Shepherds Friendly is one of the world’s oldest mutual insurers, founded on Christmas Day 1826.
Starting out as a traditional life and sickness benefits society, it has since grown into a modern, broadly based financial services organisation.
Over the years it has acquired a membership of nearly 85,000 people in the UK and expanded its product range to include savings plans and protection policies for children, adults and seniors.
As a mutual society, Shepherds Friendly has no shareholders to answer to — it’s run entirely for the benefit of its members.
While Shepherds Friendly covers up to 70% of your gross earnings, the highest percentage available with personal Income Protection, it caps the maximum benefit in cash terms at £4,083 per month.
Higher earners needing a larger benefit may therefore have to consider an alternative insurer.
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Its long-term cover provides a payout until your chosen retirement age if you can never work again. You can set this as high as 70. With the short-term option, Shepherds Friendly limits your payout to a maximum of 24 months per claim.
Shepherds Friendly Income Protection Coverage
70% of your gross taxable income.
Maximum benefit of £4,083 a month / £49,000 per year.
Maximum Claim Duration
Full cover to term
4 / 8 / 13 / 26 / 52 weeks
Waiver of Premium
If you’ve had your policy for at least 12 months you can apply for a career break, which lets you suspend both your cover and premiums. Then, when you want to pick the cover back up again, you don’t have to re-apply.
If you choose this option the suspension must be for at least 3 consecutive months but no longer than 24 consecutive months.
Shepherds Friendly will potentially fund additional support services where it feels they will help your recovery and get you back to work sooner. For example, it may refer you for physiotherapy or counselling via one of its nominated rehabilitation providers.
Waiver of premiums is automatically included. Shepherds Friendly stops taking premiums from 4 weeks after the end of your deferral period until the end of your claim.
At the start of your plan you have the option to index-link your benefit. Should you choose this option, your monthly benefit will increase in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). To compensate for this higher benefit, your premiums will also rise in line.
If you select this option, Shepherds Friendly applies indexation annually after 12 months of your policy being in place.
Should certain ‘life events’ happen during the policy term, Shepherds Friendly lets you increase your benefit by up to 20% per event, up to a maximum of £6,000 in total per year.
These life events include:
Shepherd’s Friendly pays £250 into one of its Junior Child ISAs if you have a child during the term of a policy. This is to help you get started on saving for your child’s future.
If the worst should happen and you pass away during the life of a policy, Shepherds Friendly pays £6,000 to your family in six monthly instalments. This is to help with daily living costs and reduce some of the financial strain of a bereavement.
Mutual Moments aims to empower Shepherds Friendly’s staff to provide the best possible customer service. Every month, each member of staff gets a budget of £25 to spend on a member if they wish.
Examples of Mutual Moments might a staff member sending a longstanding saver a birthday cake or congratulations card to a member who’s getting married.
Shepherds Friendly Income Protection covers up to 70% of your gross earnings. This is the highest percentage available with personal Income Protection.
However, the insurer’s maximum monthly benefit in cash terms is £4,083 per month (£49,000 per year), regardless of your earnings. If you’re a higher earner, you may therefore want to consider an alternative insurer.
This policy only offers age banded premiums, so the cost of cover rises each year in line with your age. If you want guaranteed premiums that stay fixed across the life of your policy, another insurer would be more suitable.
If Shepherds Friendly excludes a pre-existing condition from your policy, you can request a medical review after 12 months. This is something most other insurers don’t automatically offer.
Shepherds Friendly may remove the exclusion on review providing you haven’t received treatment for or had any symptoms of the excluded condition for at least 12 months prior to you making the request.
Any removal of exclusions is subject to you supplying medical information such as GP notes and will be entirely at the insurer’s discretion.
Shepherds Friendly’s Income Protection offers flexibility which allows you to make certain amendments to your policy once it’s live. For example, you can change your benefit level, deferred period and cease age; however, this is only possible when you’re not claiming / in receipt of a benefit.
Shepherds Friendly declines to cover those in higher risk roles, for example those where you work offshore on boats or above certain heights. Workers in higher risk roles are unlikely to find this insurer their best option.
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.
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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. We’re available on 02084327333 or you can email email@example.com.