COVID-19 – advice for employers. Read now.

COVID-19 – Unum

Please see Unum’s website for their latest information on the impact of COVID-19 where you will also find useful information on:

  • Their business continuity plans.
  • The additional services available with your policy, usually free of charge, that may help at this time, for example a virtual GP service.
  • Premium options, such as monthly payment or premium deferral.

For answers to some of your FAQs, see below.

Will cover still be in place for employees while working from home, in isolation or in quarantine?

Cover will continue for employees who are at home, self-isolating or shielding, but otherwise fit to work and would be regarded as meeting the actively at work requirement.

Will cover be based on earnings prior to any reduced pay, reduced hours, no pay, unpaid leave and ‘furlough’ type situations that are starting to develop?

Yes.

  • Reduced hours – we are able to provide cover on the basis of the normal contractual hours rather than the reduced hours. This also applies if hours are reduced to zero at this time.
  • Reduced salaries – for employees requested to take a temporary pay cut, we can continue to insure benefits based on their salary immediately prior to such a reduction. This also applies if salary was reduced to zero.
  • Furloughed employees – for employees who are furloughed we can continue to insure benefits based on their salary immediately prior to being placed on furlough salary.

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.
  • Benefits cannot be increased during this period.

The above is:

  • Our default position.
  • Only applies in response to the coronavirus.
  • Can apply for a maximum of 12 months.

We must be notified if the employer wishes to take a different approach.

Some employers are mentioning redundancy cover – is this something you would consider introducing as an alteration to terms at the moment? If so, on what basis?

This will be considered on a case by case basis.

With companies potentially facing uncertainty with revenues and maybe the need for Government aid, what are you considering, for example, switches to monthly premiums or reduced deposit premiums or payment holidays during the current policy year?

We will look at situations on a case by case basis.

Group Life – does a catastrophe risk apply?

The catastrophe clause could be invoked if the catastrophe provisions under the policy are met. The coronavirus 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.

Disclaimer
Each applicable policy of insurance must be reviewed to determine the extent, if any, of coverage for COVID-19. Coverage may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. For global client programs it is critical to consider all local operations and how policies may or may not include COVID-19 coverage.
The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal and/or other professional advisors. Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third party sources we consider to be reliable, however we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information. We assume no duty in contract, tort, or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication. Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriately licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates.
For further support and advice from Willis Towers Watson Health & Benefits contact your Account Manager or the Client Services team:
Email: HBGB.ClientServices@WillisTowersWatson.com

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