Compare Income Protection Providers

7 mins

We have created a range of useful product pages and comparison tools to help make your life easier when it comes to comparing Income Protection products.

Below is an overview of all the key policy factors and things to consider when setting up your Income Protection Insurance. You can also use the menu bar above to select insurers and find out more about their individual policies.

Key Income Protection Policy Factors

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to Income Protection. You need to look carefully at the different policies and options available to find one that matches your needs and circumstances.

Income Protection Terms Explained


Definition: Analysis performed by insurers to price your policy and decide your level of cover.

What to look for: Income Protection will always be based on your full medical history, which will involve answering a series of medical questions at the application stage. Inferior policies, such as Payment Protection Insurance, may not ask medical questions until it’s time to claim, meaning you won’t know what you are and aren’t covered for until it comes time to make a claim.


Definition: The regular payments you make to insurers in exchange for your policy.

What to look for: There are three different types of premium to look out for. The type of premium you choose will depend on your personal circumstances:

  • Guaranteed premiums
    Guaranteed to remain the same for the life of the policy, no matter how long you hold it for
  • Age banded premiums
    Increase each year by a percentage laid out in your policy documents in line with your age to reflect the increased risk of you claiming as you get older.
  • Reviewable premiums
    Can be ‘reviewed’ on a regular basis by the insurer and increased in a variety of circumstances, from poor underlying economic performance to a spike in claims in any given year.

Benefit Amount

Definition: The amount of income you are entitled to when you claim.

What to look for: Income Protection benefits are based on a percentage of your income, with the average being 50-65% of your earnings.

Definition of Incapacity

Definition: The terms you have to meet in order to be entitled to your payout.

What to look for: ‘Own Occupation’ is the best definition of incapacity because it allows you to claim on your policy as long as you are unable to perform necessary tasks in your own occupation.

Other definitions of incapacity, ‘Suited Occupation’ and ‘Any Occupation’, won’t allow you to claim if you are still capable of working in a job you are suited for or any job available, respectively.

Deferred Period

Definition: The amount of time you need to spend out of work before you can start claiming benefits.

What to look for: Day 1 cover is the shortest deferred period and entitles you to benefits from your policy from the first day of your incapacity (backdated to day 1 after three days of incapacity). Longer deferred periods, on the other hand, can save significant sums on your policy and range from 4 weeks to 2 years.

Comparing Income Protection Providers

AIG logo


AIG Life Insurance Ltd is the official trading name of the UK life insurance arm of US insurance giant American International Group Inc. The insurer got its foothold in the UK protection market when it acquired Ageas Protect in 2014. AIG offers cover up to 60% of the first £30,000 of your salary; 55% between £30,000 and £100,000 of your salary; and for 45% of any salary exceeding £100,000.



Aviva is one of the largest insurers in the UK with origins that can be traced back all the way to 1797. Its Income Protection policy offers a maximum benefit of 55% of your earnings to a maximum cease age of 70. It also includes cover specifically for fractures and additional support services.

british friendly

British Friendly

British Friendly was founded in 1902 to provide sickness benefits for travellers. It is a friendly society with more than 14,000 members. British Friendly is known for having some of the highest claims payout rates out of the top insurers and in 2016 were awarded 5 starts by Defaqto. Its Income Protection offers cover up to the lower of 70% of your pre-tax earnings or £45,000 per year.

cirencester friendly

Cirencester Friendly

Cirencester Friendly is the 8th largest Income Protection provider in the UK and has been providing protection products since 1889. Today, it has over 36,000 members and has won several awards for its Income Protection and customer service. Its Income Protection covers up to 65% of your earnings and offers Day 1 cover.

the Exeter

The Exeter

With links going back as far as 1888, The Exeter as it is today was founded when two friendly societies – The Exeter Friendly Society and Pioneer Friendly Society – joined forces. It offers two policies designed for different workers: Pure Protection Plus, a long-term plan designed for higher risk workers where you can insure up to £10,000 a month and Income One Plus, for lower-risk workers, which can cover 60% of your income up to the first £100,000 and 40% of the rest of your income.

legal & general

Legal & General

Legal & General is a well-known provider of financial services in the UK. Founded in 1836, it now has as many as 10 million customers worldwide and offers both short- and long-term options for its Income Protection policies. It offers to cover up to 60% of your earnings up to your 70th birthday.

liverpool victoria

Liverpool Victoria

Liverpool Victoria offers a range of products to protect your earnings. It has more than 5.8 million customers in the UK. Liverpool Victoria can cover as much as 60% of your income with its Income Protection policy.

royal london

Royal London

Founded in 1861, Royal London began as a friendly society before becoming a mutual society in 1908. Royal London previously owned and operated various brands, including Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, before uniting them under the Royal London name in 2015. Today, the Royal London brand is one of the most recognisable amongst the top UK insurance providers. It offers cover up to £250,000 per year.



Despite being one of the youngest providers of Income Protection, founded in 2007, Vitality has grown to become one of the UK’s top protection companies. In addition, Vitality was the first insurance provider to award their customers for health living. Its comprehensive policies can cover as much as 60% of your earnings with an unlimited claim duration.

What Do the Best Income Protection Providers Offer?

Payout Rates

Definition: How often insurers pay out when customers try to claim.

What to look for: Insurers that publish their payout rates show their commitment to transparency, while consistently high payout rates show a dedication to customers.

Additional Benefits & Services

Definition: Supportive services and rewards that insurers offer policyholders at no extra cost.

What to look for: Look for services and rewards that you will benefit from and actually use. Consider benefits such as AIG’s ‘Best Doctor’ services as examples of the sort of valuable additional benefits that come as standard with certain providers’ policies.

Applying for Income Protection Insurance

Not all of the policies we have reviewed can be purchased directly from the insurer. Some can only be applied for through a financial adviser, like Drewberry.

How Does Income Protection Work?

  • You become injured or ill and can’t work.
  • You need to take time off work to recover.
  • You make a claim with your insurer, supplying evidence of your condition and a completed claims form.
  • After your set deferred period, your insurer will begin sending you monthly benefits.
  • Continue receiving benefits until you return to work or reach the end of your claims period.

How Do I Apply for Income Protection?

  • Identify what you want from your policy and how much cover you need.
  • Review your available policy options and decide which are the best for you.
  • Either collect and compare quotes from every insurer to find the best policy or alternatively enlist an expert such as one of the team at Drewberry to do all the legwork for you.
  • Provide the necessary information to apply, including age, occupation, salary, and smoker status and answer a series of medical questions.
  • Review the policy offer you have been given and, if you’re happy, finalise your application.

Get Expert Income Protection Advice

Taking out Income Protection can be a bit of a minefield. Our experts are on hand to make sure you have all the information to make an informed decision and set-up the most appropriate cover.

Why Speak to Us…

We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to let us help.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are independent and impartial
    Drewberry isn’t tied to any insurance company, so we can provide completely impartial advice to make sure you get the most appropriate policy based solely on your needs.
  • We’ve got bargaining power on our side
    This allows us to negotiate better premiums for you than you going direct yourself.
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
    You will speak to a named expert with a direct telephone and email. No more automated machines and no more being sent from pillar to post – you’ll have someone to speak to who knows you.
  • Benefit from our 5-star service
    We pride ourselves on providing a 5-star service, as can be seen from our 3321 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5.
  • Gain the protection of regulated advice
    You are protected. Where we provide a regulated advice service we are responsible for the policy we set-up for you. Doing it yourself or going direct to an insurer won’t provide this protection, so you won’t benefit from these securities.
  • Claims support when you need it the most
    You have support should you need to make a claim. The most important thing when it comes to insurance is that claims are paid and quickly. We are here to support you during the claims process and make sure it’s as smooth and stress free as possible.

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