Our top individual and group protection products this year
Despite the protection industry having to grapple with a number of major legislative changes this year, such as the EU gender directive and I-E tax change, there has still been plenty of product innovation in both the individual and group markets.
Health Insurance’s technical editor Andy Couchman has been keeping on top of all the product launches and alterations – and what they mean for the market – throughout 2012, and here we round up our top three products of the past 12 months.
* First up is Ageas Protect’s Your Life Plan Critical Illness with Term Assurance, which was revamped at the beginning of the year to include features such as more ABI+ (Association of British Insurers plus) definitions and ‘total disability’ – a new term for TPD (total and permanent disability) for conditions that are likely to be temporary. Ageas also doubled its maximum child benefit payment, and – unusually – applied the enhancements retrospectively. Andy highlighted the introduction of total disability and the retrospective application of changes, which he described as “very valuable” for customers, as the standout changes, and rated the product 8.5 out of 10. Read the full review here.
* In March, it was a group income protection plan to be awarded the coveted product of the month status: Ellipse’s InteractPlus. The plan includes an absence management system which aims to ensure employee absence is recorded and managed from day one. Ellipse claimed the concept was a first, and Andy said it took the idea of insurers playing a more proactive role in helping claimants back to work one step further, awarding the product 8.5 stars. To read the full review, click here.
* But the highest rating to be given all year – nine out of 10 stars – was reserved for Pru Protect’s Income Protection for doctors in November. This product introduced a deferred period for doctors that automatically changes over time, in line with the NHS sick pay structure – addressing the fact that NHS sick pay depends on how long a doctor has been working for the health service, which has traditionally made it problematic to write IP for doctors. Andy said: “PruProtect’s solution is simple from the customer’s (and adviser’s) viewpoint and meets doctors’ actual needs.” Read the full review here.