COVID-19 – advice for employers. Read now.

COVID-19 – Zurich

Please see Zurich’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.
  • 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?

Where an individual is self-isolating at home:

  • If they are sick and not working, we would not class them as being actively at work as they are absent from work due to an illness.
  • If they are self-isolating as a precaution, following mild symptoms or contact with someone who has tested positive, we would class them as being actively at work unless their medical record shows that they were suffering from a medical condition that would reasonably have been expected to prevent them working normally.

This applies to group life and group income protection, as appropriate.

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?

Group Life – Yes, provided the full benefit continues to be declared in the membership data and the appropriate premium is paid.

Group Income Protection – We will maintain full cover temporarily for up to 3 months (from 16th March), provided the full insured salaries continue to be declared in the membership data and the appropriate premium is paid. This position will be reviewed after 3 months or beforehand if there is a change in Government support.

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?

Upon request we will provide cover for group life for up to 6 months for members who are made redundant at no additional cost.

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 are not able to offer ‘payment holidays’ but we can consider requests for payment plans when its agreed that all the premiums due will be paid in full over an agreed period of time. If the policy (ies) is paid to date at the time of the request, we will continue to pay claims during the payment plan period.

Group Life – does a catastrophe risk apply?

 

Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, therefore it is classed as a ‘Catastrophe’ as defined in our policy terms and condition and the catastrophe limit would apply. Our standard catastrophe limit is £100 million, however, where we have agreed a different limit this will be shown in the policy schedule. In the event of a scheme reaching its policy Catastrophic event limit, we will assess and identify the underlying reason for each death claim and then aggregate them in respect of the ‘Catastrophe’ when applying the limit. We would share the assessment of each claim with the scheme.

 

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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