Support & Claims

Protection

Protection that comes with end to end support

We know that protection can offer your clients more than just financial peace of mind. That’s why, with our protection plans, you can have the confidence that your clients are not only getting a 5 Star product, but they also have truly end to end support from the day their policy starts to the moment they make a claim.

Support, right from the start

Keeping clients covered

A strong pay-out record

  • Keep your clients informed

    Each year we send you and your clients a statement of benefits summarising the cover they have in place. This gives details of the cover in your clients’ plan, what the cover costs, details of Scottish Widows Care and useful contact information.

    How it helps

    This gives your client a timely and tangible reminder of the important cover they have, and gives you the opportunity to review your clients’ protection needs, remind them of the value of advice and build an ongoing relationship with them.

    Scottish Widows Protect plans are flexible and can be adapted to meet your clients’ changing needs. Using the Annual Plan Summary as a basis for your discussions can help identify if the protection that your clients currently have in place is still appropriate, or if changes need to be made. The Annual Plan Summary also encourages your clients to speak to you if their circumstances have changed.

    The opportunity

    •  A timely and tangible reminder of valuable cover.
    •  A chance to review your clients’ needs.
    •  An opportunity to strengthen ongoing relationships.

    What else do I need to know about the Annual Plan Summary?

    The Annual Plan Summary is produced on the anniversary date of when your client’s application was started and may be different to the actual start date of the policy.

    If your client has a policy that includes the indexation option, although the option will show on the annual plan summary, the new premium may not. This is because the summary may be generated before the increase will be applied.

    An indexation letter is issued eight weeks before the anniversary of the actual start date of the policy, not the application started date. The letter gives your client advance notice of their revised premium and sum assured.

    There may be a cross-over of letters, and on occasion the Annual Plan Summary will show the original premium and sum assured which will be different to the indexation letter. Both letters will be correct at the time they are issued.

    Download our timeline document (PDF)

  • Retaining clients

    We have a bespoke, proactive retention strategy designed with the aim of keeping your clients protected. Our Business Development Managers can work with you to embed value into your protection sales, identifying potential growth and development areas as well as flagging any issues.

    How it helps

    We have a specialist team that includes call handlers experienced in dealing with clients who have missed a payment or cancelled their direct debit and who will intervene after the policy has been in force for more than 40 days (after the end of the cooling off period).

    Their focus is on the quality of the conversations they have with clients, not the number of calls they make. You can be sure that each call handler has the time to focus on what the client is saying and to work with them to identify any areas of concern, for example cost, or confusion over what they’re covered for. We see our team as support for you, helping to keep your business on the books.

    Our retention strategy is a practical and effective solution to the problem of lapses and loss of client engagement and our success in retaining clients speaks for itself.

    What we do

    • Identify patterns of high lapse or cancellation rates and work with you to build stronger business foundations.
    • Issue annual plan summaries to you and your clients, giving you an opportunity to revisit and review their protection needs and build ongoing relationships.
    • When there is a missed payment our team will try to contact your client and, if successful, will email you with the outcome of their conversation. We will also email you if we can’t make contact.

    What happens when a policy lapses?

    We’ll provide clients with every opportunity to keep their protection in place and, as well as talking to them, we will also write to them to encourage them to call us to discuss their premium payments.

    As part of the overall support we provide to you and your clients, we’ll let you know the outcome of any conversations we have with your clients, whether this is positive and we are able to keep the policy in place, or whether the client still wishes to cancel their policy. If this happens we’ll let you know the reason your client has decided to cancel.

    We allow 110 days before we will lapse a policy and a number of letters are issued automatically to clients over that period to remind and encourage them to pay any missed premiums, so they can continue to stay protected. 

    Download our policy lapse timeline (PDF) to see what our customer engagement team will do if your client misses a premium once the policy has passed the cooling off period (been in force for more than 40 days).

  • Paying out when it matters

    We paid our first claim in July 1816 and have been paying out ever since, so you can depend on us to be there for your client when they need us most. Our dedicated Claims Team is one of the largest in the industry and has expertise and specialist knowledge in all types of protection claims.

    Our Claims Philosophy

    The Claims Team has a simple philosophy – to treat every person covered fairly and pay all valid claims as quickly as possible, with the minimum of inconvenience at a difficult time. Your clients take out protection for peace of mind and the Claims Team is there for them when they need them.

    Our record in paying out for 2017

    Our strong heritage demonstrating our stability and history can help you reassure your clients that if they do make a valid claim, it will be paid.

    99%
    of Life Cover claims paid.  

    93%
    Critical Illness Cover paid.

    £204.6
    million paid out in claims.

    9,238
    claims paid to our customers and their families.

    Source: Scottish Widows, based on the number of Life Cover and Critical Illness Cover claims paid by Scottish Widows between January 2017 and December 2017.

    How to make a claim

    Thankfully the proportion of people who have to make a claim is relatively small, but this means that many advisers have never been through the claims process, so may not know what to expect.

    If you’re asked to start a claim on behalf of your client, this is what you need to do:

    •  phone us on 0800 056 5589 to register a critical illness, terminal illness or premium protection claim
    •  phone us on 0800 056 5590 to register a life cover claim.

    Our telephone lines are open 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday (excludes UK Bank Holidays).

    For critical illness and terminal illness claims, we can accept claims information over the phone, so your client doesn’t need to complete a form. If you’d like us to do this, please ask your client to call us themselves to complete the information we need.

    For life cover claims, once we’ve taken initial details from you, we’ll send you a claim form which should be completed and sent back to us with any other document we might ask for such as:

    • the birth, marriage or death certificate of the person covered
    • medical evidence to support the claim
    • a signed Access to Medical Records Act Declaration (AMRA)
    • the original policy schedule
    • the original trust deed, if applicable.

    During this process, your client or their family need to continue to make payments to their plan.

    We will also offer your client free and confidential access to a Personal Nurse Adviser through independent care advisory service RedArc so please ask us for details of how to contact RedArc.

    Our Claims Team

    Scottish Widows Protect has a dedicated Claims Team with expertise and specialist knowledge in all types of protection claims. This team is part of the wider Scottish Widows claims team, which is one of the largest claims teams in the industry with over 80 members of staff. Each person who claims will be given a claim assessor who will stay with them throughout the claims process.

    Grey Claims Panel

    We have a holistic approach to paying claims and we do not take declining any claim lightly. If the Claims Team has any concerns about a decision on a claim they can refer the case to the 'Grey Claims Panel', a group of senior managers at Scottish Widows who will consider all the facts and give a decision.
     

Support from day one

All Scottish Widows Protect policies include Scottish Widows Care, provided in partnership with RedArc. This gives clients and their families access to a personal nurse adviser service from the day the policy starts. Your clients have access to the practical advice and emotional support they need through difficult and traumatic times in their lives. There is no additional cost for this service.

How it helps

Christine Husbands, Managing Director of RedArc explains that, at the most challenging times, money is rarely the first thing on their mind.

"The financial aspect of Protection is very important but when people are unwell they often really struggle with all the practical and emotional aspects. People can talk to our Personal Nurse Advisers in a way that they probably wouldn’t talk to anyone else. They can share their worst fears and discuss things in complete confidence.”

That’s why it’s so important that Scottish Widows Protect includes this comprehensive care service for your clients which complements the financial support that a claim pay out would give.

What can we support?

Services include (but aren't limited to)  long term support from a Personal Nurse Adviser for:

  • serious illness
  • bereavement
  • trauma
  • disability
  • support on discharge from hospital - helping your client to recover
  • relevant therapies or counselling (subject to clinical need).

Who is RedArc

RedArc is an independent organisation, established in 1998, who has helped over 28,000 individuals and their families through serious illness, chronic health conditions, bereavement and disabilities.

RedArc has a team of Personal Nurse Advisers who are all highly experienced and qualified nurses with a wide range of specialised and general medical knowledge. Find more about the Personal Nurse Adviser team

At claim stage – if your client has been diagnosed with a critical illness, or they died, our claims team will explain how the client or their family can contact RedArc. All they have to do is make one call, and RedArc will do the rest.

During a traumatic event – if your client or someone in their family needs help, advice or support because of a traumatic event, they just need to call our customer support team, and explain that they want a referral. Our team will take some details and then put them in touch with RedArc.

The services can be used from the day the plan starts and are available to the person covered and their immediate family.

Find out more about Scottish Widows Care (PDF)

Scottish Widows provides RedArc services at no extra cost; they are not a core benefit of the plan. This service can be amended, replaced or withdrawn at any time.


How a Personal Nurse Adviser can help

The RedArc Personal Nurse Advisers give people the practical advice and emotional support that helps transform their whole experience of illness, disability, trauma or bereavement. By listening, empathising and taking time to get to know people properly, they’re able to offer a comprehensive and compassionate service with a simple goal - to make lives easier and better.

The Personal Nurse Adviser is at the centre of the service supporting each person according to their own specific needs and situations. The Personal Nurse Adviser best suited to your client’s needs is assigned after the first phone call and the same Personal Nurse Adviser remains with them for as long and as often as needed.

The Personal Nurse Adviser can also help your clients decide if a second medical opinion would be of benefit. They can then arrange a face to face consultation with a UK Consultant Specialist and offer support and guidance both before and after the consultation.

With business protection, they can also work with companies to offer support to co-workers in the event of a bereavement, advise a business on how to support an employee who may choose to work through treatment for ill health, or help a person return to work following their recovery from illness.

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