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15 January 2019

VitalityLife annouces a new Mortgage Plan and a range of enhancements to Income Protection 

VitalityLife has launched a new Mortgage Plan, specifically designed for mortgage protection, offering the most comprehensive coverage* and providing total peace of mind. Alongside this, VitalityLife has also launched a number of enhancements to its Income Protection (IP) that will provide members with more inclusive cover.

These innovations from VitalityLife will provide better solutions to advisers and customers, making protection sales easier, whilst providing more comprehensive and tailored cover.

New Mortgage Protection

The new mortgage protection plan provides simple but comprehensive cover designed specifically for mortgage protection. Life cover, Income Protection, Serious Illness Cover for Children, Waiver of premium and our new Serious Illness Cover Protector, specifically designed for mortgage protection, can be included. And with just five medical questions, the quick and easy new application process means clients can be protected in minutes.
Serious Illness Cover Protector:
  • Severity-based approach covering 145 conditions, including 40 conditions unique to Vitality.
  • 77 conditions paid out at 100% of the sum assured to fully cover the mortgage after suffering from the most severe conditions. This includes heart attack, cancer and stroke.
  • 68 conditions paid out on a severity basis between 15% and 75% of the plan amount. These claims do not reduce the amount of Life or serious illness cover remaining for further claims.
Vitality Life Deputy CEO, Deepak Jobanputra, said: “Our new and simple, yet comprehensive, Mortgage Plan provides the most comprehensive cover, paying out on death and serious illness. Applications are made through our simplified Optimiser Underwriting, which means clients can be fully covered in minutes. The product includes competitive Life Cover and a new Serious Illness Cover (SIC), SIC Protector, designed specifically for mortgages. SIC Protector Cover covers 77 serious illnesses at 100% and 145 serious illnesses in total through severity-based payments. With SIC Protector, lower severity claim payments do not reduce the sum assured, meaning that following a lower severity payment the full sum assured is still available to pay off the mortgage in the case of a Life or 100% SIC claim.”

New Income Protection

Enhancements to the Income Protection Plan bring a strong focus on public sector workers, including enhancements to the earnings guarantee and a new hospitalisation benefit.
Public Sector Plans:
  • Bespoke deferred periods are now available for a wider range of public sector employees, including all NHS doctors, surgeons and nurses; public sector teachers and council workers. For these public sector employees, the benefit will be aligned to their employer’s sick pay schemes.
  • Vitality now provides bespoke income protection deferred periods to the broadest range of public sector workers.
Earnings Guarantee:
  • The Earnings Guarantee from VitalityLife means that if a member’s earnings at point of claim are less than their Earnings Guarantee established at the start of the policy, the higher level of benefit is paid.
  • Enhancements to the earnings guarantee mean that members now have up to six months from the start of the plan to validate monthly insured benefits between £1,500 and £8,000 per month.
  • Further, Vitality will now automatically validate monthly insured benefits if these are less than £1,500 per month. This means that members with benefit amounts less than £1,500 no longer need to validate their income at the outset of the policy.
The introduction of a new Hospitalisation Benefit:
  • Members with Comprehensive Income Protection plans will now receive £100 per day for up to 90 days in total, should they be hospitalised for more than six days during their plan’s deferred period.
Short Term Income Protection Plans:
  • Members are now able to make multiple claims for the same cause of absence, as long as they return to work for more than six months in between claims.
Research has shown that 80% fewer people have Income Protection (IP) cover, compared with the number of people who have Life Cover**. The aim of VitalityLife’s enhancements is to widen the appeal of IP and to more fully meet members’ needs.

Sally Burrowes, Director of Legal & Business Support at VitalityLife, said: “Many people still don’t have cover in place for potentially one of the most important things in their life - their income. This suite of enhancements will increase the appeal of our Income Protection plans by meeting the needs of more customers. And, combined with our Vitality Healthy Living Programme, members can enjoy the peace of mind of Defaqto 5-star rated cover while accessing incentives and rewards, even if they never need to claim on their policy.”

Rob Harvey, Head of Protection Advice at Drewberry, added:
“The new enhancements to VitalityLife's Income Protection introduce further impressive features to what is already a unique product. The market-first introduction of deferred periods for council workers, alongside other public sector employees such as doctors, teachers and nurses, is very welcome and the minimum benefit guarantee of £1,500, along with the ability to lock in 100% of your monthly benefit if you provide evidence of income within six months of starting the policy, is great. It removes the risk in the future of not being paid the full benefit if earnings fall before a claim is made. Also, the simplification and enhancement of the proportionate and rehabilitation benefits will help ease people back into work. Having support at hand when you return to work is extremely beneficial for the insured and reduces the need for an individual to claim again because they haven't sufficiently paced their return and have relapsed.”

Other updates to VitalityLife’s Income Protection plans include:
  • Clients with Primary, Comprehensive and Short Term Income Protection plans are now able to insure up to 60% of their income up to £5,000 per month and 50% thereafter, so clients are able to select higher benefit amounts.
  • The ability to now choose a two-month deferred period, which increases the range of deferred period options available to clients.
  • Enhanced categorisation of occupational classes.
  • Extended retirement age so clients are able to select for their cover to be in place to age 70, for some occupations.
  • The rules regarding Proportionate and Rehabilitation Benefits have been simplified for those members returning to work, so they are eligible for these benefits for the full term of the plan, regardless of whether they return to work in the same role or in a reduced capacity, or in a different lower paid role.

Further information on VitalityLife’s Income Protection plans is available on the VitalityLife website at https://www.vitality.co.uk/life-insurance/income-protection-cover

*  Based on the number of conditions covered (145 conditions, verified by Defaqto).

** Mintel Income Protection Report.