ActiveQuote, the UK’s leading protection insurance comparison website and broker, saw income protection insurance enquiries peak in the last week of February, due to ongoing fears and media coverage around the coronavirus outbreak.
ActiveQuote is also seeing some income protection insurance providers change their underwriting terms for new customers. Some providers have changed question sets to ask new customers if they have lived or travelled to a list of affected countries in the past 30 days, including many Asian countries, China and Japan, as well as northern Italy.
There has also been an increase in customer calls to ActiveQuote from people who already have an income protection policy in place but are concerned about coronavirus. Many are asking if they are still covered by the policy if they contract coronavirus.
Rod Jones, Head of Partnerships and Marketing at ActiveQuote, said: “There are many worried people out there who are contacting us to make sure their income is protected should they contract COVID-19 or coronavirus.
“The simple answer is yes. It is the same as if you were signed off by a doctor for any other illness. If you have the illness or have to self-quarantine, then make sure you have a doctor’s sick note to activate your income protection policy, as per your policy terms and conditions.
Rod added: “This surge in enquiries is understandable as every newspaper and news programme is talking about the coronavirus. We are also hearing about so many people having to self-quarantine for up to two weeks and people being sent home from work, which for many people would mean them being unable to work and missing out on wages.
“Insurers are also reacting to the news that cases are increasing in the UK. Although only a few have changed their underwriting terms for new customers so far, we can see many following suit if cases in the UK continue to rise.”