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The impact of the Ukraine situation on our products

We are monitoring the situation in Ukraine very carefully. These are some of the common questions we’re being asked in relation to our Group Life, Group Income Protection and Group Critical Illness policies. The answers reflect our current position (as at 03/03/2022) and will be updated when appropriate.

Group Life, Group Income Protection and Group Critical Illness questions and answers

  • Yes, subject to premiums being up to date. There are no general exclusions under our current standard Group Life and Group Income Protection policies. A pre-existing conditions exclusion applies under our current standard Group Critical Illness policies.

    Under the terms of our standard Group Life policy, there is a restriction on travelling on business where the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO) advises against all travel (red zone). Where the FCO has advised against all travel to an area, our Group Life policies will not cover individuals subsequently travelling to that area on business. We will, however, cover any individuals who travelled on business to an area which was not a red zone when they travelled, but has since become a red zone.

    The FCO Travel Advice service uses a traffic light system of:

    • Red – advise against all travel
    • Amber – advise against all but essential travel
    • Green – normal safety precautions


    We would consider claims in the normal way, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy and us being able to obtain satisfactory medical and other evidence to support the claim.

    Please note that specific restrictions may have been applied to benefits that are subject to underwriting e.g. those above the non-medical limit.

  • See the above question and answer.

  • Cover could continue under the temporary absence provisions which are outlined in our User Guides. Key points are:

    • The member must remain employed by the policyholder
    • The period of absence must be determined at the start and be less than 3 years
    • The policyholder must have given written consent, including the date of return, within one month of the absence starting
    • GIP claims will be assessed against the occupation the member was performing immediately before temporary absence cover started.


    During unpaid leave, the insured benefit cannot be increased.

  • Details of employees located in these countries must be provided at the quote stage and at each rate review.

    Any employee going to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, including those who are being called up as reservists will be subject to risks that we would not normally expect within the scheme. Although we will always endeavour to provide full cover, we should be informed if the number of such members exceeds 1% of the scheme membership, as this will be treated as a material factor in assessing the terms we are able to provide.

  • Unum UK along with the wider financial services industry are continuing to support the implementation of sanctions where required. We have internal processes in place to screen against the sanctions list provided by the UK, EU and US Governments.

    Sanctions applied by the Office of Financial Sanction Implementation (OFSI) differ depending on whether they are applied against individuals or entities. Where sanctions are applied against insured individuals, Unum will remove from cover and cease any claims.

    Where sanctions are applied against an entity, Unum (subject to the OFSI Sanction/General Licence) will pay Life claims to a trustee or beneficiary as normal and pay Critical Illness claims to the insured employee as long as they themselves are not sanctioned. For Group Income Protection claims where an entity has been sanctioned, a General Licence may be required from OFSI, before a claim can be paid or continued to be paid.  

    This approach is based on our current understanding and experience of sanctions being applied and may change in the future.

  • The catastrophe clause could be invoked if the catastrophe provisions under the policy were met. The situation in Ukraine would be considered as one originating cause.

    However, as the catastrophe limit is usually at least £100 million per policy, it is very unlikely that the limit would be reached. Please check policy documents for the catastrophe limit applying to a particular policy.

  • Help@hand and Lifeworks EAP are available to insured employees of Unum Group Risk policyholders at no cost. The services can provide support to employees in the UK (e.g. those concerned about relatives in the Ukraine) and also employees who are outside the UK.

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