficulty paying premiums?
We know that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many customers may be facing financial hardship and are looking at ways to reduce their monthly outgoings. AIG Life is here to help our customers who are experiencing temporary financial difficulties, and have three solutions available: