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We wanted to ensure that our clients and others that may have concerns right now have information that they need, so we’re sharing some ways in which we can help.

The Bank of England has slashed interest rates to combat coronavirus ‘shock’ – what it means for you.

The Bank of England has cut the base rate to 0.1% in an emergency response to the “economic shock” of the coronavirus outbreak. This makes the interest rate the lowest ever in the Banks 325-year history. In a dramatic move by the new governor, Andrew Bailey, the surprise cut was a response to the “economic shock” of coronavirus and would “help to support business and consumer confidence at a difficult time, to bolster the cash flows of businesses and households, and to reduce the cost, and to improve the availability, of finance”. In response, many lenders have reduced their rates, and we are seeing incredible low fixed and discounted rate products. Now is a great opportunity to look at taking advantage of the rate cut and potential to re-mortgage to a lower rate, to provide a saving on your monthly payments and some certainty for your payment amounts in the challenging weeks and months ahead.

Protecting your health and income

Having a mortgage that is covered and will be paid in the event of you not being able to work or if you have a critical illness or worse is so very important. I am / we are very happy to discuss your needs over the phone so there is no need to travel to come in to see me/us and if there are plans we can help to arrange for you we can manage everything for you from here.

As the situation develops, understandably, we have received many questions in relation to protection policies and customer queries. We have tried to generally summarise some of them below, in a format you can share with customers:

If I am diagnosed with Covid 19 – Do I have to tell my existing Insurers?

Life Insurance Policy owners 

No – you advised Insurers at the time of your application about your health situation. As long it was accurate, then no further action is needed.

Reports currently show that the vast majority of fit and healthy people recover. If sadly you passed away from Covid 19 – the Insurers will payout as per any other valid claim.

Check if your plan was written into trust. If so, your trustees need to be notified. Also, please check any wills made are up to date.

Critical Illness Policy owners 

No – you advised Insurers at the time of your application about your health situation. As long it was accurate, then no further action is needed

Covid 19, specifically, is not classed currently as a critical illness, so you cannot claim. Reports currently show that the vast majority of fit and healthy people recover.

However, if for whatever reason associated health issues occur that your Critical Illness policy could then cover, then you could make a potential claim.

If sadly you passed away from Covid 19, the Insurers will payout as per any other valid claim if your plan is also combined with life insurance.

Income Protection & Accident Sickness Policy owners 

Covid 19 is classed currently as a valid income sickness claim.

Check if your policy offered cover starting at Day 1 or after 1 week waiting claim period ( often the most expensive option )

Alternatively, if it was after 4 or 8  or 13 weeks etc; you may still be able to claim if your health situation is ongoing.

Sadly if you then pass away from Covid 19, some Insurers will payout as per any other valid claim if your plan also included any life insurance element.

If I have to self isolate – Do I have to tell my existing Insurers?

Income Protection & Accident Sickness Policy owners 

Yes – Coronavirus self-isolation is classed currently as a valid income sickness claim for some Insurers.

If your policy offered cover starting at Day 1 or after 1 week waiting claim period, you may be able to make a valid claim.

Alternatively, if it was after 4 or 8  or 13 weeks etc; you may still be able to claim only if your situation is ongoing.

Note: many Insurers are now excluding self-isolation on their new plans

Negative Mental Health impact of Covid 19 – Stress & Anxiety

Psychotherapists and charities such as Mind have said that the coronavirus outbreak may be having a negative impact on

our everyday mental health and wellbeing ( especially for those who have currently or previously mental health conditions ).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also acknowledged that this Pandemic is causing stress. They advise people to avoid news that causes feelings of stress and anxiety.

Many protection policies may offer mental health helplines or provide health information services as part of the premium.

What if I temporarily lose my income & livelihood – I may not be able to pay for my Protection Policy & have to cancel it?

Millions of people across the world it seems are going to be in the same situation, as this is unprecedented for most in our lifetime.

Contact your Bank, Mortgage Lender, Loan Company, Credit card etc; immediately – about how Coronavirus is impacting your family finances

All lenders currently have already implemented some backup support systems to help ordinary people out financially in the short term

https://www.lloydsbank.com/help-guidance/coronavirus.html#manage

https://home.barclays/news/2020/03/supporting-customers-affected-by-coronavirus/

https://www.halifax.co.uk/helpcentre/coronavirus/Default.asp

https://supportcentre.natwest.com/Searchable/1459340472/I-m-worried-about-Coronavirus.htm

https://www.tsb.co.uk/coronavirus/

https://www.business.rbs.co.uk/business/support-centre/service-status/coronavirus.html

https://www.santander.co.uk/about-santander/media-centre/press-releases/santander-uk-outlines-support-for-customers-during-coronavirus-outbreak

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51817947

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/

https://protectionguru.co.uk/coronavirus-updates/

What if I cancel my Insurance Protection policy temporarily… and then intend to take it out again when things improve financially?

If you sadly become ill or pass away from Covid 19, your protection insurance policy would not payout, as you have no cover at the time of claim (i.e; Catch 22 as you have cancelled it).

Should you then be diagnosed with Covid 19 or in ‘self-isolation’, your Insurers may postpone allowing you to buy any new insurance policy until you fully recover.

Any associated symptoms resulting from Covid 19 could mean any new protection policy is more expensive, or in the worst case, insurers decline to offer another protection policy.

Unrelated to Covid 19, if your health, lifestyle or age changes between taking out the previous policy and any new one, then this will affect the cost of taking out another policy.

Some Insurers may decline to offer another protection policy based on this information or on any market conditions at that time.

Please note: Your current policy may have no surrender cash-in value. Check the small print T&C’s of your policy.

We hope that this answers some of the questions you have. For policy guidance on specific situations, you should contact your provider’s helpline.

So please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you generate some real certainty in these unprecedented times. We are available by many non-face to face means to talk, as many of us work from home and have some additional time to plan for the future, contact us today to see how we can help.

Additionally, as the impact of the outbreak affects those around us in our extended families, companies and communities, please share this message through conversation and social media we are here to help, support and offer guidance.

 

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