When the time comes to reflect on how our lives and work changed last year, the stock take will be painful and difficult to comprehend. Go back a couple of years and hardly anyone had heard of Coronavirus, Covid-19, social distancing, tiers and bubbles. A pandemic was a concept, something that belonged to another time and which, if one ever did resurface, would not impact on our modern way of life. It’s now actually hard to remember ‘the old normal’ and our plans for 2021 continue to be shaped by the disease and what may still come to pass.
There have been valuable lessons learned and shown us, at Owl Financial, that one of our greatest strengths comes from maintaining human connections in a time of crisis. From calling customers to see how they are to supporting them as their lives and priorities change. As an industry we went into the pandemic in a strong position, with the ABI (Association of British Insurers) reporting the highest percentage of claims pay outs. Their figures for 2019, highlighted that the UK insurance industry paid out more than £5.7 billion in protection claims in 2019 with 98.3% of claims paid.
The data also showed how the industry remained sensitive to and directly responded to a large variety of issues. According to the ABI:
- Mental Health In 2019, £60.5 million was paid out in Individual Income Protection claims for mental health. The average claim amounted to £15,728.
- Supporting families and loved ones Over £3 billion in life insurance claims was paid in 2019, providing financial security for loved ones in the wake of a bereavement.
- Supporting you Critical Illness Insurance pays out a tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of certain life threatening or debilitating (but not fatal) conditions. Cancer was the biggest single cause for individual critical illness claims.
In 2020, as our world changed completely, we at Owl Financial adapted and responded quickly so customers can continue to benefit from that safety net and added peace of mind. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic we have introduced online face-to-face advice and grown our network of advisers to help support more customers with vital protection. As a result of that more than 55,000 policies have been arranged since last March. Life and Critical Illness cover accounted for around half of the policies taken out during this time, with a significant proportion of customers opting for an Accident Protection policy.
The cover arranged by Owl Advisers provides much needed financial protection. Thousands of claim payments have been made to customers of Owl, including pay outs to those impacted by Covid-19. Owl work with leading insurance providers who offer a range of cover options, including income protection (where a monthly income is paid out in the event of sickness), accident cover, critical illness cover (which pays out a cash lump sum on diagnosis of a serious illness) plus life cover.