British Friendly Society (BFS) was set up in 1902 to provide sickness benefits for commercial travellers and their families.
Today, it is one of the UK’s largest friendly societies which offer Income Protection. It has more than 30,000 members and nearly £100 million in assets. Its flexible approach to policies and claims allows policyholders to negotiate certain terms so you can tailor cover to your specific needs.
As a friendly society, British Friendly has no shareholders to answer to — it’s run entirely for the benefit of its members.
British Friendly’s Protect has an excellent claims history — over the last 14 years the society has consistently paid out more than 94% of claims.
It is also one of the few Income Protection providers which cover certain higher-risk occupations under the own occupation incapacity definition.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
British Friendly’s Protect is its main Income Protection offering. The insurer’s sole focus on Income Protection means that British Friendly has taken time to create a policy with a flexible underwriting approach.
By reaching this page you are eligible for 2 months FREE cover when you arrange a new Income Protection policy. Simply fill in the form below to apply your discount or call us on 02084327333 stating the code VC2MF.
Long-term cover (known as Long Term Protect) provides a payout until your retirement age if you can never work again. The short-term option (known as Short Term Protect) pays out for a maximum of 1, 2 or 5 per claim.
British Friendly’s Protection Coverage
70% of your gross taxable income.
Maximum benefit of £45,000 per year.
Maximum Claim Duration
Full cover to term
Short term cover
Long Term Cover
Short Term Cover
Waiver of Premium
With British Friendly you can suspend your Income Protection cover for between 3 and 24 months during the policy term. This is known as a career break.
While you are on a career break, British Friendly doesn’t collect premiums and suspends your cover. However, you can restart the policy at any time on the same terms as before, so you don’t lose the cover or have to re-apply.
This is particularly useful for people who want to take a career break or who unexpectedly find themselves out of work and need to reduce their outgoings, but don’t want to lose their policy entirely.
If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness (given less than 12 months to live), British Friendly waives the policy’s deferred period and pays out straight away.
To make a claim, you’ll usually need to provide supporting medical evidence of your incapacity. However, the time this takes can delay payment of your claim.
Recognising this, British Friendly pays up to £500 after your deferred period has passed, irrespective of whether it has received the medical evidence to support your claim. This helps provide some immediate financial assistance while you are waiting for your benefit.
If, on receipt of the medical evidence, British Friendly rejects your claim, it won’t immediately ask for the money back. Instead, it records the payout as a payment on your account and deducts it from any future claims.
British Friendly won’t rate your premiums based on your occupation. This means if you’re in a high risk role, especially those involving manual work, you won’t face a higher premium.
This is opposed to many other insurers, which charge those in riskier roles more.
British Friendly includes waiver of premium automatically. Once your claim has been in payment for at least 28 days, you won’t have to pay premiums until you are well enough to return to work.
British Friendly’s optional indexed-linked Income Protection sees your benefit increase each year in line with inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The maximum increase is 10% each year.
You can increase your benefit without further medical evidence if there are changes in your marital status, parental status, salary, or you increase / take out a new mortgage.
British Friendly provides a range of additional benefits for free alongside its Income Protection policy.
In certain circumstances, BFS pays a lump sum equivalent to 4 times your weekly benefit, 4 weeks after your final benefit payment. This is to help relieve financial worries during the period between your claim ending and you returning to work and your next pay day.
If your child or your partner / spouse suffers from a serious illness or accident that means they need at least 35 hours of full time care per week for 4 weeks or more, BFS provides a payment of £125 per week for up to 26 weeks.
If it is a parent / parent-in-law who needs care, British Friendly pays this benefit up to 13 weeks.
For no extra cost, BFS offers a lump sum death benefit of 6 months (26 weeks) of your Income Protection benefit should you pass away during your policy.
This payment goes to a loved one you have nominated. British Friendly may also pay this benefit in the event of a terminal illness where a doctor has diagnosed you with less than 12 months to live.
Losing a loved one can be extremely overwhelming and bring with it a lot a stress, including financial worries. To help with this, BFS offers a lump sum of 13 times your weekly benefit if your spouse / partner or child (up to age 18) dies during your policy term.
When you take out a British Friendly Income Protection policy, you automatically become a member of the society. With this membership comes a range of additional Mutual Benefits in addition to those mentioned above. These benefits are broken down into 4 categories:
Offers access to a range of discounted gift cards and e-vouchers, which could save you up to £250 a year on high street shopping. Not only do you get access to discounts, you are also entered into quarterly prize draws where you could win prizes worth up to £1,000.
This benefit focuses on providing access to additional healthcare benefits. Each year you get 150 Health Support Points which you can put towards services provided by Square Health. These include:
Once you have used all your Health Support Points up you can still access these benefits at an additional cost.
To make sure its members are looking after themselves, BFS give you access to a number of services to help improve / maintain your wellbeing. These include:
As a member of BFS, you get access to various discounted services provided by some of the insurer’s partners. These include:
While British Friendly covers 70% of your earnings, the highest percentage available in the personal Income Protection market, it caps your benefit in cash terms at a maximum of £45,000 per year regardless of your earnings.
This is one of the lowest maximum benefits on the market. High earners who need a larger benefit than this may therefore be better served by another insurer with a higher annual benefit cap.
British Friendly offers own occupation cover to most occupations, even those other insurers deem too high-risk to insure on this basis. This makes BFS a good option for manual workers seeking comprehensive protection.
British Friendly offers a maximum entry age of 64 which, alongside only Zurich, is the highest any insurer offers.
Many of British Friendly’s fellow friendly societies specialise in offering shorter deferred periods, such as 1 week and even day 1 cover. This means you only have to be out of work sick for 1 week before you can claim or, with a day 1 deferred period, out of work for 3 days before your insurer backdates your benefit to the first day of your illness.
However, the shortest deferred period British Friendly offers is 4 weeks, which may not be short enough for those with only minimal savings and little to no sick pay.
BFS also offers a policy called Breathing Space, a more affordable short term protection option. This is aimed at those who may struggle to prove their income in the event of a claim. For example, workers who are self-employed, casual, part-time who have an irregular income may find it difficult to provide concrete income evidence.
This offers a choice of benefit of up to £250 a week for either 1,2 or 5 years until age 65.
As you can see, when looking to compare Income Protection Insurance there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.
We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.
We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.
For help and fee-free Income Protection advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach us on 02084327333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.