Skandia Life has re-entered the protection insurance market, having temporarily exited it in August 2010 after being a major player for 20+ years.
The new plan is a modified version of its old plan and offers life cover with critical illness cover. Terms of 5-40 years are available, along with a rolling 10-year term.
A total of 44 medical conditions are covered, five having the standard Association of British Insurers (ABI) definition and 18 having an ABI+ definition. Twenty one other conditions are also covered including serious accident, which pays after 28 days of hospitalisation following an accident.
In addition, there are 12 partial payments for less severe diagnoses of certain conditions. These pay the lower of £25,000 or 25% of the sum assured.
Children’s cover is the lower of 50% of the full sum insured or £25,000, and doubles if both parents have Skandia CI cover. There is a 10 day survivability clause and benefit is paid up to age 21 (regardless of whether the child is in full-time education).
The plan also includes surgery benefit, which pays up to half the sum assured, to fund certain fixed price operations; cover continuation benefit (after a claim on joint life plans); immediate cover for business assurance (and on accidental death during the application process for all), and guaranteed insurance options.
Guaranteed insurability applies on a mortgage increase; marriage/divorce/birth/adoption; a salary increase due to promotion/job change; business assurance revaluation, and loss of employer-provided group cover on retirement.
Premiums are guaranteed throughout the policy term and exclusion premium discounts apply for certain excluded conditions.
Optional benefits include premium protection benefit (PPB); total and permanent disability (TPD); cover reinstatement option (buyback), and inflation (RPI) linked annual cover increases, which can never be lost.
What They Say
Head of protection, Ian Jefferies, said: “Many advisers are re-prioritising protection following the Retail Distribution Review and want more product choices for their clients.
"Our focus has been to provide a truly top quality product with innovative features that will make it stand out in the market. For customers, our priority is to help ease the financial burden that a serious illness can place upon them, and we have worked hard to make the criteria for payout clearer and fairer to them.”
What We Say
"It is always good to see an old face re-emerge into the market. Skandia has done so with a well thought-out development of its old plan. The new plan includes some positive new ideas – including extending children’s cover up to age 21 regardless of whether they are in full-time education (other insurers please note). However, we would make the same criticism of the hospitalisation benefit as we did with L&G’s plan – why cover accidents only? If the need is for money due to a long hospitalisation, the reason for the stay is immaterial to the need.
"Skandia now has to prove that it deserves to be back but we welcome its return with this strong new offering."