British Friendly makes income protection enhancements

The changes cover its Protect (short and long-term) and Breathing Space Income Protection product range.

British Friendly makes income protection enhancements

British Friendly has made several enhancements to its income protection products.

The aim is to increase flexibility so advisers can support more clients including those who can struggle to source cover such as the self-employed, those working in higher-risk occupations or those with fluctuating incomes.

The changes cover its Protect (short and long-term) and Breathing Space Income Protection product range.

The latest enhancements build on a programme of improvements following investment in new system capabilities which has included removing COVID-19 exclusions on deferred periods of four weeks or more, reintroducing Day 1 and Week 1 cover and revising its approach to underwriting occupations.

Changes launched from November 12 across all products includeunderwriting occupationsupfront for the entire product lifecycle so that members that change occupation throughout the term of the policy do not have to be underwritten again.

Members can opt forclaim benefitsto be paid directly to their mortgage provider avoiding any impact on Universal Credit means-tested benefits whileGP and UK residency criteriais cut to two years from three years.

Two newGuaranteed Insurability Optionsare being introduced to include rental and salary increases.Deferred periodson both Protect and Breathing Space are being extended by adding the options of 26 and 52 weeks.Waiver of premiumwill match deferred periods and members can opt to haveclaims paid weekly or monthlyto suit their personal financial needs.

Changes to British Friendly’s Breathing Space short-term income protection include increasing the product end age to 70 from 65 and offering the same Guaranteed Insurability Options as the rest of the product range including marriage and civil partnerships, birth and adoption, new mortgages, or mortgage increases, rent rises and salary increases.

Mark Dennison of adviser firm LightBlue UK said:“Income Protection is often the most important protection product a customer can buy, so these enhancements are a welcome addition to the options advisers have at their disposal.

"Although it is common for a client to approach an adviser for Life Insurance, it is often Income Protection that is the first priority if they are of working age but it is also more complex so this extra flexibility around claims, deferred periods and more is a welcome boost.”

Natalie Summerson, sales and marketing director at British Friendly, added: “The latest enhancements maintain our focus onbuilding a more inclusive offering at a time when Income Protection is even more relevant, valuableand needed.

"Our most recent changes recognise the need for greater flexibility, not just at point of sale but throughout the entire product term as well as at claim stage.”