As the pandemic reaches new heights, and we all hunker down for another full lockdownit’s likely that we’ll see increasing claims in 2021. Whether these continue to be dominated by income protection and life, or an expected increase in critical illness claims will materialise only time will tell. But one thing is fairly certain, claims are likely to be a significant part of 2021 protection activity. In our first Everything you need to know for 2021 we take a detailed look at claims 

What do providers expect from claims in 2021?

This week at Protection Guru we’ve published a series of articles offering the views of key players at the major insurers on what 2021 will offer. On Wednesday we focussed on claims. Unsurprisingly the overriding theme is Covid with most providers expecting an impact from ‘Long Covid’ too. Mental health issues may come to the fore driving demand for rehabilitation support in 2021. This is a fascinating and highly relevant article giving real insight into what providers expect for 2021

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Who offers the best support during income protection claims?

Claims are the moment of truth. When that promise on a piece of paper becomes real. The claims process needs to run smoothly and be as easy as possible for clients. Not only does the product need to ‘do what it says on the tin’, in providing financial help to claimants, the client experience will make a huge difference at a very testing time. All claims mean the worst has literally happened, but for income protection claims this is especially true because income is the foundation of financial security and every future plan you client has. In this article we look at how providers support clients through the income protection claims process.

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Will Covid impact insurer’s claims philosophies? Why precise policy wordings are more important

For the life insurance industry paying claims and helping consumers when the unforeseen strikes is the most important thing we do. It is also something that we are very good at. In 2019 providers paid over £5.7bn in protection claims, representing 98.3% of every claim made. Claims in 2020 have risen and that trend is likely to continue in 2021. Never has it been more important to offer clients certainty that the contracts they have will pay when the worst happens. Insurers want to pay claims and in the critical illness market their claims philosophies more often than not are there to find a way to pay claims even if the client has a serious condition that does not necessarily meet a strict definition. This is to be applauded and is clearly great news for advisers and clients alike, but is an insurer’s claims philosophy something that should be relied on long term?

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The stories behind claims

It is well publicised that consumers have a misconception that the protection industry does not pay claims. All insurers now publish their claims paid stats that highlight claims paid are often well in excess of 90% and this data is freely available for advisers to pass on to their clients. Whilst this can help build consumer confidence it only tells part of the story and nothing quite highlights the importance of protection like a real-life example of a client benefiting from their protection plan. Many insurers now release case studies on their websites which tell the stories of claimants, how their scenario has affected them and their family and how having protection has benefitted them. We have brought together a collection of case studies from across the market telling such stories for both income protection and critical illness.

Income Protection

Income protection provides far more than just financial support to those that are unable to work due to injury or ill health. To help with your client conversations we have brought together a selection of videos that explore the impact that having income protection has had on a number of clients and some of the families supported by the 7 Families initiative. 

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Critical illness

When someone receives the devastating news that they have a critical illness their world is turned upside down. Of all the uncertainties they will face, the one thing that critical illness plans do is take away the financial worry, meaning emotional stress is not be accompanied by financial strain and clients are able to fully focus on their recovery. Claims stories from real life claimants paint a powerful picture of the need for critical illness cover and can help you in all you client conversations.

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Watch out for future “Everything you need to know” pieces where each week we will cover a different topic and provide you with the information you need to know to discuss the topics with your clients.