How to claim income protection insurance

How to claim income protection insurance

9 Feb 2022

Every day, we take steps to protect ourselves and our families in case the worst actually happens. Whether it’s trying out a new diet craze or practising mindfulness to improve our mental health, as humans we have and continue to develop new ways to protect our mental and physical health. Surely, the same can be said for ensuring our financial security, right? 

Of course, we’re talking about investing in protection products, such as income protection insurance to protect the life you love. While most of us may be familiar with what income protection is, what actually happens if we find ourselves in a difficult situation and need to make a claim? Whether it’s fear of your claim being rejected or botching forms, there appears to be a general sense of anxiety around claiming insurance. We’re here to offer some clarity and make the process as stress-free as possible.

When can you claim income protection insurance?

Knowing when to claim income protection can often be more daunting than actually making a claim. But like with any other policy, it’s best to check your policy details first. A good place to start is to check whether or not the insurer put in place any exclusions. This will help paint a clearer picture of when you can start making claims and what conditions your policy covers.

If you fall ill or get injured, you will typically have to wait a minimum of four weeks before claiming. This is because you may be able to claim sick pay. Hopefully, this should cover your immediate expenses so you don’t have to rely on a payment straight away.

How can I claim income protection insurance?

Despite what you may think, it’s actually pretty easy to claim income protection insurance. You don’t need to be well versed in financial jargon. After all, policies are designed to provide you with peace of mind and a financial cushion when you need it most. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the process.

Check your policy details

Sure, as soon as your doctor has signed you off from work, the first thing you may want to do is contact your insurer. But, as we mentioned earlier, it may be worth tracking down your policy details first. Simply double-checking is sometimes the most effective way to save time.

If your documents have gone walkies, you’ll need to contact the insurer or your protection adviser. They’ll be happy to help you find your policy details. If you’re unsure about who your provider is, the Association of British Insurers will be able to help you hunt down your policy documents. You can either contact them directly or use their online tracker.

Contact your insurer 

Now that’s out of the way, the next you’ll need to do is contact your insurer or protection adviser. They’ll ask for the following information:

  • Your policy number: You can find this on your policy documents.
  • Personal details: This includes your name, date of birth and address.
  • The reason you’re claiming: This may include how long you expect to be off from work, the nature of your injury or illness, and when you had to take leave from work.
  • Your GPs contact details: This is so the insurer can request access to your medical notes if necessary. 

If you’re not honest when providing these details, your insurer may reject your claim. 

Bear in mind that you’ll need to continue paying premiums until your claim has been accepted otherwise your policy could be invalidated.

It’s always best to contact your protection adviser as soon as possible, as you may be able to access exclusive support and counselling that could provide you and your family with much needed emotional support during this sensitive time. LifeSearch Care services include care plans to provide you with ongoing support, bereavement counselling, and access to specialist health care professionals.

Send claims form and additional documents

As soon as you have completed the claims form, you’ll need to send it back. Your insurer will likely need you to send some additional documents along with the claims form.

Your insurer may ask for:

  • Your birth certificate: As proof of your age.
  • Medical notes: As proof of why you’re unable to work.
  • Your P60 or last tax return: As proof of your current income.

Once your insurers receive the necessary documents, they will then assess your claim. If you’re not able to provide these documents, you may not receive a payout. In some cases, insurers may request further details to get a clear enough understanding of your situation. Remember, insurers aren’t trying to catch you out. They just want to make sure that your circumstances meet the policy definitions.

Submit your claim

Once you’ve submitted your claim, all that’s left to do is to wait for a decision. As long as you were honest when you applied for cover and are not trying to claim for something that isn’t covered in your policy, it’s likely that your claim will be accepted. 

Don’t take our word for it! Reports from the Association of British Insurers highlight that the number of claims paid remains virtually unchanged since 2019, with 98% of claims being approved.

Though bear in mind that insurers may lower your payout if your income has gone down since you purchased the policy. 

How long does income protection payout for?

Once your claim has been submitted, it can take anywhere between a week and a few months to receive a payout. It pretty much depends on how quickly you provide the insurer with the information they need to assess your claim and the deferral period you set out when you purchased your policy. The deferral period is the time you have to wait until your policy pays out, which normally as a minimum is 1 month, but can be up to 2 years. Things like your sick pay entitlement will help you decide what deferral period you need.

What if your claim is rejected?

Though very few protection claims are rejected, you will not be out of options if your claim is. Your employer may pay you Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so that you can support yourself financially whilst you’re off work. Furthermore, if you’ve been with your employer for two or more years, you should also be eligible for Statutory Redundancy Pay. For those who are not entitled to redundancy pay, you may be eligible for Universal Credit instead.

If you’re looking to return to work or find a new job, it’s a good idea to contact your insurer, particularly if you’re unable to go back to work full-time. Your insurer may pay you a partial income until you can get back on your feet properly. 

Whatever option you choose, it’s always best to speak with your protection adviser first and keep them updated on your recovery.

How we can help

Nothing is more valuable than having access to reliable advice and support, especially when it comes to protecting the life you love. At LifeSearch, we promise to do everything we can to make the claims process as straightforward as possible. You don’t have to go through it alone! We offer exclusive support and counselling to make the road to recovery a little easier. To make a claim, call us on 0203 764 0103.

Whether you want to know more about the claims process or the different types of policies available, we’re here to help. Request a callback or give us a ring on 0800 316 7253 to speak with one of our expert protection advisers. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

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