Havensrock Group Life is a group life plan available as either a registered group life or an excepted group life plan. The Professions version clusters low risk employees together, which allows the insurer to offer both very competitive pricing and a three year rate guarantee. Also available from Havensrock is general group life cover and a plan version for trustees, which provides individual, liability-matching life insurance for pension schemes.
Excepted group life enables employers to offer generous tax-free benefits to their top people by giving lump sum benefits that do not count towards their lifetime allowance (LTA – which was reduced from £1.5m to £1.25m in April 2014).
Benefits are strictly limited on excepted life plans but even so, Havensrock has managed to squeeze out some extra benefits including:
* Dependant’s Benefit. This extends cover to the employee’s partner as well as to the employee.
* Telephone support and guidance for adults for a bereaved child through childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish.
Otherwise, the plan is fairly standard, with cover up to age 75 and benefits paid through a discretionary trust. Catastrophe limits apply e.g. on travelling together, and cover may be limited or stopped in periods of long term absence too. Free cover underwriting limits (not specified on the literature we saw) are also available.
This version of the plan is only available to certain sedentary professions e.g. lawyers, accountants, architects, doctors and those in financial services.
What They Say
Managing director John Dean said: “PSHPC are delighted that the insurance market has recognised the need for industry-dedicated solutions. This cost-effective Havensrock Professions approach will help more companies extend this employee benefit to support the wider family now, when they really need it.”
What We Say
"It’s good to see another group risk brand in the market and Havensrock is interesting as it is underwritten by the innovative Scottish Friendly and distributed through the fast-growing Punter Southall group. This concept enables the intermediary to develop the products it wants to market, rather than rely on insurers to develop the products it wants. As such, the Havensrock model could well be copied by other employee benefits consultants or larger intermediaries in future.
"This plan takes the established excepted group life route, adding some nice additional benefits within the very limited options tax law allows. In particular, the Dependant’s Benefit and support though Winston’s Wish have appeal.
"The key for many though will be whether Havensrock can deliver a lower premium with a three year guarantee for them. If it can, the plan should do well for Punter Southall and the new brand."