When can I claim income protection?
23 Mar 2021
When you think ahead about your life, it can be unpleasant to plan for the worst. Being unable to work due to illness or injury can be a scary thing to consider, but having an income protection policy in place can make you feel a little more secure. However, many people worry that even an insurance policy won’t cover them when they need it most.
Whether it’s anxiety about a claim being rejected or about not being covered for what they need, many people neglect to buy income protection insurance. However, data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that in 2019 98.3% of income protection claims were accepted, and more conditions than ever are being considered for cover by insurance underwriters.
To top this all off, making a claim is super simple and designed to be easy for you in a stressful time. Let us talk you through how income protection insurance and the claims process works so you’re prepared to take on anything!
How does Income Protection Insurance work?
Income protection is designed to protect you when you can’t work. It does what it says on the tin! If you are signed off work with an illness or injury, Income Protection replaces a percentage of your salary (usually 50-70%) in monthly instalments. These payments continue until you can go back to work, you retire, or your agreed upon policy term ends and you stop paying premiums.
The cost of a policy boils down to your age, job, whether you smoke or have previously smoked, the percentage of income you’d like to cover and your current health and lifestyle.
When taking out a policy, you’ll also agree to a ‘deferral’ period. This is the period of time between making a claim and beginning to receive a pay out. If you’re eligible for sick pay or have a lot of savings, you may be able to set a longer deferral period. The longer the deferral period, the cheaper the premiums. There is the option to set no deferral period or a minimal one if that better suits your needs.
When can I make a claim?
When you get sick or injured in a way that means you can’t work, you should notify your employer right away. If you are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) then your employer can make these arrangements so you are supported. You should also seek help from your doctor so they can sign you off from work.
If your doctor signs you off from work, it’s time to notify your insurer. After you’ve made your claim and been accepted, your deferral period will start (if you have set one) or you will immediately begin to receive your pay out.
It’s important to remember that time limits do apply when you’re putting in a claim (usually 6 months from when you become ill or injured) so you should think about how long you can survive on sick pay and savings and set a deferral period that suits this and lodge your claim as soon as you are signed off from work.
How to claim your on income protection policy
Lodging an income protection claim is designed to be simple. Here’s how it works:
Visit your doctor and contact your employer.
- Contact your insurance provider. You’ll need to tell them the nature of your illness and injury and provide them with your policy number.
- Fill out the claim form they send you, along with providing any other paperwork they request. This could include a statement from your GP, your leave and pay history for the past 12 months, and your birth certificate or passport.
At this point, your claim will either be rejected or it will be accepted and your payments will start (after your agreed upon deferral period). Your claim is unlikely to be rejected unless you a) aren’t covered for what you are trying to claim for, or b) provided false information when buying your policy/claiming your policy.
Claims don’t have to be difficult to go through. If you’re a LifeSearch customer you can use our LifeSearch Claims Service and we’ll do whatever we can to assist you. Claims are made at a difficult time, so 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 you’re unsure about the details of your existing policy, contact your provider or broker to go over the details. If you want to explore taking out an income protection policy of your own, start with us here at LifeSearch. We’ll do the hard work for you and make it simple and straightforward. Give us a call on 0800 316 7253 and one of our friendly team members will be on hand with some award-winning fee-free advice!
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17 Sep 2021
This article may be reviewed for quality and training purposes