Partners Life has removed a raft of restrictions it adopted to counter the risks associated with the emergence of Covid-19 earlier in the year.
The firm has removed the automatic blanket Covid-19 Occupation Class Restriction applied to disability benefits, including income cover, mortgage repayment cover, household expenses cover, TPD cover as well as the TPD covered condition under trauma cover.
In a statement the firm said this restriction will be removed immediately for new business and be instantly removed for customers to whom it was applied.
“This simply means our policy wordings will apply once more without an endorsed restriction, allowing clients who have been unemployed prior to the date of disability, to have their normal occupation class apply for 12 months after the date of unemployment,” said Partners Life in a statement.
“Please note, however, if an applicant for disability benefits is assessed as having a significant risk of unemployment in the near future, our underwriters may still use this unemployment restriction as one of the special terms to be offered to that customer. This provides us a tool to accept cover, which otherwise might be considered too risky.”
Partners Life will contact policy owners notifying them the restriction has been removed.
Emergent Mental Health Questionnaire
The insurer will also no longer require the Emergent Mental Health questionnaire to be completed for disability benefit applications.
However, Partners Life says that if an applicant for disability benefits is assessed as having a significant risk of developing a reactive mental health issue in the near future – as a result of their individual employment situation – its underwriters may still use an emergent mental health exclusion as one of the special terms to be offered to that customer.
“This provides us a tool to accept cover, which otherwise might be considered too risky,” says the firm.
Emergent Financial Questionnaire
Partners Life says the Emergent Financial Questionnaire is essential to enable it to understand the economic risks facing individual customer’s applying for disability benefits.
“This questionnaire will remain a requirement until we have indications that our economic environment is consistently trending towards pre-Covid levels,” said the firm.