Staying connected with our customers during the Covid-19 lockdown is our main priority because we want you to experience the highest level of customer service possible under the circumstances. As pressure to limit the spread of the virus continues, we are playing our part by changing our current ways of working.
Getting documents to us by post is currently challenging for many of our customers, which is why we have added a new feature to our online contact form. Making it easier for you to get in touch.
Forms available online
Making changes to your pension or policy just got easier with the help of making our frequently requested forms available for you to download. You can now make changes to your policy by completing the forms digitally, although you'll still need to add your signature. Signing the form provides evidence of your request and helps us to protect our customers from potential fraud, which we take very seriously. You’ll find the forms and more information on what to do next here.
Send documents electronically
We have added a new feature to our online contact form. You can now send up to four letters or documents securely to us by uploading them with your message.
Please read the ‘Guidance for attachments’ on the contact us page before uploading your document(s). This will help us minimise the delay in dealing with your request or query. Your message will be logged, and a copy held on our records.
We are doing all we can to answer online queries in the shortest time possible. Meantime, please check our website for ongoing updates.
Is Countrywide Assured still open?
Yes. The welfare of our staff is imperative, which means there may be times when we have fewer team members dealing with customer requests. In the event of a reduction in staff, we will do all we can to make payments to our customers on time and ensure claims are paid quickly. This may mean that other requests may take longer than normal.
If this changes due to further government guidance, our website will be updated to advise further.
I currently receive a payment from you, will this stop?No. Any claim payments that are currently being paid (e.g. annuities, income protection claims etc.) will continue to be paid as normal subject to scheduled claim reviews.
If you currently receive a regular payment by cheque, we will attempt to contact you to ask if you would like to change this to a BACs payment. If we haven’t been able to contact you and you would like to change the way you receive your payment, please call our Customer Service Team who can arrange this change for you. You can find the telephone number on the ‘contact us’ page.
What if I can't pay my premiums?Some customers may find it difficult to pay their premiums at this time. Please call customer services if you are struggling to pay your premiums and a member of the team will be able to assist you.
What will happen to my policy value?The Coronavirus pandemic has already had an unprecedented affect on the world in many ways, not least on financial markets. Although the UK and overseas governments have intervened to stabilise economies, there have been significant fluctuations in investments over the last few weeks.
If you have a unit-linked policy, the value of the underlying fund and unit prices fluctuate daily and your policy value may fluctuate more than usual.
The value of many investments has fallen significantly over the last few weeks and there may be further falls as Covid-19 continues to have an impact on the economy. When markets fall like this, many people are tempted to withdraw their money to protect it. This can lead to the investment being sold at loss that might have been avoided if the investment were held for the long term.
If you sell when the market is down, you will likely suffer a loss in the value of your investments and might miss out on any increases in value in the future if markets recover.
Am I covered for Coronavirus?
Countrywide Assured offers a range of life and pension products and you should refer to your Policy document or latest Annual Statement for details of the protection benefits covered by your policy.
None of our policies include protection for redundancy or unemployment and therefore, if your employment or business has been adversely affected by the Coronavirus, you will not be able to claim on your Countrywide Assured policy.
The current government advice is that most people with the Coronavirus will experience reasonably mild symptoms and fully recover after 1-2 weeks. So it is unlikely that you will be eligible to claim on your protection benefits should you suffer symptoms of the virus.
Regardless of the cause of death if the policyholder, or someone named on the policy, were to sadly die, the claim will be paid.
Is my policy protected?Yes. Countrywide Assured plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. We comply with their regulatory expectations to ensure we have enough funds to pay claims as they arise and to ensure we treat our customers fairly.
While it is highly unlikely to come into play given that Countrywide Assured remains well capitalised, your policy is also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This scheme provides protection to customers from financial services firms that have failed.
For information regarding your policy value, see question: What will happen to my policy value.
What if I can’t get the death certificate for a claim?
If you’re unable to get the death certificate at this time, we’d like to do what we can to help. We may be able to pay the funeral invoice (up to the amount of the policy’s claim value or £5,000 if this is lower) on receipt of paperwork supplied by the funeral directors. The paperwork must show the date of death. Any money left over from the policy’s pay-out will be paid once we receive the death certificate.
If the funeral expenses have already been paid, we will reimburse the costs (up to the amount of the policy’s claim value or £5,000 if this is lower) when you provide us with the relevant receipts. If you are not using the pay-out from the policy to cover the funeral costs, we won’t be able to pay the claim until receipt of the death certificate.
If you have been given a digital death certificate, please provide a copy.
I have returned my forms but haven’t heard anything. When can I expect a response?Please be assured that we will deal with your query as quickly as possible. We ask that you allow 10-15 working days before you contact customer services for an update. If you have not heard anything after 15 working days, please get in touch with customer services.
I am in isolation and can’t get my documents certified, what can I do?We appreciate that getting documents certified will be difficult during this time. So we will accept photocopies of your documents, including bank statements printed from the internet. All paperwork will be checked on receipt and our customer services team will be in touch if there are any further requirements.
We are also waiving the requirement to get a witness signature on your Payment Instruction Form.
I can’t get out to post my form, what can I do?You can upload your forms or documents via the contact us form. Please scan or upload photographs of your documentation and send it to us.
All paperwork will be checked on receipt and our customer services team will be in touch if there are any further requirements.