Moneysworth wins Best Specialist Intermediary of the Year! Learn more

Skip to main content Accessibility icon Accessibility

News & Views

Who's the cash machine in your family?
Who’s the cash machine in your family?

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, it’s no surprise that people are considering the potentially serious financial consequences, such as not having insurance in place to cover their income or mortgage payments.

For people looking at arranging cover now, and for those who have existing cover, a key concern is will the insurer pay out if a claim is made relating to Coronavirus?

The UK protection insurance industry (Life Insurance, Critical Illness and Income Protection) has a very positive record on life insurance claims. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), in 2019, 98% of all protection insurance claims were paid out.

We will have to wait until 2021 to get the overall UK insurance payout statistics for this year, but the insurer LV= has recently announced that they have so far paid out around £2.5 million in claims relating to Covid-19.

The key point to remember is that for Life Insurance, Critical Illness and Income Protection policies, Coronavirus has not changed the way in which claims are assessed.

Will my Life Cover policy pay out if I die of Coronavirus?

Short answer: Most likely, yes.

People who develop very serious Coronavirus symptoms will likely have to go into intensive care and be put onto ventilators. Some will recover but, sadly, some will die. For Life Cover policyholders who die as a result of the Coronavirus, a life insurance claim should not be affected, meaning that their loved ones will receive a payout from the insurer.

Will my Income Protection Cover policy cover me if I get Coronavirus?

Short answer: Probably, but it would need to be after the end of the deferment period – and, due to the nationwide lockdown rules, deferment periods are now generally longer for new policyholders.

Income Protection is designed to pay the policyholder part of their income if they’re unable to work due to illness or accident. If someone is not able to work due to ‘shielding’ or ‘self-isolation’ then that would not be covered by Income Protection insurance.

For people with existing Income Protection policies which have been taken out prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the terms and conditions remain unchanged. Insurers will pay Coronavirus-related claims on existing policies once the policyholder has reached the end of the deferred period if they still unable to return to work due to their illness.

For new Income Protection applications, some insurers have increased the minimum period before a claim can be made after the policy starts (this is known as a deferred period). The aim of this increase is to ensure that any period of self-isolation would have come to an end before a claim can be made. If the policyholder is ill with Coronavirus at the end of a deferred period and beyond, they would be eligible to submit a claim.

Will my Critical Illness Cover policy pay out if I get Coronavirus?

Short answer: In most cases no, but in a few cases possibly yes.

Most critical illness claims are unaffected by the current crisis because most policies pay out on the diagnosis of one of the qualifying named critical illnesses on the policy. The majority of existing policies will have been taken out before the virus was known about, and new policies do not include cover for Coronavirus.

The most likely situation where a Critical Illness claim relating to Coronavirus may be paid would be if the policyholder needed to be put onto a ventilator. Insurance companies’ policies differ in the terms about the amount of time and degree of loss of respiratory function to be eligible to make a claim.

Are prices increasing for Life Insurance, Critical Illness and Income Protection insurance due to Coronavirus?

Short answer: Generally, not at the moment.

So far, we’ve not seen a general increase in the cost of standard premiums, but this might change in the future if insurers feel it’s necessary to do so.

However, if you already have a policy in place, your monthly premiums are likely to be fixed or guaranteed (unless you have reviewable premiums, low start options or index linked cover).  

Now might be a good time to explore your Life Insurance options to protect your family and home in the event of death and/or critical illness and to insure your income.

A review from a satisfied client for whom Moneysworth helped to arranged Life Cover during the Coronavirus outbreak

Are you concerned about finding Life Insurance during the Coronavirus outbreak?

Due to the risks of Coronavirus, many insurers have made changes to their underwriting rules. These changes mean that some people may experience a greater degree of difficulty in finding cover at an acceptable price.

For example, some insurers have reduced the maximum BMI (Body Mass Index) they are prepared to accept. Also, some insurers are rejecting a higher number of cover applications involving heart conditions than they were previously.

The good news is Moneysworth continues to source cover for its clients, even in the current circumstances.

This is because Moneysworth’s core business has always been to help people with health conditions to obtain Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection Insurance.

In April alone, the Moneysworth team has been able to arrange cover for many clients who have a wide range of existing health conditions, such as:

  • Raised Blood Pressure and Raised Cholesterol
  • Raised BMI
  • Heart Conditions – including Dilated Cardiomyopathy,  Replaced Aortic Valve, Atrioventricular Block, Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrest, Palpitations, Arrhythmia, Aortic Stenosis, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Brugada Type 1, Brugada Type 2, Coarctation of the Aorta, SICD fitted, POTS Syndrome, Subclavian Flap Repair
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Mental Health Conditions – including Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression, Post-natal Depression, Previous Recreational Drug Use, Suicidal Ideation, Psychosis, Stress
  • Diabetes – Type 1, Type 2, Diabetic Hypoglycemia
  • Other Health Issues – Osteaoarthritis, Abnormal Smear Test Result, Dermoid Cyst,  Asthma, Prostatitis, Syncopol, B12 deficiency, Swollen Glands. 

This list shows that, despite the recent underwriting changes made by insurers, it’s still possible for people with health conditions to find the cover they need.

To maximise the chances of finding cover at an acceptable price, it’s best to use a specialist broker, such as Moneysworth, which has proven expertise in finding insurance for people with existing health conditions. 

8 examples of Life Insurance prices Moneysworth found for clients with health conditions during April 2020

1. A 24 year old, non-smoker, high BMI, diagnosed last year with Type 2 Diabetes. Also being treated for Heart Palpitations / Arrhythmia and Raised Blood Pressure:

  • Required £200,000 of level life cover over 40 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found two insurers willing to offer terms with all other companies declining, with prices ranging from £45.97 down to just £33.19 per month.

2. A 53 year old, non-smoker, previously suffered a Stroke and Seizures:

  • Required £200,000 of level life cover over 20 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found only one insurance company willing to consider an application – and all other insurers indicating they would decline. The client accepted an offer of full cover for £143.03 per month.

3. A 63 year old, non-smoker, diagnosed with heart issues including Atrial Fibrillation, Leaking Heart Valve and Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction, also Raised Cholesterol:

  • Required £25,000 of level life cover over 5 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found two insurers willing to offer terms with all other companies declining, with prices ranging from £37.74 down to just £27.63 per month.

4. A 53 year old, non-smoker, late diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes (client using insulin pump for control):

  • Required £125,000 of level life cover over 10 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found all insurers willing to consider an application, with prices ranging from £42.42 down to just £33.20 per month.

5. A 35 year old, non-smoker, High BMI (21 stone, 5 feet 9 inches), mild asthma:

  • Required £150,000 of level life cover over 32 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found three insurers willing to consider an application and all others indicating that they would decline. After applying, one insurer changed their mind and decided to postpone, leaving just two insurers with offers of terms, with prices ranging from £28.90 down to just £27.57 per month.

6. A 32 year old, non-smoker, High BMI, Anxiety and Depression with Previous Suicide Ideation:  

  • Required £200,000 of level life cover over 40 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found five insurers who declined to offer cover and six insurers who were willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £54.39pm down to just £34.56 per month.

7. A 35 year old, non-smoker, heart issues including Coarctation of the Aorta and previous Subclavian Flap Repair:

  • Required £100,000 of level life cover over 20 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found ten insurers who declined to offer cover – and one company willing to consider offering terms at a premium of £27.97 per month.

8. A 39 year old, vaper, mental health issues including Previous Psychotic Episodes and Previous Suicidal Ideation:

  • Required £210,000 of decreasing life cover over 25 years.
  • Moneysworth researched the market and found ten insurers who said they would decline or postpone an application – and one insurer willing to offer cover at £63.75 per month.
Another review from a satisfied Moneysworth client
Time to Talk

For over ten years, mental health campaign Time to Change has been working to improve attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.

The movement was started by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and their work has resulted in 12.7% of the population (5.4m people) now having more positive attitudes to mental health.

Of course there is still some way to go. The prejudices people face can mean losing jobs, relationships and in the most extreme cases, lives. Time to Change is committed to continue their campaign until people no longer hold views which make life unnecessarily harder for those affected.

We really admire this campaign, and so this year we have decided to support their ‘Time to Talk Day’. As a specialist broker which deals with many people living with mental health conditions, we understand that some people find it difficult to talk about issues which affect them when they’re looking for life cover to protect their families and homes.

We help people living with mental health problems to find the Life Cover they’re looking for

Not only do we welcome the opportunity to talk to people, we also understand that some people may prefer email communication rather than talking over the phone. We’re happy to do either!

Without someone to offer expert guidance, applying for Life Cover can be stressful. We do everything we can to make the process as easy and simple as possible for you.

We’re well placed to help people in this situation

Since Moneysworth started in 2003, our team has helped many people with various mental health conditions to find suitable Life Insurance.

Andrew Wilkinson and Tim Boddy, Moneysworth’s founding partners, have personal experience of some of the key issues involved and comprehensive knowledge of the Life Insurance market.

We’re also aware of how, when people living with mental health conditions are refused the opportunity to protect their family’s future, those decisions often negatively impact their recovery.

Moneysworth is on a mission to help improve the Life Insurance market for people living with mental health problems

A significant factor in Moneysworth winning Best Specialist Intermediary 2019 at the Cover Excellence Awards was recognition of our work for customers living with mental health conditions.

We want to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with mental health problems, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry for better outcomes for all.

Moneysworth would encourage anyone who has been declined cover to contact, as we may be able to help

We research the whole market and also offer access to alternative solutions.

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

To talk to Moneysworth

Choose your preferred option:

February 6th, 2020

Posted In: life insurance, mental health

Tags:

Access to insurance: people crossing a bridge over a maze

For several years, Moneysworth has been involved in a campaign to radically improve access to Life Insurance for people with health conditions. Now a growing number of large insurers, industry organisations and charities are committed to improving access to Life Insurance.

As of yesterday, a manifesto has been submitted to Parliament which sets out how people with health conditions should be offered greatly improved access to insurance. This is the culmination of a huge, focussed effort from many industry stakeholders, and we are proud to be a part of this project.

The result is a comprehensive agreement which will help make protection insurance more widely available. It achieves this by setting out principles for participating companies to follow when they are unable to offer cover to a client.

From the consumer’s point of view, it will mean they will be given help with finding specialist assistance to help them continue their search for cover.

The agreement, which is voluntary, has been signed by insurers such as Legal & General, Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, plus several key adviser firms, industry groups and associations. In time, we anticipate many more insurers, advisers and industry organisations will also participate.

Moneysworth was asked to be involved in developing the agreement because of our expertise in helping clients with health conditions, assisting with their Life Insurance needs – and, in particular, our breadth of knowledge about the many obstacles people face.

Many people believe that they are uninsurable

It is true that some people are uninsurable, however many people are more insurable than they think.

Often people just assume that insurance is not possible. For example, sometimes customers who have had a heart attack tell us they have always assumed that, due to their heart attack, they are uninsurable. The same goes for many people with other health conditions.

Many wrongly assume that if one insurance company declines their application, so will all the others.

Typically, the application process can be lengthy, as insurers often need to obtain medical evidence from a doctor’s surgery. To get a decline decision at the end of this process can be demotivating.

However, the length of the whole process is normal and other insurers may decide to offer cover – so the key message is “Don’t give up”.

With the new agreement announced yesterday, hopefully many people who have had an application for protection insurance declined will now be able to find a suitable specialist broker like Moneysworth.

Moneysworth has helped many people with health problems to find suitable Life Insurance.

This is because we’re well placed to help people in this situation. We have detailed knowledge of the Life Insurance market, and we have in-house underwriting expertise, which helps as we gather appropriate medical information to enable us to approach different insurers across the market, in our search for solutions on behalf of our clients.

Moneysworth has over fifteen years of success in finding cover for people with mental and physical health conditions.

Examples of Life Insurance prices we found for clients with health conditions:

  • 48 year old, non-smoker, previously suffered a heart attack
    Required £80,000 of level life cover over 20 years
    Standard rate for someone with no health problems: £17.91 (for comparison)
    We researched the market and found three insurers who declined to offer cover – and nine insurers who were willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £70.59 down to just £44.78 per month.
  • 22 year old, non-smoker, history of mental health issues (overdose and OCD)
    Required £125,000 of decreasing life cover over 23 years.
    Standard rate for someone with no health problems: £4.64 (for comparison)
    We researched the market and found three insurers who declined to offer cover – and seven insurers willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £78.22 down to just £7.37 per month.
  • 29 year old, non-smoker, with a heart condition (born with hole in heart & leaking valve)
    Required £260,000 of decreasing life cover over 25 years.
    Standard rate for someone with no health problems: £7.77 (for comparison)
    We researched the market and found eight insurers who declined to offer cover – and three insurers willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £86.17 down to just £22.65 per month.

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

January 22nd, 2020

Posted In: access to insurance, life insurance

Tags:

Today is Purple Tuesday, an annual awareness day which promotes improving customer experiences for people living with disabilities. 

Moneysworth staff wearing Purple Tuesday teeshirts
Moneysworth’s Kirsty, Andrew, Gemma and Tim proudly sporting their very purple Purple Tuesday tee-shirts!

We took part in last year’s event, and we’re proud to be doing so again today!

Purple Tuesday was started by the aptly named Purple, an organisation which also offers accessibility consultancy, training and auditing services. We like what they do, and earlier this year we signed up to become a member so we can learn how to make our business more inclusive.

It’s vital to us that our business and services are accessible to everyone.

At Moneysworth, our mission is to improve access to Life Insurance for people who have struggled to find cover they can afford or have been refused cover, usually because they’ve been deemed a higher risk due to an existing health condition.

For most Moneysworth clients, their first engagement with us is when they use our website.

We knew our website already had features that were built with accessibility in mind, such as fairly large font sizes, touch screen compatibility and menus that could be used with just a keyboard – but is that good enough? What other improvements should we add?

Many people take using the internet for granted, but even the most basic website functions can be much more complicated to use for people with disabilities.

How would you find your way around a website if you have visual, motor or cognitive impairments? How would you click a link, open a menu or fill in a form if you can’t operate a mouse or you have difficulty seeing and reading?

When we asked ourselves these questions, we realised we didn’t have all the answers.  So we asked Purple to audit our website.

Their report identified a number of ways we could improve what is “already a good site”, and it also identified where we could make improvements to provide an easier experience for people with visual impairments or physical disabilities.

Our web designer found optimum ways to implement these changes without radically changing the design of the Moneysworth site.

A summary of the improvements we’ve made to help visitors with disabilities navigate the site, find the information they require and enter their details in forms:

  • Small text, such as explanatory notes on form fields, is now larger;
  • All links, buttons and form fields can be accessed with the Tab key;
  • Keyboard users can skip past the navigation menus by pressing the Tab when a page loads (this is a common international standard accessibility function, which keyboard-only users expect to find on accessible websites);
  • A “Start of page” link/button allows keyboard users to easily scroll up to the main navigation links when they reach the end of a page;
  • An “Accessibility Options” is visible on all pages at all times. This activates a third party toolbar which provides a range of useful functions such as a text-to-speech audio reader, plus facilities for enlarging text and changing colours.

Going through this process has been an interesting and revealing exercise. Now that we’ve put these improvements in place, we’ll continue to ensure we consider maximum accessibility for all users as we add new content and features to the Moneysworth website.

Accessibility improvements can be beneficial for all website users

Before and after: some of the visual usability improvements we made to our ‘Get a Quote’ form. Better spacing, larger ‘Required’ labels, buttons and checkboxes that can be navigated and switched on/off with the keyboard, and a more prominent presentation of the options the user has selected.

November 12th, 2019

Posted In: life insurance, moneysworth

Tags:

A Moneysworth client was one of the very first people in the UK to obtain a new type of Life Cover designed for people living with, or with a history of, mental illness.

Had I not found Moneysworth, I do not think I would have life insurance

Our client was looking for life insurance to cover the mortgage on their family’s home. Due to the client’s mental health history (which included a significant event within the last five years), they had been declined cover by two major insurance companies.

“When I first applied for life insurance, being told by my initial advisor [name supplied] that my condition and medical history which had been caused by a hardship in my life would make it both difficult for me to obtain life insurance, and could potentially mean I can’t obtain life insurance was a real scare for me, and made me feel guilty for going through what I had gone through and trying to seek help during a tough period in my life. A period where I should have been excited and overjoyed buying a house with my partner was overlooked by more anxiety and worry that I wouldn’t be able to obtain life insurance to make sure the mortgage for my partner was sorted if I were to pass (which frankly I find really unfair).”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

The client approached Moneysworth for assistance. We spoke with the client about the details of their mental health history. Then we contacted underwriters at insurance companies across the market to ask how they might react if the client were to make an application to them. Some insurers stated that they would decline an application but others said they might consider offering the requested cover but at a cost of around 10 to 15 times greater than the normal standard premium rate (the monthly fee to be paid by the client for their insurance).

We explained to the client that the reason for the high premiums was due to the risk of suicide, based on their mental health history.

“After doing extensive research online, upon finding Moneysworth, they were one of the very last options for me, so after giving them a ring and discussing my situation, it was somewhat reassuring that I felt like I was not alone, and unlike my previous advisor they had my back. Had I of not found Moneysworth, I do not think I would have life insurance. I was told by someone on the phone from one insurance company [name supplied] to ‘not bother for around 5 years’.”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

We mentioned to the client that the Moneysworth team has been very concerned about outcomes like this. We’re aware of many cases of people in similar situations, in which insurers have declined to offer any Life Cover, or have told clients to come back to them in several years if their mental health circumstances improve.

“The thought of having to pay 10-15 times the normal premium for life insurance as a first time buyer with all my other bills to worry about felt unfair, as I have mentioned above. I don’t drink (expect for very special occasions), I don’t smoke, I stay fit and physically healthy. It felt like insurance companies were manipulating a hardship in my life that really took its toll on me and that I did not want to be reminded of. I didn’t do what I did in the past for the sake of it, it was a genuine time in my life where I struggled, and I think that insurance companies are failing to recognise this.”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

We also explained that, at the time, Moneysworth had recently begun a trial scheme with a mainstream insurance company Royal London, which aimed to give such clients the possibility of obtaining the Life insurance they were seeking with a premium which clients would deem to be significantly more affordable. This new Life Cover option achieves this by excluding self-inflicted death for the term of the policy. The client was willing to accept this exclusion, and decided they would like to apply.

Moneysworth is one of three specialist life cover adviser firms partnering with Royal London to offer this new type of cover to clients. Please note this cover is not available for people approaching Royal London directly and anyone interested in applying should contact Moneysworth or one of the other approved adviser firms.

We made the application to Royal London with the client. The insurer contacted the client’s GP for a medical report.  They then made the decision to offer life insurance.

The client obtained nearly £170,000 of life cover for a term of 30 years for a guaranteed premium for the whole term of just under £9 per month. The policy covers them for death from all causes, with the exception of suicide. 

We asked the client what they would have done if this new alternative type of cover had not been available. Would they have wanted to apply for life insurance that cost an estimated 10 to 15 times more than someone with a clean bill of mental and physical health? The client told us that because they had death in service benefit from their employer, they wouldn’t have applied.

We then asked the client would they have applied if they did not have any death in service cover from their employer (the majority of people in the UK do not have death in service benefit from their employer). The client replied that, reluctantly, they would have felt that they had no other choice but to pay the very high premiums that some other insurers had indicated.

“Getting life insurance was so important to me, as I want my partner to be financially stable if I were to pass, even though I have a death in service benefit at work, the mortgage would take a large chunk of money from this, and there are other things that the money would need to go towards upon my death, and as such, a specific life insurance for my mortgage was really important. When Moneysworth told me I could get normal terms with the exclusion placed in, I was delighted, I know now how to deal with any struggles I have, and have been provided with the tools to combat my down moments by therapists. Ultimately it gave me the peace of mind I was searching for, and I’m not sure why this arrangement has not been adopted by insurance companies sooner, knowing how I felt and the situation I was in, I hate to think how they have made others with struggles feel, especially those who have been in a worse situation than me.”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

How can you increase your chances of finding Life Insurance if you have a severe mental health condition?

If you have had a significant mental health event within the past five years, your search for Life Cover is most likely going to be harder.

This is why asking an expert to shop around for you is a good idea. Moneysworth have over fifteen years of success in finding cover for people with mental and physical health conditions.

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

October 17th, 2019

Posted In: life insurance

Tags: