NurtureFirst has developed two products designed to provide specialist cover during pregnancy and infanthood. The top level of cover is called Chosen by Experts and itself offers three levels of cover – Care, Care Plus and Care Extra. The mid-range (Care Plus) plan pays on diagnosis of:
* £50K on cerebral palsy.
* £50K on major cancers.
* £50K on congenital heart disease.
* £50K on cystic fibrosis.
* £25K on all other specified conditions.
* £5K on accidental death.
* Up to £5K on funeral and counselling expenses.
* Optionally (at extra cost) £25K on Down’s syndrome.
There is a 14 day survival period after diagnosis. Cover starts on the inception date of the policy and continues until the child’s second birthday. Payments are made to the mother.
Twenty four premiums are payable and the monthly premium for a Care Plus plan for a mother aged under 30 is £74.53 (with Down’s syndrome cover) and £70.51pm without). Adding Down’s syndrome cover for older mothers increases the premium significantly, with a mother aged 45-49 paying £179.25 a month. Premiums can be paid by anyone related to the mother.
For comparison, the cancer benefit for a Care plan would be £10K and £150K for a Care Extra plan (not all benefits are pro rata though).
To qualify, the mother must be 18+ and have had a clear mid-pregnancy (18-21 week) scan and the child must not yet have been born. Customers must be ordinarily resident in the UK when they apply for cover.
The Chosen by Mums plan is a less expensive version that covers five main medical conditions but all policies also include a Nurse Support Service. Chosen by Mums also has three cover levels, with the most expensive version costing £9.13 a month for 24 months.
What They Say
Founder Jamie Moyes said: “NurtureFirst is the result of personal experience, a great deal of research and development, and the desire to provide families with access to essential resources should they need them.”
What We Say"For any parent, their child having a serious medical condition is the stuff of nightmares. Moreover, the financial strains involved add to the stress and most conventional insurance policies provide little or no help. Sadly, National Childbirth Trust figures show 1 in 46 births has some form of complication.
"NurtureFirst’s solution is highly specialised, not least because cover only runs for two years (the 1,000 days from conception to the child’s second birthday being seen as key) and is only available to pregnant women who have had a clear 20 week scan. Founder Jamie Moyes had personal experience of some of the issues covered and has worked with paediatricians and mums to develop the cover that has now been launched.
"A similar concept was tried back in the 1990s and, despite attracting some very positive publicity, the scheme failed due to lack of sales. Back then, expectant families didn’t want to think about the financial consequences of something like cerebral palsy. That may still be the case today but one benefit of this plan is that premiums can be paid for by relatives, not just by expectant mums. So, a grandparent may decide to buy cover for their daughter or daughter in law and indeed may encourage mums to be to consider having such cover.
"For intermediaries this is a sensitive area – but also an important one. So yes, this is very specialised and sensitive cover, but it may also provide a financial and support lifeline if the worst happens and a child develops one of the specified serious medical conditions or dies very young. We wish NurtureFirst well in developing such an innovative solution although we hope no mum ever has to claim too."