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Covid-19 adviser update

24 March 2020

Understandably, you all have lots of questions about our plans in response to the developing situation with COVID-19. While we’re working quickly through what this means for us, and we don’t yet have final decisions on everything, we wanted to share where we are right now.

UNDERWRITING

  • Our medical partner (MSS) is no longer carrying out medicals. As of 5pm on 23 March, MSS have temporarily postponed delivery of all face to face medical examination and screening services. GPR and iGPR are not affected by this.

We have a list of applicants affected and we’re dealing with them as a priority. We’ll contact each client and adviser affected directly with an update as soon as we can.

This update from MSS hasn’t come as a surprise, and we’ve already been looking at other ways to get the information we need. We’ll share an update when we can.

Encouragingly, we’ve yet to see a slowdown on GP report responses from surgeries.

  • There will be no change to our medical underwriting limits. Our limits are available on our website so advisers and their clients know what to expect before applying: https://adviser.guardian1821.co.uk/products/

Where it becomes difficult to gather the medical evidence we need, we’re looking into potential alternative types of medical information. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

  • Flexible approach to medical evidence. We’ve always had a flexible approach to the medical information we’ll review, and this becomes even more important now. If an applicant has their own medical information from a work medical or letter from a doctor for example, we’ll look to use it. Customers know their own medical information better than anyone, so we encourage them to share this with us.

CLAIMS
We have no general policy exclusions and that won’t change. 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 won’t refuse to look at any claim. As ever, we’ll treat each one on its own merits.

Premium Waiver claims
All our policyholders have Premium Waiver with a 4-week deferred period. 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.

Having said that, if a policyholder is in employment on or after the first anniversary of their policy, our Premium Waiver pays out on involuntarily loss of job or being made redundant, so we encourage advisers and their clients to review their policy terms and conditions to see if they can make a claim.

We’ll continue to keep you updated as and when we know more.