Cirencester Friendly has updated its Income Assured Plus product and renamed it Income Assured Enhanced. It says the income protection plan’s new features and name follow member and adviser feedback.
The new plan is available to new and existing members who will be offered the opportunity to switch onto the new terms. The key changes on the new plan include:
* An own occupation definition applies.
* The benefit paid is level throughout the claim.
* Guaranteed premium rates.
* Cover can run to age 70.
* Guaranteed Insurability options are included.
* There are no loadings for occupation, smoking or hazardous pursuits.
* Premium discounts are applied if mental illness or back exclusions are applied following underwriting.
* The policy now has fewer standard exclusions.
* Terminal Illness Benefit has been improved and now pays six times the monthly benefit. A Relapse Benefit is included too.
* If the deferred period is one week or longer, customers can choose to add Accidental Benefit insurance, which pays benefit from day one after loss of earnings, regardless of the deferred period for sickness benefits.
* The maximum benefit is 60% of earnings, up to £40,950 a year.
What They Say
Commercial director David Macgregor said: "With an ‘own' occupation definition of incapacity provided as standard for all occupation classes, together with guaranteed rates and fewer standard policy exclusions, advisers can be certain of even greater clarity and associated peace of mind.
"Guaranteed Insurability Options are included as standard, providing advisers with an ideal opportunity to revisit their clients following a ‘lifestyle' event such as marriage, birth of children, promotion or moving home.
"On application, the cover can be increased without further medical evidence to ensure it continues to meet the client's needs and expectations.
"An improved Terminal Illness benefit now provides for a lump sum of six times the monthly benefit - in addition to ongoing claim payments."
What We Say
"Cirencester’s new plan is very much like the old one, which begs the question of whether a (minor) name change was really needed. However, neither point is really a criticism – the product enhancements and new name both help position the plan as being better than before.
"The changes made are mainly relatively minor but add up to an improved package with a number of features to appeal to clients and advisers.
"Accident Benefit insurance may appeal to some, but it’s questionable why payment might be needed from day one after an accident but not after an illness.
"Overall though, these are useful changes that enhance the plan’s appeal."