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Income Protection Insurance

Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

Here’s where you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our Income Protection Insurance or call us on 0808 252 3670.

Why do I need Income Protection Insurance?

It helps to make sure you don't fall behind with your monthly bills – like your mortgage – if you’re ever off work due to illness, injury or disability.

Why can’t I just rely on state benefits?

It depends on how much you need to maintain your current lifestyle and what financial commitments you have in place. Based on our understanding of the current State benefit system, even if you qualify for state benefits, Employment and Support Allowance may only pay between £101.15 and £108.15 per week. Could you and your family survive on this level of support?

For more information on the State benefits system, contact your local Department for Work & Pensions.

Sources:, Employment and support allowance rates (correct at February 2014)

When should I get covered?

You can take out Income Protection Cover anytime, but most people tend to think about taking out a plan when they’re changing jobs, getting married or starting a family.

How much does Income Protection Insurance cost?

Your premium will depend on few things, like:

  • your age;
  • your medical history and your family’s medical history;
  • your job;
  • how much alcohol you drink;
  • if you’re a smoker (or use other tobacco products); and
  • whether you choose Comprehensive, Primary or Short Term Income Protection.

If you’re on a budget, you may want to look at Short Term Income Protection as a cheaper alternative.

Can I get Income Protection Insurance if I’m self-employed?

If you’re self-employed, you can choose from any of our plans. But, to give you greater financial security, you can also choose to start receiving payouts from as early as seven days. For many conditions, we’ll also backdate the payment so you get paid for those seven days.

What are my cover options?

When picking your plan, you need to decide whether you want long-term or short-term cover: 

Can I tailor my plan?
Once you’ve decided whether you want short or long-term cover, you can add any of these extra options to your Income Protection plan:
  • Extra protection – to give you more peace of mind, our comprehensive cover protect a higher amount of your income, up to 60% of your gross income for the first £5,000 per month and 50% thereafter capped at £16,666 per month. 
  • Protecting the value of your cover – to protect the future value of your payouts, you can choose to automatically increase your cover in line with the Retail Price Index (up to 10% per annum).
  • Permanent disability uplift – to reflect the greater impact on your finances if you become permanently disabled, you can choose to increase your benefit by 10%, with our Comprehensive Cover.
  • Premium waiver – you can choose to stop paying premiums, if you ever make a claim. With VitalityLife Comprehensive Cover, you can also choose to stop paying any VitalityHealth premiums, too.
  • Guaranteed insurability Option – however your personal circumstances may change over time, you can choose to always be eligible for cover.

You can also choose to add Wellness Optimiser or Vitality Optimiser to your policy if your monthly protection premium is over £30 for a plan covering one person or £40 for a plan covering two people.

How much can I claim with Income Protection Insurance?

With our Comprehensive Cover you can protect 60% of your gross salary for the first £5,000 per month and 50% thereafter capped at £16,666 per month. And because it’s tax-free, this should replace most of your net salary. 

For example, if you earn £70,000 per year, you’d receive 60% of the first £60,000 –and 50% on the remaining £10,000.

With our Short Term and Primary Cover, the maximum cover available is 50% of your gross salary.

When will you start paying out after I claim?

You’ll get your first payment at the end of your deferred period, which you set when you take out your plan. Your deferred period starts on the first day you’re unable to work and ends when you have been continuously incapacitated for either:

  • 7 days (only an option if you’re self-employed)
  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 12 months
Do I get a payout at the end of the policy if I don’t claim? 

The policy is designed to only pay out if you're unable to work due to accident or sickness during the term of your policy. Once your policy has reached its end date, your cover stops and you won’t get anything back.

What does ‘guaranteed payment amount’ mean?

It means we’ll guarantee you receive the agreed amount when you claim, based on your salary when you apply, even if your income goes down.

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