Zurich introduces added flexibility for protection customers in response to Covid-19
May 6, 2020
Insurer Zurich is introducing a series of measures to support its protection customers in the UK, including deferred premiums to help with the temporary reduction or loss of household income.
This option will allow customers to defer their monthly premiums for up to three months, helping them to maintain important cover while their finances are impacted by the fall-out from the Coronavirus crisis.
For existing income protection customers, Zurich is also relaxing its career break restrictions so that they can be used to help those experiencing financial difficulties. This will allow people to reduce their IP cover level to a minimum of £250 per month, allowing their monthly premiums to reduce accordingly. Customers’ original cover will then be re-instated automatically after 12 months without the need for further underwriting.
This career benefit option is only usually available after 12 months, however, existing customers can now access this immediately, given the exceptional nature of the current pandemic and its impact on peoples’ finances.
The insurer is assessing its customer response to the Covid-19 situation on an ongoing basis. It has already introduced a support package for customers across a number of its products as well as major donations for national and local charities through its charitable arm ‘Zurich Community Trust’.
Peter Hamilton, Head of Retail Protection (pic left) said, “We are currently assessing how we can best support advisers and our customers in response to Covid-19. Ultimately, our aim in offering customers this added flexibility, is to help them maintain vital cover at this critical time.
“These features provide an extension of the benefits already available on our Life Protection Platform – enabling customers to flex their cover, up and down as their circumstances change. We are also keen to remind policyholders of add-ons like Zurich Support Services where they can access advice on wellbeing as well as professional counselling services.’
Roy Mcloughlin, Associate Director, Cavendish Ware and Co-Chair, Income Protection Taskforce (pic right) said, “Any measures taken by protection providers to support their customers in keeping vital cover are very much welcomed. Life insurance, critical illness and income protection cover have never been more important. While many households will be concerned about finances, flexibility like that being offered by Zurich means that people can retain their cover, making them more financially resilient should the worst happen.”