"We can now offer more of our members some much needed financial relief, with the reassurance that some cover remains in place."
LV= is introducing a premium reduction option for existing protection policyholders who are struggling financially during the Covid-19 crisis.
Customers with income protection, critical illness, life insurance and business protection policies will be able to reduce their cover and premium amount for up to six months. After six months, LV= will automatically revert the cover and premium back to the original amounts, without further underwriting.
The sum assured can be reduced by up to 75%, subject to applicable minimum monthly premium and minimum sum assured limits.
Policyholders can increase their premium and cover before the six month period elapses, or opt for the lower premiums and lower levels of cover to continue.
The new feature is available for protection policies that started before 1 March 2020.
Protection policyholders already have up to 60 days to repay a missed premium and different LV=policies offer inbuilt features, such as unemployment premium payment holidays.
Last month, LV= introduced ‘payment break’ financial support for qualifying LV= protection policyholders.
Payment breaks, funded through the LV= Member Support Fund, are offered a month at a time for up to three months to provide additional financial support for the most vulnerable members experiencing extreme distress. While on a payment break the policy and cover remains in place in full. In the first month, LV= has arranged payment breaks for 87 of its members, 92% of whom are self-employed, with ‘waived’ premiums totalling £7,650 a month.
Debbie Kennedy, director of protection at LV=, said: “The coronavirus outbreak is affecting everyone differently – with heightened anxiety, fears for the future and money worries. That’s why we want to do all we can to provide our members with options to support them through this time and help them keep their valuable cover in place.
“We already offer a variety of support for members through built-in product features, cover options and the recent introduction of the payment break for our most vulnerable customers.
“While the payment break is intended for - and is already supporting - the most financially vulnerable LV= policyholders, we recognise that the financial impacts of Covid and lockdown are far reaching. Through our latest premium reduction option we can now offer more of our members some much needed financial relief, with the reassurance that some cover remains in place.”