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I have been speaking with Cover about the increase we have seen from pilots and medical professionals wanting to protect their income, with the worry and uncertainty that COVID-19 is causing.

The hardest part of these conversations is that there is not much that can be done insurance wise. If you have an income protection policy and you become ill due to coronavirus and are unable to work for longer that the initial waiting period on the policy (the deferred period), then you can apply for a claim. The problem is that income protection will not do what a lot of people are asking us right now, it will not pay out a claim if you are unable to work due to a reduction of hours or loss of work. Many income protection policies have a 4 week deferred period and with coronavirus diagnosis and recovery typically being much less than that, the likelihood of claiming on the policy for this is low.

We are seeing insurers responding to things quickly, with some choosing to put a coronavirus exclusion on any new policies that are taken out. Some may see this as a harsh decision, but being within the insurance world, it does make sense. If everyone starts rushing for income protection policies now, claims for coronavirus related ill health, then cancels when the scare is over, insurers are going to lose the reserves they need to support all of their members.

Redundancy cover is also unlikely to do what people are wanting in this stage of worry for the next few months, unless employers are struck so badly by COVID-19 disrupting their services, that they need to take this step. This policy could be beneficial in some circumstances, but it is essential that people take advice to fully understand what this will and will not cover.

I am a huge advocate for income protection and I think it is something that people should be considering, but it’s important that people get it for the right reasons.

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