Drewberry™ provide pensions, investment and insurance advice for Money to the Masses readers throughout the UK.

As of April 2015, Friends Life has been absorbed into and trades as part of Aviva.

Friends Life Income Protection

Founded

2011

Documents

Policy Terms PDF
Key facts PDF

Company Type

Public Limited Company

Company Overview

Friends Life is the result of the merged UK operations of Friends Provident and the life assurance businesses acquired from Bupa and AXA UK. Friends Life began trading in March 2011 with over 5 million customers worldwide.

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Income Protection Overview

A comprehensive income protection product with a limited term payment period option and many additional benefits making it a very flexible offering.

 

Friends Life use an ‘Own Occupation’ incapacity definition for the vast majority of occupations…

 

The Friends Life product has a core premium which is guaranteed for the full term of your policy…

 

It is good to know Friends Life publish their claim statistics where many insurers still decline to do so…

 

The Friends Life product has an application which includes full medical underwriting so you know exactly where you stand from the outset…

 

Friends Life Policy Conditions

An overview of the key policy details of Friends Life Income Protection Solutions proposition.

Overview of Key Policy Details

Policy Type

Income Protection
(Accident & Sickness Only)

Underwriting

Public Limited Company

Premium Type

Guaranteed
Reviewable option also available

Maximum Claim Duration

Unlimited
A limited 2 year payment period option is also available.

Incapacity Definition

Own Occupation
Incapacity definition for the majority of occupations. Only the most high risk occupations having a work tasks definition.

Deferred Period

4 / 8 / 13 / 26 / 52 weeks

Indexation

Optional
When selected Friends Life will annually increase your benefit by the Retail Price Index however the premiums will rise faster as the cost of the additional cover to match the Retail Price index is costed at your age at that point in time.

Waiver of Premium

Included

Maximum Cover
(% Income)

70% Gross
Taxable Earnings
The maximum cover is tiered based on earnings. It is 70 percent of the first £10,000 of gross taxable earnings then 50 percent of gross taxable earnings between £10,000 and £60,000 per annum and 40 percent of gross taxable earnings over £60,000 per annum.

Maximum Cover
(£ per month)

£10,000.00

Max. Policy Cease Age

70 years old

Min. Policy Term

5 years

Min. Entry Age

18 years old

Max. Entry Age

59 years old

Guaranteed Insurability

  • Mortgage Increase
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership
  • Childbirth or Adoption
  • Promotion or Increase in Salary

Guaranteed Benefit

Friends Life will guarantee a minimum of £15,600 per annum equivalent to £1,300 per month or your monthly benefit if lower.

Overseas Travel

Friends Life will only pay a benefit for the first 3 months after the deferred period if you reside in one of their permitted countries listed in the key features.

Policy Exclusions

No Standard Exclusions

We have taken care to ensure that the information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However we can give no guarantee as to the accuracy of the content of the site. We accept no liability for any losses whether direct or indirect arising from errors on our part.

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Drewberry reviews Friends Life Income Protection…

Finding themselves with three different income protection policies within the one company, Friends Life took the best aspects each insurers plan and rolled out a market leading policy with the best array of additional benefits available in the market.

Key Comparison Points

  • As a traditional income protection insurer, Friends Life will not cover those in very manual occupations (such as builders) with own occupation cover (Friendly Societies will provide this definition of incapacity);
  • Please be aware that this insurer will take account of your age when calculating premium rises as your level of cover increase due to inflation (there are insurers that do not do this). This only applies when the indexation option is selected;
  • In order to contain the monthly premium for individuals on a tight budget, Friends Life also offer a policy option where the plan could only payout for up to 24 months in total;
  • This insurer provides the following contractual benefits: (lump-sum) Trauma Benefit of six months cover (up to a maximum of £40,000) if you suffer a specified disability; child-carer benefit of four months cover (up to a maximum of £25,000) if your child is diagnosed with a specified critical illness; and a hospital inpatient benefit of up to £200 per night for up to 90 nights;
  • Friends Life also provide the following non-contractual benefits: Bupa HealthLine, which is a 24 hour nurse helpline; Therapy Benefit of £100 per year for complementary medicine; and Best Doctors for an expert second opinion on any medical diagnosis;

Policy exclusions

The only standard exclusion relates to incapacity arising whist being outside of certain countries listed in the policy terms for more than 13 weeks in any 12 month period (these are mainly countries outside of the EU, North America and Australasia).

Please note that there are a specific set of terms and exclusions for the additional benefits listed above (full details can be found in the policy terms conditions, which can be downloaded above).

Financial strength

Friends Provident (the insurer that acquired the life insurance business of Bupa and AXA UK) was formed in 1832, demonstrating the long-term financial prudence of this insurer.

With over 5 million clients and 4,000 employees worldwide, Friends Life is one of the largest insurers in the UK. In 2011 Friends Life had estimated IGCA surplus capital resources of £2 billion.

 

 

Friends Life Personal Protection – Questions and Answers

A series of commonly asked questions with regards to the policy coverage of the Friends Life persona income protection product.

Q. I’m deciding how much cover I need to take and thought it would be wise to include the premium for this policy so it doesn’t lower my benefit, but I’m not sure if I would have to pay the premium if I was claiming?

A. No, you would not need to pay Friends Life the monthly premiums if you’re making a claim.

Most (but not all) income protection policies include something called ‘waiver of premiums’ as a standard part of the plan. This essentially means that the insurer will ‘waiver’ the premiums if you are incapacitated past your chosen deferred period.


 

Q. With the option that can only payout for two years, what happens if a) I am ill for longer than two years and b) I can go back to work for a while but then cannot cope?

A. These are key questions relating to this option. To summarise this option, you can only claim on the plan for up to 24 months in total, which can be all in one claim or split over several claims.

Thus, on the first question, Friends Life would stop paying benefits after two years even if you are still unable to return to work. For long-term protection without this restriction do not select the limited benefit option.

With regards to the second question, it is fine to make multiple claims and if the next claim is within 12 months for the same condition the insurer will not apply the deferred period again. It is just important to note that Friends Life will not payout for more than 24 months in total.

When comparing insurers it is worth noting that LV’s Budget Income Protection plan would allow you to claim for another 24 months for a new claim and a ‘new claim’ is considered to be a new condition OR the same condition where you have been able to return to work for at least 6 months.

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