Legal & General is delaying cover for one year for clinically vulnerable customers who have not had the full Covid-19 vaccination, as insurers are beginning to take vaccination status into account for applications.
The insurer said it thought this would be less than 1% of applications received and accommodations would be made for those not vaccinated due to medical reasons.
L&G told Health & Protection its estimates showed 99% of customers applying would have the same access to insurance as before the pandemic and it wanted to help as many of the remaining 1% as possible.
“These customers are those who are already in a clinically vulnerable group, due to a serious existing health condition, where the impact of Covid-19 is known to be life threatening, and where applications for new cover are typically postponed for 12 months,” the insurer said.
“To avoid postponing applications for this 1% of new customers, we will now ask whether or not they have had their required vaccine doses.
“Upon confirmation from the customer that both vaccines have been received, we will apply the same underwriting rules that were in place before Covid-19, allowing us to give cover to more of this group.
“For those vulnerable customers who have not had the vaccine, which is expected to be a very small number of people, cover will be postponed for the time-being until they have received the required vaccine doses.
“Allowances will be made for those who have not had the vaccine due to medical reasons, such as allergies or pregnancy. We continue to review our approach based on current government guidance.”
The revelation follows a Health & Protection investigation into whether protection insurers have started adding questions about vaccination status to underwriting and assess claims as more than three quarters of the country’s adult population are now double jabbed.
Insurers split on underwriting questions
Craig Paterson, chief underwriter at Royal London, revealed that the insurer does not ask about vaccine status when customers apply for cover as standard policy.
However in a limited number of cases it has been able to grant high sum assureds, typically in excess of £3m, on confirmation of vaccination status where otherwise it would not have been able to offer cover.
“We continue to monitor the rollout of the vaccine, its effect on new variants, and the level of infection and mortality in the UK. The customer’s vaccination status has no impact on what would otherwise have been a valid claim,” Paterson added.
However, it appears other insurers continue to avoid asking questions about vaccine status.
A spokesperson for Aviva said it does not take vaccine status into account for protection applications or for claims.
Similarly, Helen Morris, head of underwriting and claims at Aegon, revealed the insurer has not added any questions to the protection application in relation to Covid vaccine status.
And Ian Ranger, head of claims management at Canada Life, said the insurer has not added in any questions with regard the vaccination of individuals at either the underwriting or claims stage.
“When a claim is received, regardless of which group product, the vaccination or lack of would not in any way affect the claim decision,” said Ranger.
“We remain focussed on paying claims as swiftly as possible and for income protection claimants, then working with the employer and employee via our nurse team to help the individual cope with the after affects that Covid may be having on their ability to return to work.”