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Long Covid case highlights a new challenge for the insurance industry

The after effects of Covid-19 pose new challenges for life insurance companies and advisers.

Wednesday, November 4th 2020, 9:43AM 1 Comment

Katrina Church, insurance adviser from Insurance People, revealed that her company has been dealing with a client who is suffering the effects what has been called “long Covid” after being infected with Covid-19 earlier in the year.

Long Covid occurs after the initial infection, and can result in ongoing brain fog, fatigue, breathlessness, chest pain and loss of memory.

The client came to Insurance Advisers seeking advice around premium support, as they were unable to work their usual hours due to fatigue and other issues.

A member of Church’s team made them aware of the rehabilitation and support offered by their Fidelity income protection product: they have now started a programme of occupational therapy amongst other treatments. 

Church says that, given the numbers of people affected by Covid-19 worldwide, the emergence of long Covid may have major implications for the industry.

“These cases may be oversees, but we have the same reinsurers, so there could be major repercussions.”

Church says that the support offered via income protection insurance, outside the monetary payouts is not widely known. Psychological support, for example, is not offered by medical insurance: she feels the product would be more widely used if this information was more readily available.

Early intervention in cases where people are suffering from a chronic condition can be extremely advantageous. Psychological or physical therapy (as covered by many income protection products) can help a client to recover, rather than spiralling into sever chronic illness and being unable to work.

Church urged advisers to reach out to clients who have had Covid to ensure they aren’t suffering the long-term effects of long Covid.

“Make sure your clients aren’t suffering any residual effects [of Covid] and let them know what resources are available,” she says.

For more read: Covid-19 changes discussions with clients

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Comments from our readers

On 27 November 2020 at 6:17 am JPHale said:
Nice work Kat! This is something that is going to really test the plans people have.

We’ve been lucky with case numbers, and the subsequent reality is a Covid case is very low on the actual risk scale in NZ.

Advisers that do claims work will get it, these claims aren’t easy to spot and you often stumble on them. Better client understanding on how things work helps.

Our products in NZ will respond well, it’s joining the dots that is critical to making it all work.

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