WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO WITH NEW APPLICATIONS?
Respiratory question Within the past five years have you had symptoms or had treatment for asthma, bronchitis, sarcoidosis, emphysema, or any other disorder of the lungs or airways, or since Dec 2019 have you had treatment for or symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new continuous cough, high temperature or breathing difficulties?
Tests/Investigations question Within the past five years have you undergone or been advised to undergo any medical investigation including blood test, scan, imaging and x-ray, have a surgical operation, have tested positive for COVID-19, or are waiting on a COVID-19 test or a test result?
NEW QUESTION WORDINGS FOR COVID-19 Irish Life Assurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. ILA 15277 (NPI 04-20)
HOW SHOULD A CUSTOMER ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
If a customer has symptoms, is awaiting a test/ test result or has tested positive, we would expect to see the following Covid-19 specific descriptions (rather than cough, fever etc.) Awaiting Covid- 19 test Awaiting Covid- 19 test Result Coronavirus Covid or Covid-19 As well as the above description, please help your customer give as much information as possible. This could include, if possible:
- date symptoms started
- description of symptoms
- if they were medically advised to self-isolate
- if they are awaiting a test or a test result.
- provide test result, if known
- how long they have been unable to work or carry out normal activities
- whether treated in hospital or if fully recovered.
Once input, the case will be referred to an underwriter for assessment as usual.
EXAMPLES OF POTENTIAL OUTCOMES For Life Insurance and Mortgage Protection applications
Case study 1 Jack has applied for mortgage protection but has a persistent cough and high temperature; his GP has referred him for a Covid-19 test and he has been advised to self-isolate. Jack’s decision will be deferred until the result of his test is available. If the test is negative for Covid-19, we can look to offer terms. If positive, we will postpone.
Case study 2 Mary applied for mortgage protection and has had her Covid-19 test, remains in self isolation and is waiting for the result. We will ask Mary to provide the result of the test once available. If the test is negative for Covid-19, we can look to offer terms. If positive, we will postpone.
Case study 3 Anne applied for life insurance cover a few weeks ago and was loaded +50% straight off the application due to her height/weight ratio. She has not yet accepted her special terms. Anne contacts her advisor to say she is about to sign but her health has changed. What should she do? Anne is unwell with a persistent cough and high temperature and has an appointment tomorrow for a Covid-19 test. Anne’s health has changed and she is awaiting investigation. Just like any other change in health, Anne has to disclose this information to Irish Life. If the test is negative for Covid-19, we can look to re-offer special terms. If positive, we will postpone.
POSTPONEMENT PERIODS IF THERE IS A POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST
Life & Mortgage Protection cover If after a positive test, the customer clears the virus or has a follow up negative test and symptoms have fully resolved with a full return to normal activity, we anticipate terms being available after 1 month.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Irish Life underwriting will continue to engage with reinsurers to ensure best practice in addressing the risk from Covid-19. Our intention is to provide cover where we can, but it will be necessary to postpone some applications for cover. Further changes to application questions or underwriting assessment may be necessary as we progress through these fast changing times.