LV= is extending its payment break option for customers unable to pay premiums because of the Covid-19 pandemic to April 2021.
The protection provider introduced payment breaks in April across its income protection, critical illness, life insurance and business protection policies to support members experiencing financial difficulties.
Around £25,000 of premiums have been waived helping more than 160 LV= members maintain their cover. Initially granting payment breaks gradually up to three months, LV= has increased the limit to six months.
Payment breaks are funded by the LV= Member Support Fund, an initiative to help LV= customers experiencing financial hardship. In 2020, LV= supported 60 members and their families with £43,000 from the Member Support Fund.
Members on a payment break will maintain their policy and level of cover, so that they can continue to access services and make a claim. To be eligible, the member should have:
- a policy that’s been in force for 12 months or more
- a good history of premium payment
- less than three months arrears
- suffered a significant drop to their income, or their usual earnings have stopped.
Another option available to LV= customers is a payment reduction, where the level of cover and premium can be adjusted over a six-month period to ensure that people won’t have to go without cover.
Data from the LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor shows that 20% of people surveyed have seen their income fall in the last three months, with 22% expecting their general finances to worsen over the next three months.
Debbie Kennedy, protection director at LV=, said: “As the coronavirus crisis continues, we will constantly review our payment break option and other initiatives to ensure that LV= members are supported during this turbulent time.
“LV= were the first to offer payment holidays in the protection market, recognising that the effects of the pandemic could impact people in many ways. It is important that those opting for a payment break should still retain their level of cover during this time, allowing them to fall back on support services that we offer should they need it.”
Since March LV= has paid over £6m in coronavirus claims, including income protection and death claims.