A spike in income protection insurance enquiries has been sparked as coronavirus takes hold in the UK, with questions both from new customers keen to take out a policy and existing customers checking they are covered, should they need to take time off work. 

In the last week of February, our staff fielded a 15% increase in calls due to ongoing fears and media coverage around the outbreak. Some of these have been to get a quote to take out a new income cover policy, while we’ve also seen an increase in customer calls from those who already have a policy in place but are concerned about coronavirus.

Many are asking if they are still covered by their income protection if they contract the illness. ActiveQuote head of partnerships and marketing Rod Jones said: “There are many worried people out there who are contacting us to make sure their income is protected should they contract COVID-19, or coronavirus.

“The simple answer is yes. It is the same as if you were signed off by a doctor for any other illness. If you have the illness or have to self-quarantine, then make sure you have a doctor’s sick note to activate your income protection policy, as per your policy terms and conditions.

“This surge in enquiries is understandable as every newspaper and news programme is talking about the coronavirus. We are also hearing about so many people having to self-quarantine for up to two weeks and people being sent home from work, which for many people would mean them being unable to work and missing out on wages.”

At ActiveQuote, we’re also seeing some income protection insurance providers change their underwriting terms for new customers, with some now asking potential policyholders if they have lived in or travelled to a list of affected countries in the past 30 days. These include many Asian countries, China and Japan, as well as northern Italy.

Rod added: “Insurers are also reacting to the news that cases are increasing in the UK. Although only a few have changed their underwriting terms for new customers so far, we can see many following suit if cases in the UK continue to rise.”

Income protection insurance provides a monthly payment in the case of illness, an accident or involuntary redundancy. Depending on your policy, it can replace up to 70% of your income and takes away the worry that, should you be unable to work through no fault of your own, you won’t be able to pay the bills.

To compare income protection quotes, use our online tool or speak to our team on 0800 862 0390.