In 2017, a sizeable 190,806 protection claims were paid out.* This may have assisted bereaved families (and helped keep a roof over their head), or perhaps enabled placeholders to get back on their feet after a serious illness or injury.
(Source: *Association of British Insurers, May 2018 release)
Protection plan generally cater for the worst-case outcomes, and understandably cover issues that many would rather not contemplate. Yet when it is ‘front of mind’, it may be too late.
‘Peace of Mind’, when not ‘Front of Mind’
The £150bn a year or so spent by the NHS, could help do its bit (if it can) to aid you on the road to recovery, but it’s only tasked with the immediate issue of looking after you. It’s largely your responsibility to find a way to protect your own income stream, or to consider the implication of losing it.
The insurance industry is well aware of these issues and recognises that early preventative options may help to allay bigger health issue down the line. For that reason it might no longer be the case that you pay out each month, with no further communication unless you need to claim. Instead, some insurers are building ongoing value-added benefits into their plans.
Differing value-added benefits
Here are some examples of the practical and emotional help that might now be on offer as part of the monthly premium you pay:
- Access to a remote GP whenever you need it.
- Accès to other specialist support such as telephone counselling (bereavement, work-related stress, marital and family issues), carer support services, consumer rights, debt management advice, early intervention and rehabilitation services.
- The availability of apps and introduction of wearable technology to monitor your lifestyle. Which, in turn, may result in lower premiums, to acknowledge you’re living more healthily.
- Other incentives to assist your general well-being, such as discounts off health club membership, and cinema tickets.
Some of those services could be accessed from day one of taking out a policy, and in some cases, there may be no need to make a claim.
If you’d like to hear more about suitable plans to meet your needs (and possibly those of your family), then please get in touch.
As with all insurance policies, terms, conditions and exclusions will apply.
Key areas to consider
Dependent on your own requirements, here are the key areas to assess, where one or more plans may meet your needs:
LIFE COVER – pays out a lump sum when you die. This is often taken out to help pay off the mortgage (plus a bit more to provide for immediate needs). Albeit, it should still be a consideration too for those that are renting.
CRITICAL ILLNESS COVER – pays out a lump sum when you have a specified serious illness, such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer, giving you time to get back on your feet.
INCOME PROTECTION – pays you a percentage of your monthly income before tax (generally up to 60%) when you can’t work due to illness or injury. The average ongoing payout period for individual plans is around 3 years.