Protection specialist LV= has introduced a premium reduction option for existing protection policyholders in an effort to help those who may be facing money worries because of the pandemic.
The protection specialist said that it is offering additional support and reassurance for customers with income protection, critical illness, life insurance and business protection policies.
They will be able to reduce their cover and premium amount for up to six months as a result of the move. After six months, LV= will automatically revert the cover and premium back to the original amounts, without further underwriting.
The new feature is available for protection policies that started before 1 March 2020. 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.
Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV=, said the pandemic is affecting everyone differently, “with heightened anxiety, fears for the future and money worries”.
She said: “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.”
The measures have been introduced in addition to existing measures taken by LV= to help customers during the pandemic.
Its 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.
In response to the rising effects of COVID-19, 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 and provides 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.
A spokesman for LV= said that in the first month, the provider has arranged payment breaks for 87 of its members, 92% of whom are self-employed, with “waived” premiums totalling £7,650 a month.