Income protection insurance claims process
16 Mar 2021
Investing in life protection insurance products can seem really daunting and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Not only can they be simple and easy to buy (especially with the help of an experienced broker) but the claims process can also be straightforward.
If you need to make a claim on your income protection insurance policy, then the good news is that in most cases the claims process is stress-free. Let us walk you through how income protection and the claims process works!
How does income protection work?
Income protection isn’t rocket science. It works super simply by replacing a percentage of your income (usually 50-70%) if you are signed off work with a specified illness or injury. This is paid out monthly in place of your salary instead of in a lump sum, and continues until you can go back to work, you retire, you pass away, or your protection period ends and you stop paying premiums.
When you purchase your income protection policy you can also set a “deferral period”. This is the period of time between making a claim and receiving your first pay out. The longer the deferral period, the cheaper the premiums. People who have savings, Employee Sick Pay or who could survive comfortably on Statutory Sick Pay often set longer deferral periods, but if you’ll need a pay out right away you don’t have to set one.
What is the process for making an Income Protection Insurance Claim?
The process is usually trouble-free. Insurance is there to give you peace of mind in a stressful time so it’s designed to be accessible and simple should you need to claim. Here’s how it works!
Step 1: Make contact with your insurer
When you fall ill or get injured and your doctor has confirmed that you will need to be away from work for a prolonged period of time and signed you off, it’s time to contact your income protection provider. They’ll need you to provide some information including your personal details (name, address and date of birth) and your policy number, which will be on your policy documents.
At this point you will also need to tell your provider why you need to make a claim and explain the nature of your illness/injury, the first day absent from work and how long you are likely to be off from work. It’s vital to be honest at this point otherwise you risk your claim being rejected.
Before you call, make sure that your illness/injury is covered by your policy. If you’re unsure, you can refer to your policy documents or you can always ask your provider.
It’s also important that you don’t stop paying premiums at this point, as this could invalidate your policy.
Step 2: Send documents
When you contact your insurer, they’ll walk you through the next steps of your claim. They’ll send you a claims form to complete, which you’ll need to fill out and send back, along with other documentation. They’ll tell you which documents they’ll need to see and what they will accept.
These documents may include:
- Proof of income (A P60 form or your most recent tax return can work, as can payslips)
- A copy of your birth certificate
- Evidence of why you’ll be signed off from work, like a medical report from your doctor
When your insurer has received the correct documents they can assess your claim. They may ask for some more information first. If you can’t provide them with the necessary documents it’s unlikely you’ll be able to receive a pay out, so make sure you have these documents on hand!
Step 3: Finish your claim!
When you make a claim, it’s likely to be accepted. Data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that in 2019 87.2% of income protection claims were accepted. However, sometimes claims are rejected or you don’t get what you expected.
Here are the potential outcomes of an income protection claim:
- Your claim is accepted and your payouts begin. If your claim is accepted, often your insurer will stay in regular contact with you to keep tabs on your recovery.
- Your insurer agrees to pay you a smaller income than you expected. This will only happen if your existing income is lower than the amount you declared when you bought your policy.
- Your claim is rejected. This is most likely to happen if you gave false information when purchasing your policy, or if you’re trying to claim for something that isn’t covered.
If you claim gets rejected, you may still be able to claim financial support such as Statutory Sick Pay or Universal Credit, so it’s important to explore your options.
If you’ve purchased protection through LifeSearch and are struggling with making a claim or you just want a little advice, use our LifeSearch Claims Service and we’ll do whatever we can to assist you. Claims don’t have to be difficult to go through! We will do everything we can to support you and help you through the process. Call us on 0203 764 0103 to make a claim.
If there is anything you’re unsure of when it comes to income protection - from buying a policy to making a claim - then contact us here at LifeSearch. We’d be really happy to give you all the answers you need! We’re known for our friendly, award-winning advice so pick up the phone today and dial 0800 316 7253.
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