21 April, 2020

Dear all,

I am writing to you again as a valued partner or customer of Unum UK to update you on our continued efforts in supporting those affected by Covid-19.

With almost our entire business now working remotely, we are supporting our people while delivering on our commitments to our partners and customers. Since writing to you last, there have been a number of developments as we adapt to the evolving environment.

Supporting the NHS and vulnerable customers

During the Covid-19 crisis, and unprecedented demands on our health system, we are doing all we can to support our affected customers and reduce the burden on the NHS. In line with the recent ABI pledges, we have committed to do the following:

  1. Support the NHS by not sourcing medical evidence for claims from GPs and consultants wherever this can be avoided;
  2. Support those making a claim by doing everything we can to process claims and communicate with our customers, particularly if we anticipate any delays;
  3. Continue to support vulnerable customers.

Cover for employees with reduced hours, salary or on furlough

We are continually planning for the potential impact of Covid-19 on our customers and proactively communicating implications for their cover.

We’ve confirmed that we can continue to insure benefits of furloughed employees based on their salary immediately prior to being placed on furlough.

We’ve also confirmed that we are able to provide cover on the basis of normal contracted hours, rather than reduced hours. 

The same goes for salaries – employees that have been requested to take a temporary pay cut can continue to be insured by us based on their salary immediately prior to such a reduction.

Value of our virtual GP service

The number of employees with access to our help@hand services through a Group Income Protection policy services has doubled since mid-March.

Help@hand gives eligible employees and their eligible family members access to four healthcare services, including a remote GP and mental health support, available through one dedicated app. For medical issues not related to Covid-19, the remote GP provides a valuable service as pressure on the NHS continues to grow.

Reminder of support for our policyholders

It is inevitable that this challenging and worrying period may increase the risk of mental ill-health. For a range of tools and guidance to help maintain good mental health, remember we have a mental health hub, which draws on years of experience and expertise from our health professionals.

Unum LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme, provides confidential, practical support on a range of everyday issues including work, family, relationships, money and health.

Our pledge to dental customers

It is always our intention to provide the best service and value to our customers, whether you are an employer or employee with a Group Dental Scheme or an individual who has a personal dental plan with us. This includes our retail brand Dencover.

In these unprecedented times, when dentists have been required to cease care and services, limited to telephone support only in the majority of cases, Unum will continue to support our customers and the NHS.

We will continue to provide cover and collect premiums as usual. Once dental services are again available, or we have a clearer view of when they will return, we will review how to best ensure our customers receive fair value. We will ultimately return any exceptional profit that these circumstances create back to our customers. We will do this in a fair and transparent manner.

In the meantime, we want to reassure you that dental cover remains continuous. This includes any emergency treatment. Any ongoing treatment continues to be covered and can restart when dental services resume.

Doing what we can

As a responsible employer, we are also doing what we can throughout this crisis. We are encouraging and supporting our employees with the relevant skills to return to temporary NHS roles where needed.

We have also held an emergency Covid-19 community funding meeting and approved nine charity applications, totalling financial support of over £22,000, to be with charities within the week. This includes a donation to Maggie’s at the Royal Marsden, with a grant to allow their cancer support services to continue to be delivered by telephone, video call and online, offering vital support to people living with cancer and their families and friends at this critical time.

For the latest information, please keep an eye on our Covid-19 FAQ page, which we will regularly update as the situation changes. Please also feel free to get in touch with us in your usual way if you need any support with any Unum services. If you are unsure who your contact is, you can also get in touch with us via COVID19queries@unum.co.uk.

We are here to help you.

Kind regards

 

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive, Unum UK

COVID-19 updates

For coronavirus COVID-19 updates and product related questions please click here.

Group Risk Claims

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Previous posts

18 March, 2020

Dear all,

I am writing to you as a valued partner and/or customer of Unum UK at this difficult time, as we all focus our efforts on supporting those people affected by coronavirus, and on reducing the risk of further infection.

I’d like to assure you that the safety of our people, partners and customers is our top priority, while ensuring you continue to receive the best possible service.

Following the government’s latest guidelines, we have closed our regional offices, including London, and have asked our people to work from home wherever possible. However, we have stringent, tried-and-tested plans in place to ensure we can maintain our service to you, and we will, of course continue to monitor what is a fast-evolving situation. We are confident that our systems and people are well placed to respond to any further changes.

As pressure builds on the NHS in the coming weeks, remember that, Unum customers already have access to a number of health and wellbeing services to help through difficult times. So please make use of the extra support available. To help customers (and depending on the particular policy), services may include:

All Unum policyholders

It seems inevitable that many of us will be undergoing periods of isolation in the near future, which may increase the risk of mental ill-health. For a range of tools and guidance to help maintain good mental health, please visit our mental health hub, which draws on years of experience and expertise from our health professionals.

Group Income Protection, Group Critical Illness, and Group Life policyholders

Unum LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme, provides confidential, practical support on a range of everyday issues including work, family, relationships, money and health.

Group Income Protection policyholders

Group Income Protection (GIP) policyholders  have access to:

  • Help@hand

Help@hand gives eligible employees and their eligible family members access to four healthcare services, including a remote GP and mental health support, available through one dedicated app. For non coronavirus-related medical issues the remote GP provides a valuable service which will become increasingly important as demands on the NHS grow.

For coronavirus-related issues people should be directed to government advice and not to the remote GP.

To find out more about Help@hand, visit www.unum.co.uk/help-at-hand.

To register for Help@hand, please visit the Help@hand registration page.

  • Mental health pathway

Our mental health pathway gives GIP policyholders and their employees access to specialist support, quickly, when mental health or mental wellbeing concerns are first raised.

  • Unum LifeWorks

Our Employee Assistance Programme also includes short-term counselling for employees covered under a Unum GIP policy.

Group Life policyholders

  • Unum LifeWorks

Our Employee Assistance Programme also includes up to 4 counselling sessions for the eligible employee or their dependants, should they lose their partner, or employees who may be struggling to cope with a colleague’s death.

For the latest information, please keep an eye on our Covid-19 FAQ page, which we will regularly update as the situation changes.

I appreciate this is a difficult time for all of us. Please stay as safe as possible and feel free to get in touch with us in your usual way if you need any support with any Unum services. If you are unsure who your contact is, you can also get in touch with us via COVID19queries@unum.co.uk.

We are here to help you.

Kind regards

 

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive, Unum UK