british friendly

British Friendly Income Protection [REVIEW]

Who Are British Friendly?

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.

Egle Blusiute, independent protection expert at Drewberry

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.
Egle Blusiute
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

British Friendly’s Income Protection Cover

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.

Policy Overview

  • Uses the own occupation definition of incapacity for most occupations so the policy pays out if you suffer an accident or sickness that stops you working in your own specific job role, even those jobs other insurers deem a higher risk.
  • Unlike other insurers, British Friendly pays your benefit weekly rather than monthly.
  • Doesn’t offer guaranteed premiums as an option, only age-banded premiums. This means your premiums rise each year in line with your age.

Documentation

BFS Income Protection key facts
BFS Income Protection policy terms

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What Does BFS Income Protection Cover?

British Friendly has two main Income protection policies: Long Term Income Protection and a Short Term Income Protection option at a cheaper price point.

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

Maximum Cover

70% of your gross taxable income.

Maximum benefit of £45,000 per year.

Premium Type

Age Banded
Premiums increase each year in line with your age after the first year of your policy.

Maximum Claim Duration

Full cover to term
Pays out with no limit in the event of a claim, up until your policy’s retirement age.

Short term cover
Pays out for the length of the payout period you select. This can be 1, 2 or 5 years.

Incapacity Definition

Own occupation

Deferred Period

Long Term Cover
4 / 8 / 13 / 26 / 52 weeks

Short Term Cover
4 / 8 / 13 weeks

Indexation

Optional

Waiver of Premium

Automatically included

We have taken care to ensure that information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However, we offer no guarantee as to its accuracy and accept no liability for any losses, whether direct or indirect, arising from errors on our part.

Key Policy Factors

Career Break Option

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.

Terminal Illness Benefit

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.

Immediate Support Payment

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.

Cover for Riskier Occupations

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.

Automatic Waiver of Premium

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.

Indexation

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.

Guaranteed Insurability

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.

Additional Benefits

British Friendly provides a range of additional benefits for free alongside its Income Protection policy.

Recovery Support Benefit

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.

Care Assistance Benefit

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.

Death Benefit

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.

Bereavement Benefit

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.

Mutual Benefits

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:

Mutual Rewards

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.

Mutual Support

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:

  • Virtual GP consultation
  • Physiotherapy
  • Counselling
  • Second medical opinion service.

Once you have used all your Health Support Points up you can still access these benefits at an additional cost.

Mutual Wellbeing

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:

  • Health MOT
    For 100 Health Support Points you can access a comprehensive medical screening via Square Health. This can help to identify short and long term adjustments you could make to improve your health.
  • Lifeworks Wellbeing App
    Provides more than 1,000 exclusive in-store and online retail discounts, as well as tips and articles on how to stay happy and healthy.
  • Wellbeing Hub
    Offers guidance and support to help you live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

Mutual Partners

As a member of BFS, you get access to various discounted services provided by some of the insurer’s partners. These include:

  • Legal & General’s power of attorney and will writing service
  • Hotel discounts from Hotelogical
  • 20% off Staysure Travel Insurance, a leading provider which specialises in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

How Does British Friendly Compare?

Low Maximum Benefit

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.

Own Occupation Cover for Risky Occupations

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.

High Maximum Age of Entry

British Friendly offers a maximum entry age of 64 which, alongside only Zurich, is the highest any insurer offers.

No Week 1 or Day 1 Deferred Period

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.

Breathing Space

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.

How Much Does British Friendly Income Protection Cost?

To help provide you with an idea of how much British Friendly Income Protection can cost, we’ve provided example premiums based on varying ages below.

To calculate these quotes we have assumed that the individual looking for cover wants a monthly benefit of £1,250 and:

  • Wants a 4 week deferral period
  • Is in a low risk office based role
  • Has no pre-existing conditions
  • Is a non-smoker

Monthly Premiums

30 Years Old

40 Years Old

50 Years Old

£31.50

£52.25

£99.00

All quotes were generated in June 2021 and calculated as a monthly premium.

Get British Friendly Income Protection Quotes & Expert Advice

With so many factors and nuances to consider when setting up income protection it can often get a bit confusing.

We have a team of expert advisers on hand to help you make the right decisions when it comes to taking out the most suitable cover so please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333.

If you already know what you need you can use our comparison quote tool to get pricing from all the top UK insurers.

Why Speak to Us?

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 help@drewberry.co.uk.

Very helpful from start to finish. Talked through all the points and gave great advice.

Darren Comer
16/05/2021
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