Aegon, LV= and Vitality are reintroducing face-to-face medical screenings for the first time in the weeks since COVID-19 measures were introduced.
Protection specialist LV= is to reintroduce face-to-face medical examinations in partnership with Square Health following the introduction of new safety protocols.
These will include social distancing, the use of PPE, single use equipment and conducting examinations in “private gardens” where possible.
Underwriters at LV= will continue to review all new personal and business protection cases to assess if a physical examination is absolutely necessary.
The arrangement means that Square Health will reduce physical contact using telephone interviews.
Where a face-to-face examination is not appropriate, Square Health can revert to using virtual screenings for life insurance applications. Alternative options will be considered for those uncomfortable with home visits, such as using existing medical information or reducing the amount of cover.
Debbie Kennedy, Protection Director at LV=, said the organisation is “constantly reviewing” safety measures and adapting processes so that advisers, their clients and members can always “get the best value”.
She said: “With the help of Square Health, we are looking to reduce the strain on public health services, while ensuring that our customers get the right level of cover in an efficient but safe way.”
Meanwhile, Aegon has also announced that face-to-face medical examinations, nurse screenings and other routine medical tests have resumed.
As a result of access to more routine medical evidence, Aegon is now accepting more income protection applications, a spokesman said.
In addition, Aegon has also reinstated its immediate cover facility for Business Protection and Relevant Life and has returned to its original routine medical underwriting limits, offering higher levels of cover.
Simon Jacobs, Head of Underwriting and Claims at Aegon UK, said “We’re now able to offer greater levels of cover to more customers. As lockdown restrictions have eased, we’ve worked closely with our medical partners to allow us to request more routine medical evidence, including general practitioner reports, medical examinations, nurse screenings, and saliva and blood tests.
Vitality has also resumed face-to-face screening for those looking to take out a protection product with VitalityLife.
A spokesman for Vitality said that resuming face-to-face screening will help advisers obtain the higher levels of cover appropriate for their clients’ needs.
He said: “The return of Vitality’s face-to-face screening will be managed as a phased return of the team, with the intention to expand to full capacity over the next two months.”
The spokesman added that all Vitality nurses are fully trained on infection control procedures and will wear personal protective equipment during the appointment.
He said: “Any single use items will be disposed of safely, and all non-single use items will be sanitised after use. Ahead of the screening, all clients will have to complete a pre-appointment questionnaire to identify COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, and will also be asked by the nurse and bookings team prior to attending any appointment.
“The screening will not be conducted if COVID-19 is suspected, and the screening postponed. In addition, anyone classed as extremely clinically vulnerable, over 70, or with pre-existing conditions will be strongly advised not to have a screening appointment.”