New and existing home and business customers set to benefit from new support package

Insurer NFU Mutual has launched a new support package, worth £32m, to better support its customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes increasing coverage for both new and existing customers who have personal accident or group personal accident extensions to include Covid-19. “This will give both individuals and businesses peace of mind should the virus continue to impact their lives and will pay out if individuals or employees are incapacitated by the virus,” the firm said.

The insurer expects to pay out around £12m worth of claims to members affected by coronavirus in 2020.

NFU Mutual’s home insurance customers are also still able to purchase annual travel insurance, which does not exclude Covid-19, and the insurer will additionally continue to provide an automatic 15% increase in property sums insured to ensure customers are protected if an agent or valuations firm cannot access property during the outbreak.

The insurer will also provide extended cover for businesses to allow for expanded commercial activities and volunteering during the coronavirus pandemic, flexible cover for those with unoccupied premises, added protection for those with higher stock levels and continuing cover for farmers with spoilt stock.

NFU Mutual has committed to adhering to the ABI’s guidance surrounding home, travel and motor insurance too. This includes extending cover for key workers who may need to drive to different locations, people who want to help communities by transporting medicines and groceries, supporting those who now need to work from home and helping those who have been left stranded abroad.

Business commitments

In addition to these coverage clarifications and amendments, NFU Mutual is also introducing a £1.35m change to its claims process – it has brought in new, streamlined procedures to ensure that claims can be paid quickly and easily, without the need for unnecessary contact.

Alongside this, the insurer has increased its charitable work by setting up a £1m Emergency Coronavirus Fund, which will be released through its agency network. This has been designed to support local charities and communities.

There will also be an additional £750,000 donation to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, enabling donations of up to £1m to support national organisations as well as families facing financial challenges due to coronavirus.

NFU Mutual is also making a £50,000 donation to its affiliated charity, the Farm Safety Foundation, to support and extend its mental health work during this period of isolation.

Employee care

For staff, NFU Mutual has introduced a £5m support scheme for its local agency network, which consists of around 2,750 self-employed individuals.

It has also promised to continue to pay its 4,000 strong workforce in full. “NFU Mutual is a major employer in the Midlands, and has seven regional offices around the UK, with sites in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. It has more than 4,000 staff, who will continue to be paid in full – including any unable to work because they are looking after dependents during the crisis,” it said.

Furthermore, the insurer will continue to provide funding for the UK’s main farming unions and provide adviser support at a local level. This year NFU Mutual will donate £7.5m to farming unions.

For customers, NFU Mutual still expects to reward client loyalty with £250m worth of premium discounts for renewals between July 2020 and June 2021 as part of its Mutual Bonus scheme. The firm’s financial advisors also remain on hand to guide customers through the potential financial impacts of coronavirus. This includes a new online hub.

Lindsay Sinclair, group chief executive of NFU Mutual, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on everybody, including our customers and their local communities, which is why we have committed to this unique package of support.

“We have committed to £32m of support and are already looking at what more we can do.

“Many of our customers have been affected by this outbreak and a significant number of them are key workers, responsible for helping to feed and support the nation in difficult circumstances.

“On behalf of NFU Mutual, I would like to personally thank you for all you are doing for the country and assure you we will continue to look at more ways to support our customers.”