British Friendly rebranded in May and since then has introduced a range of updates to its income protection proposition. This includes:
* Offering more deferred periods on its short term income protection products. Customers can now choose 1, 4, 8 or 13 week deferred periods – British Friendly says this is the widest range available for 1, 2 or five years plans.
* A death benefit equal to six months’ benefit payments.
* An immediate acceptance application process through the insurer’s online system.
British Friendly now offers three main types of income protection cover:
* BFS Long Term Protect. This pays up to 70% of the client’s taxable income and can pay benefits up to age 70.
* BFS Short Term Protect. This pays up to 70% of annual income for up to 1, 2 or 5 years, again up to age 70. British Friendly uses an own occupation disability definition and benefits are paid direct into the client’s bank account. The plan is available to UK taxpayers aged 18 to 64 at outset and who have a UK GP. The insured benefit can be from £50 to £875 a week.
* BFS Breathing Space. This pays up to £250 a week for 1, 2 or 5 years up to age 65, with no need to prove income or hours worked when a claim is made.
Premiums increase over time rather than being fixed throughout the term.
What They Say
Distribution and marketing director Iain Clark said: “We have been working hard over the last eight months to make it as easy as possible for advisers to do business with us. We want, in turn, to make it as easy as possible for advisers to do business with their clients and, expanding the deferred period options on our short term IP to make it market leading, is a logical step. We want to provide as many comprehensive, flexible and affordable options as possible.”
What We Say
"British Friendly is a good example of the small specialist insurer that succeeds by offering something a little different to the bigger players. Its plans will not suit everyone but, where they do, it can provide a more tailor made fit to meet a client’s needs.
"The current changes are relatively minor but centre around offering more choice on short term plans – which themselves offer a cheaper alternative to traditional open ended benefit periods with all the extra cost and tougher underwriting common on such plans. Moreover, the mutual has looked to make life simper, easier and quicker for advisers too.
"Premiums do rise over time (unlike on the traditional IP model) but that can help secure a sale initially and many clients assume that all their insurance costs will rise over time anyway. "