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Tuesday 16 October 2018

VitalityLife launches a world-first solution to help cover the rising costs of later life


VitalityLife has today announced a world-first, innovative new solution that aims to protect customers against the rising costs of later life care. Dementia and FrailCare Cover will now be offered at no extra cost as part of Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover (SIC) and will provide members with protection for a range of degenerative later life illnesses after the initial expiry of their SIC product.

Vitality’s Healthy Living Programme is proven to help members get healthier, claim less and live longer. The company continually evolves its products to encourage members to take control of their health and improve their quality of life. Current solutions to the ageing population are falling short of the growing need for customers to prepare for the costs of living with conditions in later life, particularly with regard to degenerative conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and general frailty. 

Dementia and FrailCare Cover, a first for the insurance market, will help people prepare financially for becoming frail and for the possibility of dementia in later life – giving members comfort, dignity and security in response to these conditions.

Care costs in later life can vary from minor costs such as devices to support people at home, through to nursing costs. Dementia and FrailCare Cover will help fund some of these costs by making a severity-based pay out following deterioration of health in later life. The cover aims to limit the financial sacrifices individuals and their families may have to make, while protecting the assets that they have worked so hard for, such as their homes.

Dementia and FrailCare Cover begins immediately following the end of the term of SIC, and will effectively continue as a Whole of Life benefit. The benefit amount will be equal to 50% of the remaining SIC benefit amount, with a cap to the overall benefit of £100k. For Accelerated Life and SIC policies, Dementia and FrailCare Cover also includes a Funeral Benefit equal to 10% of the remaining life benefit amount, subject to a cap of £10k.

Herschel Mayers, CEO of VitalityLife and VitalityInvest, said: “Most people can expect to live longer than previous generations. Vitality’s unique approach to encouraging positive behaviour change has helped our members reach later life in better health.

“But in spite of this we cannot ignore the increasing prevalence and impact of conditions such as dementia and frailty in our society today. So far, the insurance industry hasn’t done nearly enough to recognise this. 

“That’s why we’re especially excited to be announcing Dementia and FrailCare Cover. This is a world-first and addresses one of the most significant problems in the protection industry, and society more broadly, by helping people retain their dignity and independence during what can be a vulnerable stage of their life.

“At Vitality, we will continue to innovate and evolve our products to protect our members and support their health and wealth today and tomorrow.” 

Commenting on Vitality’s new Dementia and FrailCare Cover product, Nicky Cave, MD at Eldercare Group, said: “We welcome this new development from VitalityLife, which should help improve financial stability in later life for future generations. It’s a different and innovative approach that advisers should consider when discussing a client’s current and future protection needs because when it comes to funding the social care of our elderly, the safety net has worn dangerously thin. The way I see the social care landscape moving, choice and control will only be possible if we make financial provision for ourselves.”

ENDS

References
A study of 47,000 VitalityHealth members showed that claims costs decreased by up to 33% as physical activity engagement levels increased.
Two-thirds of Vitality members who engage in their health through the Vitality Healthy Living Programme reduce their Vitality Age gap as a result.
Evidence from the Vitality Programme in the UK shows that members who engage with the programme have lower risk exposure to a broad range of health conditions, including cancer, musculoskeletal, heart and lung conditions – some of the leading causes of ill-health and mortality in the UK.    
One million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025 and this will increase to two million by 2050: Alzheimer’s Research UK: https://www.dementiastatistics.org/statistics/prevalence-projections-in-the-uk/
The cost of dementia to the UK is currently £26 billion a year, which works out as an average annual cost of £32,250 per person with dementia. The average dementia sufferer may face care costs of £100,000 over their lifetime: Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-us/policy-and-influencing/what-we-think/dementia-tax
Costs for homecare vary across the country, but average around £15 per hour. Costs average around £600 a week for a care home place and over £800 a week for a place in a nursing home: Age UK: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-a-care-home/
Current rules around care funding that requires anyone with assets above £23,250 to fund all of their own social care fees, means that people who suffer from one of these later life conditions may face unaffordable costs when they are most vulnerable.