MetLife UK has seen an increase of 250% in Long-COVID claims in Q3. An estimated 1.2 million people in the UK have reported suffering with Long-COVID in the past four weeks – up from 1.1 million in October, representing a jump of nearly 10%.
MetLife’s own claims data suggests that Long-COVID accounts for 10% of new group income protection claims in the last three months – up 250% from the previous quarter. MetLife UK paid almost £50m in claims across its three core divisions in Q3, including individual protection, group protection and employee benefits group life.
Stuart Lewis, the company’s head of claims, said: “From symptoms through to treatment so much remains unknown about Long-COVID, meaning that it’s no surprise that cases and claims are rising rapidly. At MetLife we’ve seen a clear uptick in the number of claims from our customers and have worked hard to provide the financial support they need as quickly as possible.
“In order to support our customers too we have recently launched our Long-COVID clinical pathway to help employees manage their symptoms and work towards returning to work as soon as they feel able to. Long-COVID symptoms can leave employees unable to concentrate or work altogether. Employers should reflect on the current employee benefits packages to see what support their provider can offer for Long-COVID. Already 1.2 million Brits are reported to be suffering from Long-COVID symptoms, and with the huge demand seeing waiting times of more than 15 weeks. For small businesses who can’t afford to lose key members of staff, ensuring that the return-to-work process is made as smooth as possible following time off with Long-COVID is paramount.”
Those suffering from Long-COVID may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell, chest pain and ‘brain fog’. Data also shows that while young people are less at risk of catching COVID-19, they are most likely to suffer from long-COVID.