InstaProtect is a short-term accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) policy with no initial exclusion periods and with simplified medical underwriting terms.
The plan pays out up to the lower of 60% of gross income or £2,000 a month for up to 12 months on being unable to work due to accident, sickness or unemployment. In addition, a one off £2,500 critical illness element pays out if the customer develops a qualifying condition. The conditions covered are cancer, coronary artery by-pass grafts, heart attack, kidney failure, major organ transplant and stroke diagnosed by a doctor.
The plan is available to those aged between 18 and 55, with no major ailments, who have been permanently employed for at least 12 months and who pay Class 1 National insurance contributions. Cover is annually renewable and can run up to age 65.
Unlike similar ASU plans, the policy pays out on the customer’s GP sign-off rather than that of a specialist and there is no initial waiting period before unemployment cover kicks in. The plan offers back to day one cover. The plan stops paying benefit if the customer is ‘well enough or able to return to your job or a different job’. The policy goes on to refine this as ‘any work that your experience, education or training may reasonably qualify you to do’.
What They Say
Director Kesh Thukaram said: “Insurers have become lazy and fail to meet customer expectations; offering cover to suit them rather than the people it’s intended for. Workers have instant cover when they buy home, motor, pet and travel insurance, so why not with ASU? Similarly why should people who are signed off sick have to wait months for a consultant appointment, when their GP could confirm the illness? Long NHS appointment wait times unnecessarily hold up claims payments and I am keen to address this along with needless small print.”
What We Say
"Best Insurance has taken the standard ASU product and added some useful additional benefits for customers. First, a claim can be paid if your GP says you cannot work. Most ASU plans pay out on mental health and musculoskeletal conditions only if a consultant says so and that can add delay and uncertainty. Second, unemployment cover is available immediately, without having to wait for an initial qualifying period. Adding an element of CI cover is valuable too – with a short but useful list of conditions covered.
"As with all ASU plans, there are limitations too. Cover is limited and the disability definition is based on a suited definition rather than a true ‘own occ(upation)’ definition. The list of exclusions is quite long too. A conventional IP/CI package would offer more cover (and premiums would not be subject to IPT) but not as conveniently and with much stricter underwriting.
"We had some difficulty accessing information about the policy through the website, although a Google search pointed us to this. This was just after Christmas though, so easier navigation may well have been actioned by now.
"It’s good though to see more innovation in ASU – products typically suffer from what London General MD Ingo Soesman describes as ‘a legacy underwriting format’. He’s right and also promises more innovation to come – which we shall monitor with interest."