British Friendly has added a coronavirus (COVID-19) exclusion for anyone applying for income protection (IP).
However he firm confirmed that will honour coronavirus claims on existing policies. The move will apply to all policies in British Friendly’s pipeline from 14 March.
Gordon Hull, British Friendly’s CEO, said “Our priority is to protect our members and we can confirm that our existing members will be covered in the event of a Coronavirus diagnosis.
“In addition, we will consider claims for those who have symptoms and are self-isolating but have not received a diagnosis yet.
“We have also temporarily relaxed our Career Break (Payment Holiday) rules to help those who may find it difficult to pay premiums during this time, reducing the qualifying period from one year to one month’s premium paid. Our usual T&Cs will apply.
“For new applicants we will be applying a Coronavirus exclusion for anyone applying from 14 March 2020 onwards.
“This difficult decision was taken after very careful assessment of the situation. Our priority must be to protect our existing members by ensuring our society remains financially robust. We are committed to keeping this decision under review.
“One of our guiding principles is to ‘do the right thing’ and whilst we’ve had to make a difficult decision regarding future applicants, we have taken these steps to ensure the sustainability of the Society in order to protect our members.”
At the time of writing there are 1,543 coronavirus cases confirmed in the UK.