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Covid-19 adviser update

18 March 2020

The well-being of our customers, partners and employees is our top priority. So, we’re closely monitoring Government advice and will adapt and react as the coronavirus outbreak progresses.

Below is our current approach. We’ll update it as and when things change.

OPERATIONAL RESILIENCE
Having run a successful test on Monday and Tuesday this week, and following Government advice, all our employees are now working remotely, and our office is closed until further notice. We’ve also asked that all face-to-face business meetings are changed to virtual meetings and there is no business travel.

Our test proved highly successful that we’re all equipped to work remotely, and we saw no impact on service levels. Please do continue to get in touch if you need any support or further information.

CLAIMS
As we have no general policy exclusions, we’ll consider any COVID-19-related claims for life or critical illness in the usual way against the policy terms and conditions and in line with our claims philosophy.

We don’t expect to see any claims for Premium Waiver due to people self-isolating, as Premium Waiver doesn’t kick in until after 28 days of continual incapacity, and self-isolation only lasts up to 14 days. However, we won’t refuse to look at any claim. As ever, we’ll treat each one on its own merits.

We’re aware that some GP surgeries are delaying requests for medical information from insurers. Or refusing to deal with them altogether. We’ve yet to experience this ourselves, but if or when it happens, we’ll work with everyone concerned to find a pragmatic solution as quickly as possible.

UNDERWRITING
There’s no change to our underwriting approach. Everyone should answer all application questions fully and honestly. If they answer yes to certain health questions, as usual, they’ll be referred to underwriting for us to gather further information and we’ll make a decision based on each individual case.

For people who disclose any COVID-19 symptoms, if they have any underlying conditions, we may postpone their application until they’ve recovered. For those with no other existing conditions, we’d expect to offer terms under our current underwriting philosophy.

Once the application has been submitted, there’s no need to disclose any health changes while we underwrite the case.

There are no changes to our policy terms and conditions or underwriting question-set.

Gathering medical information
We’ve not changed our underwriting philosophy or the evidence we’ll request in response to disclosures made on the application.

  • Medical tests: Where we need someone to have a medical examination, they’ll be contacted by a nurse from our third-party provider Medical Services Solutions (MSS). When the nurse contacts them to arrange an appointment, they’ll ask if they’ve travelled to an identified high-risk area in the last 14 days, if they’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus, or if they think they might have coronavirus. If the answer to any of those questions is yes, MSS will postpone arranging an appointment and will update the case notes so that we’re aware.

If any MSS nurses themselves fall into any of these categories, they won’t be allowed to carry out any appointments.

As this is an ongoing changeable situation, MSS will continue to keep us informed and we’ll continue to update as and when we know more.

  • GP reports: We’re aware that some surgeries are unable to complete GP reports and are asking insurers to not contact them or chase for reports. While we’re yet to experience this ourselves, we’ll continue to monitor this closely and try to reduce any impact as much as we can. We’ll still ask for reports where necessary.

EXISTING POLICYHOLDERS
Our existing customers don’t need to let us know of any changes to their health once the policy is in force.

Using GP 24/7
All our policyholders and their immediate families can access a GP consultation from a UK-based doctor from their phone, tablet or PC anytime. That’s day or night, and from anywhere in the world.

GP 24/7 is provided by HealthHero, and their experienced doctors are ready to take calls to reassure and advise.

This support is part of our Guardian Anytime service and is included with every policy at no additional cost. As the NHS is currently telling people not to visit their GP, this remote service could be invaluable. It provides:

  • A choice of phone or video consultation
  • Unlimited consultations – in length and number
  • Advice, prescriptions and referrals

How GP 24/7 can help with COVID-19

The service can offer:

  • Guidance for anyone who has recently returned from a high-risk area
  • Advice for those showing symptoms – whether they need to self-isolate or get medical help
  • Recommendations on what to do next

All HealthHero doctors are trained with the latest advice and guidance from Public Health England and the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre in Ireland.

How policyholders access the service

Policyholders will find the contact number for GP 24/7 in their MyGuardian account by visiting guardian1821.co.uk and logging in at the top right-hand corner. If they haven’t logged in before, they’ll find all the information they need in the welcome email they received when their policy started. Alternatively, they can reset their password by clicking the ‘log in’ button on the website, choosing ‘can’t access your account’ and following the instructions.

FURTHER INFORMATION
We’ll share any future updates on LinkedIn and Twitter

  • LinkedIn: Guardian Financial Services
  • Twitter: @Guardian1821

For any further information, call us on 0808 133 1821 or email advisers@guardian1821.co.uk