The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a situation we’re monitoring very carefully.
Aside from the measures we’re taking to look after our people and customers, these are some of the common questions we’re being asked in relation to our business operations and policies.
How are Unum's operations and services being affected?
We have very detailed business continuity plans which we review continuously in light of the developing situation.
Our top priority is to continue serving our customers while caring for our people and we’re confident in our ability to do this.
We’ve identified critical system needs for our business and have plans in place to ensure they will remain operational during this pandemic. We also have enhanced technology infrastructure and well-established business continuity plans for home working.
We’ll continue supporting the individual and family responsibilities our employees are likely to have during this pandemic while still meeting the needs of our customers.
What's the best way to use Unum's Help@hand virtual GP and support services (available to GIP policyholders)?
While users of the Help@hand remote GP service shouldn’t use this service if their primary concern is coronavirus infection, the remote GP is a very valuable service for non-coronavirus related medical issues. This may become an even more important resource as access to the NHS GP service is increasingly impacted by coronavirus cases.
Anyone concerned over coronavirus infection should follow advice from the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
Group Life policies
There are no general exclusions under our Group Life policies - all causes of death are covered for eligible members. However, there is a restriction on travelling against foreign office advice (please see below).
The catastrophe clause could be invoked if the catastrophe provisions under the policy are met. A pandemic 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.
A catastrophe means one or a series of originating causes or events which results in more than one death, irrespective of the period of time or area over which they take place.
Under the terms of our current standard policy there is a restriction on travelling against foreign office advice. As the foreign office has advised against all travel (red zone) to certain areas, our Group Life policies will not cover individuals subsequently travelling to these areas 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.
Group Income Protection policies (GIP)
There is no catastrophe limit under our GIP policies. Our current standard GIP terms do not include a requirement to follow FCO guidance for business travel.
For a GIP claim to be valid, it must meet the terms of the policy which includes the member meeting the definition of incapacity and having been unable to work due to illness or injury for the whole of the deferred period.
The deferred period would start from the date the member first became unable to work due to illness.
Group Critical Illness policies (GCI)
There is no catastrophe limit under our GCI policies. Our current standard GCI terms do not include a requirement to follow FCO guidance for business travel.
Coronavirus is not specifically covered under our GCI policy but claims may be considered under other conditions. For a GCI claim to be valid it must meet the terms of the policy including:
- The definition for the condition outlined in the policy being satisfied; and
- The pre-existing conditions exclusion not applying to the member
Group Income Protection, Group Life and Group Critical Illness
An employee who is self-isolating or being quarantined, but otherwise fit to work would be regarded as meeting the actively at work requirement.
For clarity, an employee who is self-isolating or being quarantined would not be considered actively at work if they have symptoms and have received medical advice to refrain from work.
In these circumstances, the employee would be regarded as being actively at work as long as they have not received medical advice to refrain from work.
Cover would remain in place in respect of eligible members as long as premiums continue to be paid by the policyholder.
- Reduced hours - we are able to provide cover on the basis of the normal contractual hours rather than the reduced hours. This could also apply if hours are reduced to zero.
- Reduced salaries - for staff requested to take temporary pay cut, we can insure benefits based on their salary immediately prior to such a reduction. This could also apply if salary was reduced to zero.
This is subject to:
- Premiums continuing to be paid for the full benefit.
- The employee remaining employed.
- Our normal terms and conditions.
- We must continue to receive member data stating employees' full salaries and not their reduced levels.
- Within 1 month of the reduction in hours and/or salary, we must be provided with an end date of when the hours/salaries are expected to return to normal - this cannot be more than 12 months.
- Benefits cannot be increased during this period.
Subject to us having the appropriate email address, correspondence to brokers and customers will usually be electronic for the following:
- Policy set up and administration
- Medical underwriting
There are some situations where electronic correspondence is not always possible - eg. requesting medical evidence from doctors for medical underwriting and claims purposes. Please let us know if you currently receive monthly payment and escalation letters by post, and would now like these to be sent electronically.
Executive Income Protection
There are no general exclusions under our current Executive Income Protection policy.
However, as part of the medical underwriting process, we may have identified that we cannot provide cover for certain medical conditions or certain circumstances. Please check policy documents to see if any such exclusions apply to a particular policy.
Our current standard Executive Income Protection policy terms do not include a requirement to follow FCO guidance for business travel.
For an Executive Income Protection claim to be valid, it must meet the terms of the policy which includes the insured life meeting the definition of incapacity and having been unable to work due to illness or injury for the whole of the deferred period.
Sick Pay Insurance (SPI)
Under our current SPI policies, we will pay claims where a person has received medical advice to self-isolate due to the coronavirus and cannot work from home.
Claims will be paid for a maximum of 14 days following satisfactory completion of the deferred period in accordance with our policy terms and conditions. This only applies in relation to the coronavirus.
Medical evidence to support the claim will be required if self-isolation goes beyond 14 days.
Our dental policies are currently unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The quickest and easiest way to submit your claim is via our online portal.
Our Dental team is still available for any queries you may have. Please call us on 020 7265 7111 and we will be happy to help.
Group Risk Claims
For Group Risk Claims and medical underwriting questions please click here.
If you are unsure who your contact is, you can also get in touch with us via COVID19queries@unum.co.uk
Corona virus update.